Topic: East Asia
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. As of 28 March 2020, more than 663,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 190 countries and territories, resulting in approximately 30,800 deaths. More than 141,000 people have since recovered.
The virus is mainly spread during close contact and via respiratory droplets produced when people cough or sneeze. Respiratory droplets may be produced during breathing but the virus is not considered airborne. People may also catch COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface and then their face. It is most contagious when people are symptomatic, although spread may be possible before symptoms appear. The time between exposure and symptom onset is typically around five days, but may range from 2 to 14 days. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. There is no known vaccine or specific antiviral treatment. Primary treatment is symptomatic and supportive therapy. Recommended preventive measures include hand washing, covering one's mouth when coughing, maintaining distance from other people, and monitoring and self-isolation for people who suspect they are infected.
Efforts to prevent the virus spreading include travel restrictions, quarantines, curfews, workplace hazard controls, event postponements and cancellations, and facility closures. These include the quarantine of Hubei, national or regional quarantines elsewhere in the world, curfew measures in China and South Korea, various border closures or incoming passenger restrictions, screening at airports and train stations, and outgoing passenger travel bans. Schools and universities have closed either on a nationwide or local basis in more than 160 countries, affecting more than 1.5 billion students.
The pandemic has led to severe global socioeconomic disruption, the postponement or cancellation of sporting, religious, and cultural events, and widespread fears of supply shortages which have spurred panic buying. Misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus have spread online, and there have been incidents of xenophobia and racism against Chinese and other East and Southeast Asian people.
Han unification is an effort by the authors of Unicode and the Universal Character Set to map multiple character sets of the so-called CJK languages into a single set of unified characters. Han characters are a common feature of written Chinese (hanzi), Japanese (kanji), and Korean (hanja).
Modern Chinese, Japanese and Korean typefaces typically use regional or historical variants of a given Han character. In the formulation of Unicode, an attempt was made to unify these variants by considering them different glyphs representing the same "grapheme", or orthographic unit, hence, "Han unification", with the resulting character repertoire sometimes contracted to Unihan.
Unihan can also refer to the Unihan Database maintained by the Unicode Consortium, which provides information about all of the unified Han characters encoded in the Unicode Standard, including mappings to various national and industry standards, indices into standard dictionaries, encoded variants, pronunciations in various languages, and an English definition. The database is available to the public as text files and via an interactive website. The latter also includes representative glyphs and definitions for compound words drawn from the free Japanese EDICT and Chinese CEDICT dictionary projects (which are provided for convenience and are not a formal part of the Unicode Standard).
The "One-China policy" is a policy asserting that there is only one sovereign state under the name China, as opposed to the idea that there are two states, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), whose official names incorporate "China". Many states follow a one China policy, but the meanings are not the same. The PRC exclusively uses the term "One China Principle" in its official communications.
The One China concept is also different from the "One China principle", which is the principle that insists both Taiwan and mainland China are inalienable parts of a single "China". A modified form of the "One China" principle known as the "1992 Consensus" is the current policy of the PRC government. Under this "consensus", both governments "agree" that there is only one sovereign state encompassing both mainland China and Taiwan, but disagree about which of the two governments is the legitimate government of this state. An analogous situation existed with West and East Germany in 1950–1970, North and South Korea, and more recently, the Syrian government and Syrian opposition.
The One-China principle faces opposition from supporters of the Taiwan independence movement, which pushes to establish the "Republic of Taiwan" and cultivate a separate identity apart from China called "Taiwanization". Taiwanization's influence on the government of the ROC implies the change of self-identity among Taiwan citizens: after the Communist Party of China expelled the ROC in the Chinese Civil War from most of Chinese territory in 1949 and founded the PRC, the ROC's Chinese Nationalist government, which still held Taiwan, continued to claim legitimacy as the government of all of China. Under former President Lee Teng-hui, additional articles were appended to the ROC constitution in 1991 so that it applied effectively only to the Taiwan Area prior to national unification. However, former ROC president Ma Ying-jeou re-asserted claims on mainland China as late as 2008.
- "China's One China Policy" | 2019-10-09 | 13 Upvotes 3 Comments
The Pax Mongolica (Latin for "Mongol Peace"), less often known as Pax Tatarica ("Tatar Peace"), is a historiographical term modelled after the original phrase Pax Romana which describes the stabilizing effects of the conquests of the Mongol Empire on the social, cultural and economic life of the inhabitants of the vast Eurasian territory that the Mongols conquered in the 13th and 14th centuries. The term is used to describe the eased communication and commerce the unified administration helped to create and the period of relative peace that followed the Mongols' vast conquests.
The conquests of Genghis Khan (r. 1206–1227) and his successors, spanning from Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe, effectively connected the Eastern world with the Western world. The Silk Road, connecting trade centres across Asia and Europe, came under the sole rule of the Mongol Empire. It was commonly said that "a maiden bearing a nugget of gold on her head could wander safely throughout the realm". Despite the political fragmentation of the Mongol Empire into four khanates (Yuan dynasty, Golden Horde, Chagatai Khanate and Ilkhanate), nearly a century of conquest and civil war was followed by relative stability in the early 14th century. The end of the Pax Mongolica was marked by the disintegration of the khanates and the outbreak of the Black Death in Asia which spread along trade routes to much of the world in the mid-14th century.
During this time, Mongol elements including the ʼPhags-pa script made numerous appearances in western art (see Mongol elements in Western medieval art).
- "Pax Mongolica" | 2014-12-29 | 51 Upvotes 24 Comments