new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged National+Tourism+Organization

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

The marker reads: "Led to this spot by his military sagacity on July 2nd 1863, General Gouverneur Kemble Warren, then Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac, detected General Hood's flanking movement, and by promptly assuming the responsibility of ordering troops to this place, saved the key of the Union position. Promoted for gallant services from the command of a regiment in 1861, through successive grades to the command of the 2nd Army Corps in 1863, and permanently assigned to that of the 5th Army Corps in 1864, Major General Warren needs no eulogy. His name is enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen. This statue is erected under the auspices of the veteran organization of his old regiment, the 5th New York Vols, Duryee Zouvaes in memory of their beloved commander." -Dedicated August 8th, 1888

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

Vietnam, Con Dao Island

 

„The isolated 16-island archipelago of Con Dao 110 miles off the mainland’s southeastern coast, was a place most Vietnamese wanted to forget. For 113 years, this island was home to one of the country’s hardest prison systems, established by French colonists in 1862 and later ruled by South Vietnamese and American forces. Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975, at which point the prisons were closed.

 

These days, officials on government-sponsored group tours make pilgrimages to the crumbling stone prisons, which have been turned into museums that depict the suffering endured by their comrades.

But despite, or perhaps because of, its ugly history, Con Dao is one of Southeast Asia’s most untouched and breathtaking getaways.

 

A lack of development and, until recently, of access has also helped to keep the islands’ beaches empty and immaculate. The azure waters are brimming with Vietnam’s best coral reefs, and the forests bustle with macaque monkeys and black squirrels.

Indeed, efforts to preserve Con Dao’s natural beauty are unrivaled in the rest of Vietnam. Of the archipelago’s total area, 83 percent is protected by the Con Dao National Park, including over 50 square miles that make up the country’s first marine reserve.

With help from organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and the United Nations Development Program, the park has just won approval for a $16.5 million development plan through 2020, which will finance natural resource protection, research and eco-tourism.

 

For now, Con Dao’s slow, friendly rhythms and spectacular beauty remain largely undisturbed.”

 

„The New York Times”

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++++ from wikipedia.org ++++++++

 

The Alishan National Scenic Area is a mountain resort and natural preserve located in the mountains of Chiayi County in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Contents

 

1 Geography

2 Climate

3 Topography

4 Vegetation and wildlife

5 History

6 Attractions and landmarks

7 See also

8 References

9 Bibliography

10 External links

 

Geography

Alishan Forest Park.

Dawn view from Alishan.

 

Alishan is 415 square kilometres (41,500 ha) in area. Notable characteristics include mountain wilderness, four villages, waterfalls, high altitude tea plantations, the Alishan Forest Railway, and a number of hiking trails. The area is popular with tourists and mountain climbers. Alishan, or Mount Ali, itself has become one of the major landmarks associated with Taiwan. The area is famous for its production of high mountain tea and wasabi.[citation needed]

 

Alishan is well known for its sunrises, and on a suitable morning one can observe the sun come up on a sea of clouds in the area between Alishan and Yüshan. Alishan and Sun Moon Lake are two of the best known scenic spots in Asia. The indigenous people of the area, the Thao people, have only recently been recognized as a discrete ethnic group. They have long been confused with the Tsou people.

Climate

 

Alishan National Scenic Area spans a broad range in altitude. Lower elevations, such as in Leye Township, share the same subtropical and tropical climate as the rest of southern Taiwan, while the climate changes to temperate and alpine as the elevation increases. Snow sometimes falls at higher elevations in the winter.[citation needed]

 

Alishan National Scenic Area covers most, but not all, of Alishan Rural Township in Chiayi County, as well as parts of neighboring townships in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Average temperatures are moderate:[citation needed]

 

Low elevations: 24 °C in the summer, 16 °C in the winter.

Medium elevations: 19 °C in the summer, 12 °C in the winter.

High elevations: 14 °C in the summer, 5 °C in the winter.

 

Topography

 

Alishan is mountainous:[citation needed]

 

Number of peaks above 2000 meters: 25

Highest point: Da Ta Shan (大塔山), 2,663 meters.

Average height of Alishan Mountain Range: 2,500 meters.

 

Vegetation and wildlife

 

Important trees in the area include:[citation needed]

 

Taiwania cryptomerioides, a large coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae (the same family as the next three species)

Chamaecyparis formosensis, or Formosan Cypress

Chamaecyparis taiwanensis

Cunninghamia konishii

Pinus taiwanensis, or Taiwan Red Pine

Picea morrisonicola, or Yüshan Spruce

Pseudotsuga sinensis var. wilsoniana, or Taiwan Douglas-fir

Abies kawakamii, a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family, only found in Taiwan

Tsuga chinensis var. formosana, Taiwan or Chinese Hemlock

Ulmus uyematsui, a species of elm only found in the Alishan region

 

History

Longyin Temple of Chukou Village in Alishan National Scenic Area.

Boardwalk at Alishan National Scenic Area.

 

The Alishan area was originally settled by the Tsou tribe of the Taiwanese aborigines; the name derives from the aboriginal word Jarissang. Ethnic Han Chinese settlers first settled on the plains near modern-day Chiayi as early as the late Ming Dynasty (around the mid-17th century), but did not move into the mountains until the late 18th century, establishing the towns of Ruili (瑞里), Ruifeng (瑞峰), Xiding (隙頂), and Fenqihu (奮起湖). The resulting armed clashes between the settlers and the aborigines pushed the aborigines even further into the mountains.[citation needed]

 

Following the cession of Taiwan to Japan at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japanese expeditions to the area found large quantities of cypress (檜木, or hinoki in Japanese). This led to the development of the logging industry in the area and the export of local cypress and Taiwania wood. A series of narrow-gauge railways were built in the area during this time to facilitate the transportation of lumber from the mountains to the plains below, part of which continues to operate as the Alishan Forest Railway. Several new villages also began to sprout up along the railway lines. It was also during this time that the first tourists began to visit the area. Plans were even drawn up to incorporate the area into the new Niitaka (New Highest) Arisan National Park (新高阿里山国立公園).[citation needed]

 

With the exhaustion of forest resources by the 1970s, domestic and international tourism overtook logging to become the primary economic activity in the area. The tourism industry continued to expand with the completion of the Alisan highway in the 1980s, displacing the railroad as the primary mode of transportation up the mountain. To combat the problems associated with the growing crowds of tourists and the expanding tea and wasabi plantations, the area was declared a national scenic area in 2001.[citation needed]

 

On 1 December 2014, fire broke out at Alishan spreading over more than 5 hectares of land. The area affected was located near Tapang No. 3 Bridge. The fire was believed to happen due to dry ground which was vulnerable to fire because of the absence of rain in the area for months.[1]

Attractions and landmarks

A Japanese-built train on the Alishan Forest Railway.

 

Fenqihu (奮起湖) is a small town of low wooden buildings built into the mountainside at 1,400 meters, midpoint of the Alishan Forest Railway. It is famous for natural rock formations, mountain streams, forests, and the ruins of a Shinto temple in the vicinity, as well as for its production of high altitude food products such as bamboo shoots and aiyu jelly (愛玉). The local box lunches (奮起湖便當, Fenqihu bento), which were once sold to passengers on the rail line, are also well known.[citation needed]

 

Taiwan (/ˌtaɪˈwɑːn/ (About this sound listen)), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Its neighbors include China (officially the People's Republic of China, PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations and the largest economy outside the UN.

 

The island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, was inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before the 17th century, when Dutch and Spanish colonies opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty of China. The Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. However, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the ROC's loss of the mainland to the Communists, and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC continued to claim to be the legitimate government of China, its effective jurisdiction has since the loss of Hainan in 1950 been limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands, with the main island making up 99% of its de facto territory. As a founding member of the United Nations, the ROC continued to represent China at the United Nations until 1971, when the PRC assumed China's seat, causing the ROC to lose its UN membership.

 

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, creating a stable industrial economy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship dominated by the Kuomintang to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system. Taiwan is the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. It is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, healthcare,[15] public education, economic freedom, and human development.[d][13][16] The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.[17][18]

 

The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted the ROC is no longer in legitimate existence. Under its One-China Policy the PRC refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the ROC. Today 20 countries recognize the ROC as the sole legal representative of China,[19] but many other states maintain unofficial ties through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. Although Taiwan is fully self-governing, most international organizations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Internally, the major division in politics is between the aspirations of eventual Chinese unification or Taiwanese independence, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal. The PRC has threatened the use of military force in response to any formal declaration of independence by Taiwan or if PRC leaders decide that peaceful unification is no longer possible.[20]

 

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistoric Taiwan

2.2 Opening in the 17th century

2.3 Qing rule

2.4 Japanese rule

2.5 After World War II

2.6 Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

2.7 Democratization

3 Geography

3.1 Climate

3.2 Geology

4 Political and legal status

4.1 Relations with the PRC

4.2 Foreign relations

4.3 Participation in international events and organizations

4.4 Opinions within Taiwan

5 Government and politics

5.1 Major camps

5.2 Current political issues

5.3 National identity

6 Military

7 Administrative divisions

8 Economy and industry

9 Transportation

10 Education, research, and academia

11 Demographics

11.1 Ethnic groups

11.2 Languages

11.3 Religion

11.4 Largest cities

12 Public health

13 Culture

13.1 Sports

13.2 Calendar

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

16.1 Citations

16.2 Works cited

17 Further reading

18 External links

18.1 Overviews and data

18.2 Government agencies

 

Etymology

See also: Chinese Taipei, Formosa, and Names of China

Taiwan

Taiwan (Chinese characters).svg

"Taiwan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters

Chinese name

Traditional Chinese 臺灣 or 台灣

Simplified Chinese 台湾

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Táiwān

Bopomofo ㄊㄞˊ ㄨㄢ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Tair'uan

Wade–Giles T'ai²-wan¹

Tongyong Pinyin Táiwan

IPA [tʰǎi.wán]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing تَاَىْوًا‎

Wu

Romanization The平-uae平

Xiang

IPA dwɛ13 ua44

Hakka

Romanization Thòi-vàn

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Tòiwāan

Jyutping Toi4waan1

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tâi-oân

Tâi-lô Tâi-uân

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dài-uăng

China

Traditional Chinese 中國

Simplified Chinese 中国

Literal meaning Middle or Central State[21]

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jong'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung1-kuo2

Tongyong Pinyin Jhongguó

MPS2 Jūng-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋ.kwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮﻗُﻮَع

Sichuanese Pinyin Zong1 gwe2

Wu

Romanization Tson平-koh入

Gan

Romanization Tung-koe̍t

Xiang

IPA Tan33-kwɛ24/

Hakka

Romanization Dung24-gued2

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūnggwok

Jyutping Zung1gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-guók

Pu-Xian Min

Hinghwa BUC De̤ng-go̤h

Northern Min

Jian'ou Romanized Dô̤ng-gŏ

Republic of China

Traditional Chinese 中華民國

Simplified Chinese 中华民国

Postal Chunghwa Minkuo

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōnghuá Mínguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄏㄨㄚˊ ㄇㄧㄣˊ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jonghwa Min'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung¹-hua² Min²-kuo²

Tongyong Pinyin Jhonghuá Mínguó

MPS2 Jūng-huá Mín-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋxwǎ mǐnkwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮ ﺧُﻮَ مٍ ﻗُﻮَع

Wu

Romanization tson平 gho平 min平 koh入

Gan

Romanization tung1 fa4 min4 koet7

Hakka

Romanization Chûng-fà Mìn-koet

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūngwà màn'gwok

Jyutping Zung1waa4 man4gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-hôa Bîn-kok

Tâi-lô Tiong-hûa Bîn-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-huà Mìng-guók

Japanese name

Kanji 台湾

Kana たいわん

Kyūjitai 臺灣

Transcriptions

Romanization Taiwan

 

There are various names for the island of Taiwan in use today, derived from explorers or rulers by each particular period. The former name Formosa (福爾摩沙) dates from 1542,[verification needed] when Portuguese sailors sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa, which means "beautiful island".[22] The name "Formosa" eventually "replaced all others in European literature"[23] and was in common use in English in the early 20th century.[24]

 

In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia (modern-day Anping, Tainan) on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan",[25] after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Tayowan, Teijoan, etc.[26] This name was also adopted into the Chinese vernacular (in particular, Hokkien, as Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tāi-oân/Tâi-oân) as the name of the sandbar and nearby area (Tainan). The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, which is seen in various forms (大員, 大圓, 大灣, 臺員, 臺圓 and 臺窩灣) in Chinese historical records. The area of modern-day Tainan was the first permanent settlement by Western colonists and Chinese immigrants, grew to be the most important trading centre, and served as the capital of the island until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name (臺灣) was formalized as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development, the entire Formosan mainland eventually became known as "Taiwan".[27][28][29][30]

 

In his Daoyi Zhilüe (1349), Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it near to Penghu.[31] Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; indeed the name Ryūkyū is the Japanese form of Liúqiú. The name also appears in the Book of Sui (636) and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or even Luzon.[32]

 

The official name of the state is the "Republic of China"; it has also been known under various names throughout its existence. Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" Zhōngguó (中國), to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng ("central" or "middle") and guó ("state, nation-state"), [e] A term which also developed under the Zhou Dynasty in reference to its royal demesne[f] and the name was then applied to the area around Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qingera .[34] During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had fled to Taiwan due to losing the Chinese Civil War, it was commonly referred to as "Nationalist China" (or "Free China") to differentiate it from "Communist China" (or "Red China").[36] It was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become commonly known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts, especially official ones from the ROC government, the name is written as "Republic of China (Taiwan)", "Republic of China/Taiwan", or sometimes "Taiwan (ROC)."[37] The Republic of China participates in most international forums and organizations under the name "Chinese Taipei" due to diplomatic pressure from the People's Republic of China. For instance, it is the name under which it has competed at the Olympic Games since 1984, and its name as an observer at the World Health Organization.[38]

History

Main articles: History of Taiwan and History of the Republic of China

See the History of China article for historical information in the Chinese Mainland before 1949.

Prehistoric Taiwan

Main article: Prehistory of Taiwan

A young Tsou man

 

Taiwan was joined to the mainland in the Late Pleistocene, until sea levels rose about 10,000 years ago. Fragmentary human remains dated 20,000 to 30,000 years ago have been found on the island, as well as later artefacts of a Paleolithic culture.[39][40][41]

 

Around 6,000 years ago, Taiwan was settled by farmers, most likely from mainland China.[42] They are believed to be the ancestors of today's Taiwanese aborigines, whose languages belong to the Austronesian language family, but show much greater diversity than the rest of the family, which spans a huge area from Maritime Southeast Asia west to Madagascar and east as far as New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island. This has led linguists to propose Taiwan as the urheimat of the family, from which seafaring peoples dispersed across Southeast Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.[43][44]

 

Han Chinese fishermen began settling in the Penghu islands in the 13th century, but Taiwan's hostile tribes and its lack of valuable trade products meant that few outsiders visited the island until the 16th century, when visits to the coast by fishermen from Fujian and Chinese and Japanese pirates became more frequent.[45]

Opening in the 17th century

Main articles: Dutch Formosa, Spanish Formosa, and Kingdom of Tungning

Fort Zeelandia, the Governor's residence in Dutch Formosa

 

The Dutch East India Company attempted to establish a trading outpost on the Penghu Islands (Pescadores) in 1622, but were militarily defeated and driven off by the Ming authorities.[46]

 

In 1624, the company established a stronghold called Fort Zeelandia on the coastal islet of Tayouan, which is now part of the main island at Anping, Tainan.[30] David Wright, a Scottish agent of the company who lived on the island in the 1650s, described the lowland areas of the island as being divided among 11 chiefdoms ranging in size from two settlements to 72. Some of these fell under Dutch control, while others remained independent.[30][47] The Company began to import labourers from Fujian and Penghu (Pescadores), many of whom settled.[46]

 

In 1626, the Spanish Empire landed on and occupied northern Taiwan, at the ports of Keelung and Tamsui, as a base to extend their trading. This colonial period lasted 16 years until 1642, when the last Spanish fortress fell to Dutch forces.

 

Following the fall of the Ming dynasty, Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong), a self-styled Ming loyalist, arrived on the island and captured Fort Zeelandia in 1662, expelling the Dutch Empire and military from the island. Koxinga established the Kingdom of Tungning (1662–1683), with his capital at Tainan. He and his heirs, Zheng Jing, who ruled from 1662 to 1682, and Zheng Keshuang, who ruled less than a year, continued to launch raids on the southeast coast of mainland China well into the Qing dynasty era.[46]

Qing rule

Main article: Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule

Hunting deer, painted in 1746

 

In 1683, following the defeat of Koxinga's grandson by an armada led by Admiral Shi Lang of southern Fujian, the Qing dynasty formally annexed Taiwan, placing it under the jurisdiction of Fujian province. The Qing imperial government tried to reduce piracy and vagrancy in the area, issuing a series of edicts to manage immigration and respect aboriginal land rights. Immigrants mostly from southern Fujian continued to enter Taiwan. The border between taxpaying lands and "savage" lands shifted eastward, with some aborigines becoming sinicized while others retreated into the mountains. During this time, there were a number of conflicts between groups of Han Chinese from different regions of southern Fujian, particularly between those from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, and between southern Fujian Chinese and aborigines.

 

Northern Taiwan and the Penghu Islands were the scene of subsidiary campaigns in the Sino-French War (August 1884 to April 1885). The French occupied Keelung on 1 October 1884, but were repulsed from Tamsui a few days later. The French won some tactical victories but were unable to exploit them, and the Keelung Campaign ended in stalemate. The Pescadores Campaign, beginning on 31 March 1885, was a French victory, but had no long-term consequences. The French evacuated both Keelung and the Penghu archipelago after the end of the war.

 

In 1887, the Qing upgraded the island's administration from Taiwan Prefecture of Fujian to Fujian-Taiwan-Province (福建臺灣省), the twentieth in the empire, with its capital at Taipei. This was accompanied by a modernization drive that included building China's first railroad.[48]

Japanese rule

Main articles: Taiwan under Japanese rule and Republic of Formosa

Japanese colonial soldiers march Taiwanese captured after the Tapani Incident from the Tainan jail to court, 1915.

 

As the Qing dynasty was defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), Taiwan, along with Penghu and Liaodong Peninsula, were ceded in full sovereignty to the Empire of Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Inhabitants on Taiwan and Penghu wishing to remain Qing subjects were given a two-year grace period to sell their property and move to mainland China. Very few Taiwanese saw this as feasible.[49] On 25 May 1895, a group of pro-Qing high officials proclaimed the Republic of Formosa to resist impending Japanese rule. Japanese forces entered the capital at Tainan and quelled this resistance on 21 October 1895.[50] Guerrilla fighting continued periodically until about 1902 and ultimately took the lives of 14,000 Taiwanese, or 0.5% of the population.[51] Several subsequent rebellions against the Japanese (the Beipu uprising of 1907, the Tapani incident of 1915, and the Musha incident of 1930) were all unsuccessful but demonstrated opposition to Japanese colonial rule.

 

Japanese colonial rule was instrumental in the industrialization of the island, extending the railroads and other transportation networks, building an extensive sanitation system, and establishing a formal education system.[52] Japanese rule ended the practice of headhunting.[53] During this period the human and natural resources of Taiwan were used to aid the development of Japan and the production of cash crops such as rice and sugar greatly increased. By 1939, Taiwan was the seventh greatest sugar producer in the world.[54] Still, the Taiwanese and aborigines were classified as second- and third-class citizens. After suppressing Chinese guerrillas in the first decade of their rule, Japanese authorities engaged in a series of bloody campaigns against the mountain aboriginals, culminating in the Musha Incident of 1930.[55] Also, those intellectual and labours who participated in left-wing movement of Taiwan were arrested and massacred (e.g. Tsiúnn Uī-Suí(蔣渭水), masanosuke watanabe(渡辺政之辅)).[56]

 

Around 1935, the Japanese began an island-wide assimilation project to bind the island more firmly to the Japanese Empire and people were taught to see themselves as Japanese under the Kominka Movement, during which time Taiwanese culture and religion were outlawed and the citizens were encouraged to adopt Japanese surnames.[57] The "South Strike Group" was based at the Taihoku Imperial University in Taipei. During World War II, tens of thousands of Taiwanese served in the Japanese military.[58] For example, former ROC President Lee Teng-hui's elder brother served in the Japanese navy and was killed in action in the Philippines in February 1945. The Imperial Japanese Navy operated heavily out of Taiwanese ports. In October 1944, the Formosa Air Battle was fought between American carriers and Japanese forces based in Taiwan. Important Japanese military bases and industrial centres throughout Taiwan, like Kaohsiung, were targets of heavy American bombings.[59] Also during this time, over 2,000 women were forced into sexual slavery for Imperial Japanese troops, now euphemistically called "comfort women."[60]

 

In 1938, there were 309,000 Japanese settlers in Taiwan.[61] After World War II, most of the Japanese were expelled and sent to Japan.[62]

After World War II

Main article: Taiwan after World War II

General Chen Yi (right) accepting the receipt of General Order No. 1 from Rikichi Andō (left), the last Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan, in Taipei City Hall

 

On 25 October 1945, the US Navy ferried ROC troops to Taiwan in order to accept the formal surrender of Japanese military forces in Taipei on behalf of the Allied Powers, as part of General Order No. 1 for temporary military occupation. General Rikichi Andō, governor-general of Taiwan and commander-in-chief of all Japanese forces on the island, signed the receipt and handed it over to General Chen Yi of the ROC military to complete the official turnover. Chen Yi proclaimed that day to be "Taiwan Retrocession Day", but the Allies considered Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to be under military occupation and still under Japanese sovereignty until 1952, when the Treaty of San Francisco took effect.[63][64] Although the 1943 Cairo Declaration had envisaged returning these territories to China, in the Treaty of San Francisco and Treaty of Taipei Japan has renounced all claim to them without specifying to what country they were to be surrendered. This introduced the problem of the legal status of Taiwan.

 

The ROC administration of Taiwan under Chen Yi was strained by increasing tensions between Taiwanese-born people and newly arrived mainlanders, which were compounded by economic woes, such as hyperinflation. Furthermore, cultural and linguistic conflicts between the two groups quickly led to the loss of popular support for the new government, while the mass movement led by the working committee of the communist also aimed to bring down the Kuomintang government.[65][66] The shooting of a civilian on 28 February 1947 triggered island-wide unrest, which was suppressed with military force in what is now called the February 28 Incident. Mainstream estimates of the number killed range from 18,000 to 30,000. Those killed were mainly members of the Taiwanese elite.[67][68]

Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

Main articles: Chinese Civil War, Chinese Communist Revolution, and History of the Republic of China § Republic of China on Taiwan (1949–present)

For the history of Republic of China before 1949, see Republic of China (1912–49).

The Nationalists' retreat to Taipei: after the Nationalists lost Nanjing (Nanking) they next moved to Guangzhou (Canton), then to Chongqing (Chungking), Chengdu (Chengtu) and Xichang (Sichang) before arriving in Taipei.

 

After the end of World War II, the Chinese Civil War resumed between the Chinese Nationalists (Kuomintang), led by Chiang Kai-shek, and the Communist Party of China, led by Mao Zedong. Throughout the months of 1949, a series of Chinese Communist offensives led to the capture of its capital Nanjing on 23 April and the subsequent defeat of the Nationalist army on the mainland, and the Communists founded the People's Republic of China on 1 October.[69]

 

On 7 December 1949, after the loss of four capitals, Chiang evacuated his Nationalist government to Taiwan and made Taipei the temporary capital of the ROC (also called the "wartime capital" by Chiang Kai-shek).[70] Some 2 million people, consisting mainly of soldiers, members of the ruling Kuomintang and intellectual and business elites, were evacuated from mainland China to Taiwan at that time, adding to the earlier population of approximately six million. In addition, the ROC government took to Taipei many national treasures and much of China's gold reserves and foreign currency reserves.[71][72][73]

 

After losing most of the mainland, the Kuomintang held remaining control of Tibet, the portions of Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Yunnan provinces along with the Hainan Island until 1951 before the Communists subsequently captured both territories. From this point onwards, the Kuomintang's territory was reduced to Taiwan, Penghu, the portions of the Fujian province (Kinmen and Matsu Islands), and two major islands of Dongsha Islands and Nansha Islands. The Kuomintang continued to claim sovereignty over all "China", which it defined to include mainland China, Taiwan, Outer Mongolia and other areas. On mainland China, the victorious Communists claimed they ruled the sole and only China (which they claimed included Taiwan) and that the Republic of China no longer existed.[74]

A Chinese man in military uniform, smiling and looking towards the left. He holds a sword in his left hand and has a medal in shape of a sun on his chest.

Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang from 1925 until his death in 1975

 

Martial law, declared on Taiwan in May 1949,[75] continued to be in effect after the central government relocated to Taiwan. It was not repealed until 1987,[75] and was used as a way to suppress the political opposition in the intervening years.[76] During the White Terror, as the period is known, 140,000 people were imprisoned or executed for being perceived as anti-KMT or pro-Communist.[77] Many citizens were arrested, tortured, imprisoned and executed for their real or perceived link to the Communists. Since these people were mainly from the intellectual and social elite, an entire generation of political and social leaders was decimated. In 1998 law was passed to create the "Compensation Foundation for Improper Verdicts" which oversaw compensation to White Terror victims and families. President Ma Ying-jeou made an official apology in 2008, expressing hope that there will never be a tragedy similar to White Terror.[78]

 

Initially, the United States abandoned the KMT and expected that Taiwan would fall to the Communists. However, in 1950 the conflict between North Korea and South Korea, which had been ongoing since the Japanese withdrawal in 1945, escalated into full-blown war, and in the context of the Cold War, US President Harry S. Truman intervened again and dispatched the US Navy's 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Strait to prevent hostilities between Taiwan and mainland China.[79] In the Treaty of San Francisco and the Treaty of Taipei, which came into force respectively on 28 April 1952 and 5 August 1952, Japan formally renounced all right, claim and title to Taiwan and Penghu, and renounced all treaties signed with China before 1942. Neither treaty specified to whom sovereignty over the islands should be transferred, because the United States and the United Kingdom disagreed on whether the ROC or the PRC was the legitimate government of China.[80] Continuing conflict of the Chinese Civil War through the 1950s, and intervention by the United States notably resulted in legislation such as the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty and the Formosa Resolution of 1955.

With President Chiang Kai-shek, the US President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to crowds during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

As the Chinese Civil War continued without truce, the government built up military fortifications throughout Taiwan. Within this effort, KMT veterans built the now famous Central Cross-Island Highway through the Taroko Gorge in the 1950s. The two sides would continue to engage in sporadic military clashes with seldom publicized details well into the 1960s on the China coastal islands with an unknown number of night raids. During the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in September 1958, Taiwan's landscape saw Nike-Hercules missile batteries added, with the formation of the 1st Missile Battalion Chinese Army that would not be deactivated until 1997. Newer generations of missile batteries have since replaced the Nike Hercules systems throughout the island.

 

During the 1960s and 1970s, the ROC maintained an authoritarian, single-party government while its economy became industrialized and technology oriented. This rapid economic growth, known as the Taiwan Miracle, was the result of a fiscal regime independent from mainland China and backed up, among others, by the support of US funds and demand for Taiwanese products.[81][82] In the 1970s, Taiwan was economically the second fastest growing state in Asia after Japan.[83] Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, became known as one of the Four Asian Tigers. Because of the Cold War, most Western nations and the United Nations regarded the ROC as the sole legitimate government of China until the 1970s. Later, especially after the termination of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, most nations switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC (see United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758).

 

Up until the 1970s, the government was regarded by Western critics as undemocratic for upholding martial law, for severely repressing any political opposition and for controlling media. The KMT did not allow the creation of new parties and those that existed did not seriously compete with the KMT. Thus, competitive democratic elections did not exist.[84][85][86][87][88] From the late 1970s to the 1990s, however, Taiwan went through reforms and social changes that transformed it from an authoritarian state to a democracy. In 1979, a pro-democracy protest known as the Kaohsiung Incident took place in Kaohsiung to celebrate Human Rights Day. Although the protest was rapidly crushed by the authorities, it is today considered as the main event that united Taiwan's opposition.[89]

Democratization

Main articles: Democratic reforms of Taiwan and Elections in Taiwan

 

Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek's son and successor as the president, began to liberalize the political system in the mid-1980s. In 1984, the younger Chiang selected Lee Teng-hui, a Taiwanese-born, US-educated technocrat, to be his vice-president. In 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was formed and inaugurated as the first opposition party in the ROC to counter the KMT. A year later, Chiang Ching-kuo lifted martial law on the main island of Taiwan (martial law was lifted on Penghu in 1979, Matsu island in 1992 and Kinmen island in 1993). With the advent of democratization, the issue of the political status of Taiwan gradually resurfaced as a controversial issue where, previously, the discussion of anything other than unification under the ROC was taboo.

 

After the death of Chiang Ching-kuo in January 1988, Lee Teng-hui succeeded him as president. Lee continued to democratize the government and decrease the concentration of government authority in the hands of mainland Chinese. Under Lee, Taiwan underwent a process of localization in which Taiwanese culture and history were promoted over a pan-China viewpoint in contrast to earlier KMT policies which had promoted a Chinese identity. Lee's reforms included printing banknotes from the Central Bank rather than the Provincial Bank of Taiwan, and streamlining the Taiwan Provincial Government with most of its functions transferred to the Executive Yuan. Under Lee, the original members of the Legislative Yuan and National Assembly(a former supreme legislative body defunct in 2005),[90] elected in 1947 to represent mainland Chinese constituencies and having held the seats without re-election for more than four decades, were forced to resign in 1991. The previously nominal representation in the Legislative Yuan was brought to an end, reflecting the reality that the ROC had no jurisdiction over mainland China, and vice versa. Restrictions on the use of Taiwanese Hokkien in the broadcast media and in schools were also lifted.[citation needed]

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Taiwan's special envoy to the APEC summit, Lien Chan, November 2011

 

Democratic reforms continued in the 1990s, with Lee Teng-hui re-elected in 1996, in the first direct presidential election in the history of the ROC.[91] During the later years of Lee's administration, he was involved in corruption controversies relating to government release of land and weapons purchase, although no legal proceedings commenced. In 1997,"To meet the requisites of the nation prior to national unification",[92] the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China was passed and then the former "constitution of five powers" turns to be more tripartite. In 2000, Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party was elected as the first non-Kuomintang (KMT) President and was re-elected to serve his second and last term since 2004. Polarized politics has emerged in Taiwan with the formation of the Pan-Blue Coalition of parties led by the KMT, favouring eventual Chinese reunification, and the Pan-Green Coalition of parties led by the DPP, favouring an eventual and official declaration of Taiwanese independence.[93][clarification needed] In early 2006, President Chen Shui-bian remarked: “The National Unification Council will cease to function. No budget will be ear-marked for it and its personnel must return to their original posts...The National Unification Guidelines will cease to apply."[94]

The ruling DPP has traditionally leaned in favour of Taiwan independence and rejects the so-called "One-China policy".

 

On 30 September 2007, the ruling DPP approved a resolution asserting a separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution for a "normal country". It also called for general use of "Taiwan" as the country's name, without abolishing its formal name, the Republic of China.[95] The Chen administration also pushed for referendums on national defence and UN entry in the 2004 and 2008 elections, which failed due to voter turnout below the required legal threshold of 50% of all registered voters.[96] The Chen administration was dogged by public concerns over reduced economic growth, legislative gridlock due to a pan-blue, opposition-controlled Legislative Yuan and corruption involving the First Family as well as government officials.[97][98]

 

The KMT increased its majority in the Legislative Yuan in the January 2008 legislative elections, while its nominee Ma Ying-jeou went on to win the presidency in March of the same year, campaigning on a platform of increased economic growth and better ties with the PRC under a policy of "mutual nondenial".[96] Ma took office on 20 May 2008, the same day that President Chen Shui-bian stepped down and was notified by prosecutors of possible corruption charges. Part of the rationale for campaigning for closer economic ties with the PRC stems from the strong economic growth China attained since joining the World Trade Organization. However, some analysts say that despite the election of Ma Ying-jeou, the diplomatic and military tensions with the PRC have not been reduced.[99]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++++ from wikipedia.org ++++++++

 

The Alishan National Scenic Area is a mountain resort and natural preserve located in the mountains of Chiayi County in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Contents

 

1 Geography

2 Climate

3 Topography

4 Vegetation and wildlife

5 History

6 Attractions and landmarks

7 See also

8 References

9 Bibliography

10 External links

 

Geography

Alishan Forest Park.

Dawn view from Alishan.

 

Alishan is 415 square kilometres (41,500 ha) in area. Notable characteristics include mountain wilderness, four villages, waterfalls, high altitude tea plantations, the Alishan Forest Railway, and a number of hiking trails. The area is popular with tourists and mountain climbers. Alishan, or Mount Ali, itself has become one of the major landmarks associated with Taiwan. The area is famous for its production of high mountain tea and wasabi.[citation needed]

 

Alishan is well known for its sunrises, and on a suitable morning one can observe the sun come up on a sea of clouds in the area between Alishan and Yüshan. Alishan and Sun Moon Lake are two of the best known scenic spots in Asia. The indigenous people of the area, the Thao people, have only recently been recognized as a discrete ethnic group. They have long been confused with the Tsou people.

Climate

 

Alishan National Scenic Area spans a broad range in altitude. Lower elevations, such as in Leye Township, share the same subtropical and tropical climate as the rest of southern Taiwan, while the climate changes to temperate and alpine as the elevation increases. Snow sometimes falls at higher elevations in the winter.[citation needed]

 

Alishan National Scenic Area covers most, but not all, of Alishan Rural Township in Chiayi County, as well as parts of neighboring townships in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Average temperatures are moderate:[citation needed]

 

Low elevations: 24 °C in the summer, 16 °C in the winter.

Medium elevations: 19 °C in the summer, 12 °C in the winter.

High elevations: 14 °C in the summer, 5 °C in the winter.

 

Topography

 

Alishan is mountainous:[citation needed]

 

Number of peaks above 2000 meters: 25

Highest point: Da Ta Shan (大塔山), 2,663 meters.

Average height of Alishan Mountain Range: 2,500 meters.

 

Vegetation and wildlife

 

Important trees in the area include:[citation needed]

 

Taiwania cryptomerioides, a large coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae (the same family as the next three species)

Chamaecyparis formosensis, or Formosan Cypress

Chamaecyparis taiwanensis

Cunninghamia konishii

Pinus taiwanensis, or Taiwan Red Pine

Picea morrisonicola, or Yüshan Spruce

Pseudotsuga sinensis var. wilsoniana, or Taiwan Douglas-fir

Abies kawakamii, a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family, only found in Taiwan

Tsuga chinensis var. formosana, Taiwan or Chinese Hemlock

Ulmus uyematsui, a species of elm only found in the Alishan region

 

History

Longyin Temple of Chukou Village in Alishan National Scenic Area.

Boardwalk at Alishan National Scenic Area.

 

The Alishan area was originally settled by the Tsou tribe of the Taiwanese aborigines; the name derives from the aboriginal word Jarissang. Ethnic Han Chinese settlers first settled on the plains near modern-day Chiayi as early as the late Ming Dynasty (around the mid-17th century), but did not move into the mountains until the late 18th century, establishing the towns of Ruili (瑞里), Ruifeng (瑞峰), Xiding (隙頂), and Fenqihu (奮起湖). The resulting armed clashes between the settlers and the aborigines pushed the aborigines even further into the mountains.[citation needed]

 

Following the cession of Taiwan to Japan at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japanese expeditions to the area found large quantities of cypress (檜木, or hinoki in Japanese). This led to the development of the logging industry in the area and the export of local cypress and Taiwania wood. A series of narrow-gauge railways were built in the area during this time to facilitate the transportation of lumber from the mountains to the plains below, part of which continues to operate as the Alishan Forest Railway. Several new villages also began to sprout up along the railway lines. It was also during this time that the first tourists began to visit the area. Plans were even drawn up to incorporate the area into the new Niitaka (New Highest) Arisan National Park (新高阿里山国立公園).[citation needed]

 

With the exhaustion of forest resources by the 1970s, domestic and international tourism overtook logging to become the primary economic activity in the area. The tourism industry continued to expand with the completion of the Alisan highway in the 1980s, displacing the railroad as the primary mode of transportation up the mountain. To combat the problems associated with the growing crowds of tourists and the expanding tea and wasabi plantations, the area was declared a national scenic area in 2001.[citation needed]

 

On 1 December 2014, fire broke out at Alishan spreading over more than 5 hectares of land. The area affected was located near Tapang No. 3 Bridge. The fire was believed to happen due to dry ground which was vulnerable to fire because of the absence of rain in the area for months.[1]

Attractions and landmarks

A Japanese-built train on the Alishan Forest Railway.

 

Fenqihu (奮起湖) is a small town of low wooden buildings built into the mountainside at 1,400 meters, midpoint of the Alishan Forest Railway. It is famous for natural rock formations, mountain streams, forests, and the ruins of a Shinto temple in the vicinity, as well as for its production of high altitude food products such as bamboo shoots and aiyu jelly (愛玉). The local box lunches (奮起湖便當, Fenqihu bento), which were once sold to passengers on the rail line, are also well known.[citation needed]

 

Taiwan (/ˌtaɪˈwɑːn/ (About this sound listen)), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Its neighbors include China (officially the People's Republic of China, PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations and the largest economy outside the UN.

 

The island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, was inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before the 17th century, when Dutch and Spanish colonies opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty of China. The Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. However, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the ROC's loss of the mainland to the Communists, and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC continued to claim to be the legitimate government of China, its effective jurisdiction has since the loss of Hainan in 1950 been limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands, with the main island making up 99% of its de facto territory. As a founding member of the United Nations, the ROC continued to represent China at the United Nations until 1971, when the PRC assumed China's seat, causing the ROC to lose its UN membership.

 

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, creating a stable industrial economy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship dominated by the Kuomintang to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system. Taiwan is the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. It is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, healthcare,[15] public education, economic freedom, and human development.[d][13][16] The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.[17][18]

 

The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted the ROC is no longer in legitimate existence. Under its One-China Policy the PRC refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the ROC. Today 20 countries recognize the ROC as the sole legal representative of China,[19] but many other states maintain unofficial ties through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. Although Taiwan is fully self-governing, most international organizations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Internally, the major division in politics is between the aspirations of eventual Chinese unification or Taiwanese independence, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal. The PRC has threatened the use of military force in response to any formal declaration of independence by Taiwan or if PRC leaders decide that peaceful unification is no longer possible.[20]

 

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistoric Taiwan

2.2 Opening in the 17th century

2.3 Qing rule

2.4 Japanese rule

2.5 After World War II

2.6 Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

2.7 Democratization

3 Geography

3.1 Climate

3.2 Geology

4 Political and legal status

4.1 Relations with the PRC

4.2 Foreign relations

4.3 Participation in international events and organizations

4.4 Opinions within Taiwan

5 Government and politics

5.1 Major camps

5.2 Current political issues

5.3 National identity

6 Military

7 Administrative divisions

8 Economy and industry

9 Transportation

10 Education, research, and academia

11 Demographics

11.1 Ethnic groups

11.2 Languages

11.3 Religion

11.4 Largest cities

12 Public health

13 Culture

13.1 Sports

13.2 Calendar

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

16.1 Citations

16.2 Works cited

17 Further reading

18 External links

18.1 Overviews and data

18.2 Government agencies

 

Etymology

See also: Chinese Taipei, Formosa, and Names of China

Taiwan

Taiwan (Chinese characters).svg

"Taiwan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters

Chinese name

Traditional Chinese 臺灣 or 台灣

Simplified Chinese 台湾

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Táiwān

Bopomofo ㄊㄞˊ ㄨㄢ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Tair'uan

Wade–Giles T'ai²-wan¹

Tongyong Pinyin Táiwan

IPA [tʰǎi.wán]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing تَاَىْوًا‎

Wu

Romanization The平-uae平

Xiang

IPA dwɛ13 ua44

Hakka

Romanization Thòi-vàn

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Tòiwāan

Jyutping Toi4waan1

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tâi-oân

Tâi-lô Tâi-uân

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dài-uăng

China

Traditional Chinese 中國

Simplified Chinese 中国

Literal meaning Middle or Central State[21]

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jong'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung1-kuo2

Tongyong Pinyin Jhongguó

MPS2 Jūng-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋ.kwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮﻗُﻮَع

Sichuanese Pinyin Zong1 gwe2

Wu

Romanization Tson平-koh入

Gan

Romanization Tung-koe̍t

Xiang

IPA Tan33-kwɛ24/

Hakka

Romanization Dung24-gued2

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūnggwok

Jyutping Zung1gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-guók

Pu-Xian Min

Hinghwa BUC De̤ng-go̤h

Northern Min

Jian'ou Romanized Dô̤ng-gŏ

Republic of China

Traditional Chinese 中華民國

Simplified Chinese 中华民国

Postal Chunghwa Minkuo

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōnghuá Mínguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄏㄨㄚˊ ㄇㄧㄣˊ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jonghwa Min'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung¹-hua² Min²-kuo²

Tongyong Pinyin Jhonghuá Mínguó

MPS2 Jūng-huá Mín-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋxwǎ mǐnkwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮ ﺧُﻮَ مٍ ﻗُﻮَع

Wu

Romanization tson平 gho平 min平 koh入

Gan

Romanization tung1 fa4 min4 koet7

Hakka

Romanization Chûng-fà Mìn-koet

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūngwà màn'gwok

Jyutping Zung1waa4 man4gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-hôa Bîn-kok

Tâi-lô Tiong-hûa Bîn-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-huà Mìng-guók

Japanese name

Kanji 台湾

Kana たいわん

Kyūjitai 臺灣

Transcriptions

Romanization Taiwan

 

There are various names for the island of Taiwan in use today, derived from explorers or rulers by each particular period. The former name Formosa (福爾摩沙) dates from 1542,[verification needed] when Portuguese sailors sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa, which means "beautiful island".[22] The name "Formosa" eventually "replaced all others in European literature"[23] and was in common use in English in the early 20th century.[24]

 

In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia (modern-day Anping, Tainan) on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan",[25] after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Tayowan, Teijoan, etc.[26] This name was also adopted into the Chinese vernacular (in particular, Hokkien, as Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tāi-oân/Tâi-oân) as the name of the sandbar and nearby area (Tainan). The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, which is seen in various forms (大員, 大圓, 大灣, 臺員, 臺圓 and 臺窩灣) in Chinese historical records. The area of modern-day Tainan was the first permanent settlement by Western colonists and Chinese immigrants, grew to be the most important trading centre, and served as the capital of the island until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name (臺灣) was formalized as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development, the entire Formosan mainland eventually became known as "Taiwan".[27][28][29][30]

 

In his Daoyi Zhilüe (1349), Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it near to Penghu.[31] Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; indeed the name Ryūkyū is the Japanese form of Liúqiú. The name also appears in the Book of Sui (636) and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or even Luzon.[32]

 

The official name of the state is the "Republic of China"; it has also been known under various names throughout its existence. Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" Zhōngguó (中國), to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng ("central" or "middle") and guó ("state, nation-state"), [e] A term which also developed under the Zhou Dynasty in reference to its royal demesne[f] and the name was then applied to the area around Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qingera .[34] During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had fled to Taiwan due to losing the Chinese Civil War, it was commonly referred to as "Nationalist China" (or "Free China") to differentiate it from "Communist China" (or "Red China").[36] It was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become commonly known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts, especially official ones from the ROC government, the name is written as "Republic of China (Taiwan)", "Republic of China/Taiwan", or sometimes "Taiwan (ROC)."[37] The Republic of China participates in most international forums and organizations under the name "Chinese Taipei" due to diplomatic pressure from the People's Republic of China. For instance, it is the name under which it has competed at the Olympic Games since 1984, and its name as an observer at the World Health Organization.[38]

History

Main articles: History of Taiwan and History of the Republic of China

See the History of China article for historical information in the Chinese Mainland before 1949.

Prehistoric Taiwan

Main article: Prehistory of Taiwan

A young Tsou man

 

Taiwan was joined to the mainland in the Late Pleistocene, until sea levels rose about 10,000 years ago. Fragmentary human remains dated 20,000 to 30,000 years ago have been found on the island, as well as later artefacts of a Paleolithic culture.[39][40][41]

 

Around 6,000 years ago, Taiwan was settled by farmers, most likely from mainland China.[42] They are believed to be the ancestors of today's Taiwanese aborigines, whose languages belong to the Austronesian language family, but show much greater diversity than the rest of the family, which spans a huge area from Maritime Southeast Asia west to Madagascar and east as far as New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island. This has led linguists to propose Taiwan as the urheimat of the family, from which seafaring peoples dispersed across Southeast Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.[43][44]

 

Han Chinese fishermen began settling in the Penghu islands in the 13th century, but Taiwan's hostile tribes and its lack of valuable trade products meant that few outsiders visited the island until the 16th century, when visits to the coast by fishermen from Fujian and Chinese and Japanese pirates became more frequent.[45]

Opening in the 17th century

Main articles: Dutch Formosa, Spanish Formosa, and Kingdom of Tungning

Fort Zeelandia, the Governor's residence in Dutch Formosa

 

The Dutch East India Company attempted to establish a trading outpost on the Penghu Islands (Pescadores) in 1622, but were militarily defeated and driven off by the Ming authorities.[46]

 

In 1624, the company established a stronghold called Fort Zeelandia on the coastal islet of Tayouan, which is now part of the main island at Anping, Tainan.[30] David Wright, a Scottish agent of the company who lived on the island in the 1650s, described the lowland areas of the island as being divided among 11 chiefdoms ranging in size from two settlements to 72. Some of these fell under Dutch control, while others remained independent.[30][47] The Company began to import labourers from Fujian and Penghu (Pescadores), many of whom settled.[46]

 

In 1626, the Spanish Empire landed on and occupied northern Taiwan, at the ports of Keelung and Tamsui, as a base to extend their trading. This colonial period lasted 16 years until 1642, when the last Spanish fortress fell to Dutch forces.

 

Following the fall of the Ming dynasty, Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong), a self-styled Ming loyalist, arrived on the island and captured Fort Zeelandia in 1662, expelling the Dutch Empire and military from the island. Koxinga established the Kingdom of Tungning (1662–1683), with his capital at Tainan. He and his heirs, Zheng Jing, who ruled from 1662 to 1682, and Zheng Keshuang, who ruled less than a year, continued to launch raids on the southeast coast of mainland China well into the Qing dynasty era.[46]

Qing rule

Main article: Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule

Hunting deer, painted in 1746

 

In 1683, following the defeat of Koxinga's grandson by an armada led by Admiral Shi Lang of southern Fujian, the Qing dynasty formally annexed Taiwan, placing it under the jurisdiction of Fujian province. The Qing imperial government tried to reduce piracy and vagrancy in the area, issuing a series of edicts to manage immigration and respect aboriginal land rights. Immigrants mostly from southern Fujian continued to enter Taiwan. The border between taxpaying lands and "savage" lands shifted eastward, with some aborigines becoming sinicized while others retreated into the mountains. During this time, there were a number of conflicts between groups of Han Chinese from different regions of southern Fujian, particularly between those from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, and between southern Fujian Chinese and aborigines.

 

Northern Taiwan and the Penghu Islands were the scene of subsidiary campaigns in the Sino-French War (August 1884 to April 1885). The French occupied Keelung on 1 October 1884, but were repulsed from Tamsui a few days later. The French won some tactical victories but were unable to exploit them, and the Keelung Campaign ended in stalemate. The Pescadores Campaign, beginning on 31 March 1885, was a French victory, but had no long-term consequences. The French evacuated both Keelung and the Penghu archipelago after the end of the war.

 

In 1887, the Qing upgraded the island's administration from Taiwan Prefecture of Fujian to Fujian-Taiwan-Province (福建臺灣省), the twentieth in the empire, with its capital at Taipei. This was accompanied by a modernization drive that included building China's first railroad.[48]

Japanese rule

Main articles: Taiwan under Japanese rule and Republic of Formosa

Japanese colonial soldiers march Taiwanese captured after the Tapani Incident from the Tainan jail to court, 1915.

 

As the Qing dynasty was defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), Taiwan, along with Penghu and Liaodong Peninsula, were ceded in full sovereignty to the Empire of Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Inhabitants on Taiwan and Penghu wishing to remain Qing subjects were given a two-year grace period to sell their property and move to mainland China. Very few Taiwanese saw this as feasible.[49] On 25 May 1895, a group of pro-Qing high officials proclaimed the Republic of Formosa to resist impending Japanese rule. Japanese forces entered the capital at Tainan and quelled this resistance on 21 October 1895.[50] Guerrilla fighting continued periodically until about 1902 and ultimately took the lives of 14,000 Taiwanese, or 0.5% of the population.[51] Several subsequent rebellions against the Japanese (the Beipu uprising of 1907, the Tapani incident of 1915, and the Musha incident of 1930) were all unsuccessful but demonstrated opposition to Japanese colonial rule.

 

Japanese colonial rule was instrumental in the industrialization of the island, extending the railroads and other transportation networks, building an extensive sanitation system, and establishing a formal education system.[52] Japanese rule ended the practice of headhunting.[53] During this period the human and natural resources of Taiwan were used to aid the development of Japan and the production of cash crops such as rice and sugar greatly increased. By 1939, Taiwan was the seventh greatest sugar producer in the world.[54] Still, the Taiwanese and aborigines were classified as second- and third-class citizens. After suppressing Chinese guerrillas in the first decade of their rule, Japanese authorities engaged in a series of bloody campaigns against the mountain aboriginals, culminating in the Musha Incident of 1930.[55] Also, those intellectual and labours who participated in left-wing movement of Taiwan were arrested and massacred (e.g. Tsiúnn Uī-Suí(蔣渭水), masanosuke watanabe(渡辺政之辅)).[56]

 

Around 1935, the Japanese began an island-wide assimilation project to bind the island more firmly to the Japanese Empire and people were taught to see themselves as Japanese under the Kominka Movement, during which time Taiwanese culture and religion were outlawed and the citizens were encouraged to adopt Japanese surnames.[57] The "South Strike Group" was based at the Taihoku Imperial University in Taipei. During World War II, tens of thousands of Taiwanese served in the Japanese military.[58] For example, former ROC President Lee Teng-hui's elder brother served in the Japanese navy and was killed in action in the Philippines in February 1945. The Imperial Japanese Navy operated heavily out of Taiwanese ports. In October 1944, the Formosa Air Battle was fought between American carriers and Japanese forces based in Taiwan. Important Japanese military bases and industrial centres throughout Taiwan, like Kaohsiung, were targets of heavy American bombings.[59] Also during this time, over 2,000 women were forced into sexual slavery for Imperial Japanese troops, now euphemistically called "comfort women."[60]

 

In 1938, there were 309,000 Japanese settlers in Taiwan.[61] After World War II, most of the Japanese were expelled and sent to Japan.[62]

After World War II

Main article: Taiwan after World War II

General Chen Yi (right) accepting the receipt of General Order No. 1 from Rikichi Andō (left), the last Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan, in Taipei City Hall

 

On 25 October 1945, the US Navy ferried ROC troops to Taiwan in order to accept the formal surrender of Japanese military forces in Taipei on behalf of the Allied Powers, as part of General Order No. 1 for temporary military occupation. General Rikichi Andō, governor-general of Taiwan and commander-in-chief of all Japanese forces on the island, signed the receipt and handed it over to General Chen Yi of the ROC military to complete the official turnover. Chen Yi proclaimed that day to be "Taiwan Retrocession Day", but the Allies considered Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to be under military occupation and still under Japanese sovereignty until 1952, when the Treaty of San Francisco took effect.[63][64] Although the 1943 Cairo Declaration had envisaged returning these territories to China, in the Treaty of San Francisco and Treaty of Taipei Japan has renounced all claim to them without specifying to what country they were to be surrendered. This introduced the problem of the legal status of Taiwan.

 

The ROC administration of Taiwan under Chen Yi was strained by increasing tensions between Taiwanese-born people and newly arrived mainlanders, which were compounded by economic woes, such as hyperinflation. Furthermore, cultural and linguistic conflicts between the two groups quickly led to the loss of popular support for the new government, while the mass movement led by the working committee of the communist also aimed to bring down the Kuomintang government.[65][66] The shooting of a civilian on 28 February 1947 triggered island-wide unrest, which was suppressed with military force in what is now called the February 28 Incident. Mainstream estimates of the number killed range from 18,000 to 30,000. Those killed were mainly members of the Taiwanese elite.[67][68]

Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

Main articles: Chinese Civil War, Chinese Communist Revolution, and History of the Republic of China § Republic of China on Taiwan (1949–present)

For the history of Republic of China before 1949, see Republic of China (1912–49).

The Nationalists' retreat to Taipei: after the Nationalists lost Nanjing (Nanking) they next moved to Guangzhou (Canton), then to Chongqing (Chungking), Chengdu (Chengtu) and Xichang (Sichang) before arriving in Taipei.

 

After the end of World War II, the Chinese Civil War resumed between the Chinese Nationalists (Kuomintang), led by Chiang Kai-shek, and the Communist Party of China, led by Mao Zedong. Throughout the months of 1949, a series of Chinese Communist offensives led to the capture of its capital Nanjing on 23 April and the subsequent defeat of the Nationalist army on the mainland, and the Communists founded the People's Republic of China on 1 October.[69]

 

On 7 December 1949, after the loss of four capitals, Chiang evacuated his Nationalist government to Taiwan and made Taipei the temporary capital of the ROC (also called the "wartime capital" by Chiang Kai-shek).[70] Some 2 million people, consisting mainly of soldiers, members of the ruling Kuomintang and intellectual and business elites, were evacuated from mainland China to Taiwan at that time, adding to the earlier population of approximately six million. In addition, the ROC government took to Taipei many national treasures and much of China's gold reserves and foreign currency reserves.[71][72][73]

 

After losing most of the mainland, the Kuomintang held remaining control of Tibet, the portions of Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Yunnan provinces along with the Hainan Island until 1951 before the Communists subsequently captured both territories. From this point onwards, the Kuomintang's territory was reduced to Taiwan, Penghu, the portions of the Fujian province (Kinmen and Matsu Islands), and two major islands of Dongsha Islands and Nansha Islands. The Kuomintang continued to claim sovereignty over all "China", which it defined to include mainland China, Taiwan, Outer Mongolia and other areas. On mainland China, the victorious Communists claimed they ruled the sole and only China (which they claimed included Taiwan) and that the Republic of China no longer existed.[74]

A Chinese man in military uniform, smiling and looking towards the left. He holds a sword in his left hand and has a medal in shape of a sun on his chest.

Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang from 1925 until his death in 1975

 

Martial law, declared on Taiwan in May 1949,[75] continued to be in effect after the central government relocated to Taiwan. It was not repealed until 1987,[75] and was used as a way to suppress the political opposition in the intervening years.[76] During the White Terror, as the period is known, 140,000 people were imprisoned or executed for being perceived as anti-KMT or pro-Communist.[77] Many citizens were arrested, tortured, imprisoned and executed for their real or perceived link to the Communists. Since these people were mainly from the intellectual and social elite, an entire generation of political and social leaders was decimated. In 1998 law was passed to create the "Compensation Foundation for Improper Verdicts" which oversaw compensation to White Terror victims and families. President Ma Ying-jeou made an official apology in 2008, expressing hope that there will never be a tragedy similar to White Terror.[78]

 

Initially, the United States abandoned the KMT and expected that Taiwan would fall to the Communists. However, in 1950 the conflict between North Korea and South Korea, which had been ongoing since the Japanese withdrawal in 1945, escalated into full-blown war, and in the context of the Cold War, US President Harry S. Truman intervened again and dispatched the US Navy's 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Strait to prevent hostilities between Taiwan and mainland China.[79] In the Treaty of San Francisco and the Treaty of Taipei, which came into force respectively on 28 April 1952 and 5 August 1952, Japan formally renounced all right, claim and title to Taiwan and Penghu, and renounced all treaties signed with China before 1942. Neither treaty specified to whom sovereignty over the islands should be transferred, because the United States and the United Kingdom disagreed on whether the ROC or the PRC was the legitimate government of China.[80] Continuing conflict of the Chinese Civil War through the 1950s, and intervention by the United States notably resulted in legislation such as the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty and the Formosa Resolution of 1955.

With President Chiang Kai-shek, the US President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to crowds during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

As the Chinese Civil War continued without truce, the government built up military fortifications throughout Taiwan. Within this effort, KMT veterans built the now famous Central Cross-Island Highway through the Taroko Gorge in the 1950s. The two sides would continue to engage in sporadic military clashes with seldom publicized details well into the 1960s on the China coastal islands with an unknown number of night raids. During the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in September 1958, Taiwan's landscape saw Nike-Hercules missile batteries added, with the formation of the 1st Missile Battalion Chinese Army that would not be deactivated until 1997. Newer generations of missile batteries have since replaced the Nike Hercules systems throughout the island.

 

During the 1960s and 1970s, the ROC maintained an authoritarian, single-party government while its economy became industrialized and technology oriented. This rapid economic growth, known as the Taiwan Miracle, was the result of a fiscal regime independent from mainland China and backed up, among others, by the support of US funds and demand for Taiwanese products.[81][82] In the 1970s, Taiwan was economically the second fastest growing state in Asia after Japan.[83] Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, became known as one of the Four Asian Tigers. Because of the Cold War, most Western nations and the United Nations regarded the ROC as the sole legitimate government of China until the 1970s. Later, especially after the termination of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, most nations switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC (see United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758).

 

Up until the 1970s, the government was regarded by Western critics as undemocratic for upholding martial law, for severely repressing any political opposition and for controlling media. The KMT did not allow the creation of new parties and those that existed did not seriously compete with the KMT. Thus, competitive democratic elections did not exist.[84][85][86][87][88] From the late 1970s to the 1990s, however, Taiwan went through reforms and social changes that transformed it from an authoritarian state to a democracy. In 1979, a pro-democracy protest known as the Kaohsiung Incident took place in Kaohsiung to celebrate Human Rights Day. Although the protest was rapidly crushed by the authorities, it is today considered as the main event that united Taiwan's opposition.[89]

Democratization

Main articles: Democratic reforms of Taiwan and Elections in Taiwan

 

Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek's son and successor as the president, began to liberalize the political system in the mid-1980s. In 1984, the younger Chiang selected Lee Teng-hui, a Taiwanese-born, US-educated technocrat, to be his vice-president. In 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was formed and inaugurated as the first opposition party in the ROC to counter the KMT. A year later, Chiang Ching-kuo lifted martial law on the main island of Taiwan (martial law was lifted on Penghu in 1979, Matsu island in 1992 and Kinmen island in 1993). With the advent of democratization, the issue of the political status of Taiwan gradually resurfaced as a controversial issue where, previously, the discussion of anything other than unification under the ROC was taboo.

 

After the death of Chiang Ching-kuo in January 1988, Lee Teng-hui succeeded him as president. Lee continued to democratize the government and decrease the concentration of government authority in the hands of mainland Chinese. Under Lee, Taiwan underwent a process of localization in which Taiwanese culture and history were promoted over a pan-China viewpoint in contrast to earlier KMT policies which had promoted a Chinese identity. Lee's reforms included printing banknotes from the Central Bank rather than the Provincial Bank of Taiwan, and streamlining the Taiwan Provincial Government with most of its functions transferred to the Executive Yuan. Under Lee, the original members of the Legislative Yuan and National Assembly(a former supreme legislative body defunct in 2005),[90] elected in 1947 to represent mainland Chinese constituencies and having held the seats without re-election for more than four decades, were forced to resign in 1991. The previously nominal representation in the Legislative Yuan was brought to an end, reflecting the reality that the ROC had no jurisdiction over mainland China, and vice versa. Restrictions on the use of Taiwanese Hokkien in the broadcast media and in schools were also lifted.[citation needed]

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Taiwan's special envoy to the APEC summit, Lien Chan, November 2011

 

Democratic reforms continued in the 1990s, with Lee Teng-hui re-elected in 1996, in the first direct presidential election in the history of the ROC.[91] During the later years of Lee's administration, he was involved in corruption controversies relating to government release of land and weapons purchase, although no legal proceedings commenced. In 1997,"To meet the requisites of the nation prior to national unification",[92] the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China was passed and then the former "constitution of five powers" turns to be more tripartite. In 2000, Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party was elected as the first non-Kuomintang (KMT) President and was re-elected to serve his second and last term since 2004. Polarized politics has emerged in Taiwan with the formation of the Pan-Blue Coalition of parties led by the KMT, favouring eventual Chinese reunification, and the Pan-Green Coalition of parties led by the DPP, favouring an eventual and official declaration of Taiwanese independence.[93][clarification needed] In early 2006, President Chen Shui-bian remarked: “The National Unification Council will cease to function. No budget will be ear-marked for it and its personnel must return to their original posts...The National Unification Guidelines will cease to apply."[94]

The ruling DPP has traditionally leaned in favour of Taiwan independence and rejects the so-called "One-China policy".

 

On 30 September 2007, the ruling DPP approved a resolution asserting a separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution for a "normal country". It also called for general use of "Taiwan" as the country's name, without abolishing its formal name, the Republic of China.[95] The Chen administration also pushed for referendums on national defence and UN entry in the 2004 and 2008 elections, which failed due to voter turnout below the required legal threshold of 50% of all registered voters.[96] The Chen administration was dogged by public concerns over reduced economic growth, legislative gridlock due to a pan-blue, opposition-controlled Legislative Yuan and corruption involving the First Family as well as government officials.[97][98]

 

The KMT increased its majority in the Legislative Yuan in the January 2008 legislative elections, while its nominee Ma Ying-jeou went on to win the presidency in March of the same year, campaigning on a platform of increased economic growth and better ties with the PRC under a policy of "mutual nondenial".[96] Ma took office on 20 May 2008, the same day that President Chen Shui-bian stepped down and was notified by prosecutors of possible corruption charges. Part of the rationale for campaigning for closer economic ties with the PRC stems from the strong economic growth China attained since joining the World Trade Organization. However, some analysts say that despite the election of Ma Ying-jeou, the diplomatic and military tensions with the PRC have not been reduced.[99]

 

View Large

 

Tso Moriri Lake, Korzok, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

 

This is a 120 sq km Fresh Water Lake at an altitude of 4595 m above MSL.

 

On EXPLORE : July 19, 2007

 

Dedicated to the Tamil Song which inspires me time and again !! :

"Pon maaalaip pozhuthu

idhu oru pon maalaip pozhudhu

vaanamagal naanugiraal vaeru udai poonugiraal ...."

"....vaanam enakkoru bhoadhi maram

naalum enakkadhu saedhi tharum

oru naal ulagam needhi perum

thirunaal nigazhum thaedhi varum

kaelvigalaal vaelvigalai naan seyvaen"

  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong 香港, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

冬の京都 雪の残る「聚碧園」

Sanzen-in is located in Ohara in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. The temple is in a prominent scenic location among the many other temples in the Ohara area. The first Sanzen-in was built when the great priest Saicho founded Enryaku-ji on Hiei-zan in the 8th century after returning from China where he studied Buddhism. The temple was moved to the present site in the latter half of the 15th century, when Kyoto had been devastated by wars. Historically, members of the Imperial family served for many generations as the heads of the temple. The Amida-Nyorai Sanzon Buddhist statue housed in the temple has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The temple is widely known for its lovely display of hydrangeas in early summer and maples in autumn.

 

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/kyoto/ohara.html

 

-Japan National Tourism Organization

 

One of the most beautiful and serene places I have ever visited even though it is so busy. Durlston is large and there are many places where you can get away from the crowds. I took a walk along the coastal path to the Dancing Ledges 3 miles away and was rewarded with astounding views. As you walk along the top of the cliffs you get stunning views across a blue sea and see many different types of birds. I saw Guillemots, Razorbills, Shag, Fulmar, Gannet, Kittiwake, and Gulls along the cliffs. Other birds present included Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Whitethroat, Kestrel, Raven and Stonechat. I was lucky enough to see a Barking Deer or Muntjac as they are also known.

I also had a little pot of locally made Honeycombe Hash flavoured Purbeck ice cream.

  

www.durlston.co.uk/

   

Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve, situated 1 mile from Swanage in Dorset, is a fabulous 280 acre countryside paradise, consisting of sea-cliffs, coastal limestone downland, haymeadows, hedgerows and woodland. With stunning views, walking trails, the historic Great Globe, superb geology and fascinating wildlife there is always something different to see.

   

www.durlston.co.uk/index.php?nid=51&id=32

  

About Durlston Country Park

Situated in the south-east corner of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset (grid ref SZ 03 77), a mile south of Swanage, lies Durlston Country Park – 280 acres of very special countryside.

 

The Country Park was established in the 1970s by Dorset County Council, and 30 years of careful management by the Ranger team have resulted in a superb site that everyone can enjoy.

Wildlife and Landscape

Few places in Britain equal Durlston: The bare statistics merely hint at the amazing diversity of wildlife: 33 species of breeding butterfly, over 250 species of bird recorded, 500 wildflowers, 500 moths and thousands of other invertebrates.

Durlston's special qualities stem from a combination of geography, geology, history and careful management which has created a mosaic of nationally important wildlife habitats: sea-cliffs, downs, ancient meadows, hedgerows, woodland, and dry-stone walls – each with their characteristic plants and animals.

 

History

Wildlife apart, there are plenty of other things to see: The history of Durlston can be detected in the now dry, glacial river valley, the ancient Saxon field systems, two types of quarry – the inland Purbeck Stone Quarr, and the Portland limestone cliff quarry known as Tilly Whim Caves.

High on the ridge remain the footings of a Napoleonic telegraph station, and Anvil Point Lighthouse adds further interest to a visit.

The eminent Victorian, George Burt, left a legacy of fascinating artefacts. These include the 'Great Globe' – 40 tons of Portland limestone, cast-iron bollards from the City, St Martin's and other parts of London, and Durlston Castle itself – all linked by scenic cliff-top paths with Victorian panels quoting poetry and facts of interest.

 

Facilities

The Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre is a must for all - recent wildlife sightings, daily and monthly displays all ensure the latest information for visitors.

 

There are also live pictures from the seabird colony on the cliffs and sound from an underwater hydrophone.

A Ranger is always available to help you make the most of your visit.

Family Activities

Guided Walks and Events

A full programme of events – guided walks, boat trips, talks, children's events and other activities run throughout the year.

 

Paths and Trails

Four clearly waymarked Trails, each with its own information leaflet provide an ideal introduction to Durlston.

All Trails begin at the Visitor Centre.

A network of Public Footpaths criss-cross the site, with good access to the South-west Coast Path.

 

Education

Each year, thousands of school children and students use Durlston as an educational resource. A wide range of sessions and other educational facilities are provided by the Rangers to help them get the most from their visit.

 

Community

Friends of Durlston

The Park has always had close ties with the local community, and the Friends of Durlston organisation provides a focus for goodwill and support.

Over 700 Friends provide an enormous amount of practical help – from running the Visitor Centre counter and updating our wildlife records, to monitoring butterflies and building dry stone walls.

There is also a thriving social side to the 'Friends', with illustrated talks held monthly and other events throughout the year.

 

Achievements

Awards

The County Council's policy of 'Conservation for Public Enjoyment' has formed the basis of the Park's management for 30 years.

This, combined with the support of the Friends, has led to both organisations being jointly awarded the prestigious English Nature SSSI Award.

In 2006 Durlston recieved both the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Conservation and Environment Award' for outstanding conservation work

In 2008, for the third time, we were awarded the 'Green Flag', recognising the quality of amenities for visitors.

In 2010, Durlston was voted 2nd in a competition to find Britain's Favourite Park, organised by the Keep Briatin Tidy Group.

Designations

As an internationally important site for wildlife and geology, Durlston is protected by a host of designations. Durlston forms part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Purbeck Heritage Coast (which holds a Council of Europe Diploma for it's management).

Most of the Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and since 1997, a Special Area of Conservation. Most of the Park is also designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance, while in 1997, the Dorset and East Devon Coast was awarded World Heritage Site status for its geological importance.

In June 2008, Durlston was awarded National Nature Reserve Status by Natural England in recognition of the national importance of Durlston for wildlife.

This long list of accolades and designations that highlight the site's importance and provide a reminder of the great care that must be taken to conserve this wonderful facility for future generations.

At any time of year, a visit to Durlston is a memorable experience. Despite its popularity, there is still the peace and quiet to enjoy the natural splendours of the area, and no matter how many times you visit there is always something new to see and enjoy.

  

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petra

   

Petra (Greek "πέτρα" (petra), meaning stone; Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ) is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduit system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans,[2] it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction.[2] It lies on the slope of Mount Hor[3] in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage".[4] Petra was chosen by the BBC as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die".

  

Geography

 

Pliny the Elder and other writers identify Petra as the capital of the Nabataeans, and the center of their caravan trade. Enclosed by towering rocks and watered by a perennial stream, Petra not only possessed the advantages of a fortress, but controlled the main commercial routes which passed through it to Gaza in the west, to Bosra and Damascus in the north, to Aqaba and Leuce Come on the Red Sea, and across the desert to the Persian Gulf.

Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis. The area is visited by flash floods and archaeological evidence demonstrates the Nabataeans controlled these floods by the use of dams, cisterns and water conduits. These innovations stored water for prolonged periods of drought, and enabled the city to prosper from its sale.[6][7]

Although in ancient times Petra might have been approached from the south on a track leading around Jabal Haroun ("Aaron's Mountain"), across the plain of Petra, or possibly from the high plateau to the north, most modern visitors approach the site from the east. The impressive eastern entrance leads steeply down through a dark, narrow gorge (in places only 3–4 m (9.8–13 ft) wide) called the Siq ("the shaft"), a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks and serving as a waterway flowing into Wadi Musa. At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (popularly known as "the Treasury"), hewn into the sandstone cliff.

A little further from the Treasury, at the foot of the mountain called en-Nejr, is a massive theatre, so placed as to bring the greatest number of tombs within view. At the point where the valley opens out into the plain, the site of the city is revealed with striking effect. The amphitheatre has been cut into the hillside and into several of the tombs during its construction. Rectangular gaps in the seating are still visible. Almost enclosing it on three sides are rose-coloured mountain walls, divided into groups by deep fissures, and lined with knobs cut from the rock in the form of towers.

   

History

Evidence suggests that settlements had begun in and around Petra in the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt (1550-1292 BC). It is listed in Egyptian campaign accounts and the Amarna letters as Pel, Sela or Seir. Though the city was founded relatively late, a sanctuary existed there since very ancient times. Stations 19 through 26 of the stations list of Exodus are places associated with Petra.[8] This part of the country was Biblically assigned to the Horites, the predecessors of the Edomites.[9] The habits of the original natives may have influenced the Nabataean custom of burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves. Although Petra is usually identified with Sela which means a rock, the Biblical references[10] refer to it as "the cleft in the rock", referring to its entrance. The second book of Kings xiv. 7 seems to be more specific. In the parallel passage, however, Sela is understood to mean simply "the rock" (2 Chronicles xxv. 12, see LXX).

On the authority of Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews iv. 7, 1~ 4, 7) Eusebius and Jerome (Onom. sacr. 286, 71. 145, 9; 228, 55. 287, 94) assert that Rekem was the native name and Rekem appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls[11] as a prominent Edom site most closely describing Petra and associated with Mount Seir. But in the Aramaic versions Rekem is the name of Kadesh, implying that Josephus may have confused the two places. Sometimes the Aramaic versions give the form Rekem-Geya which recalls the name of the village El-ji, southeast of Petra.[citation needed] The Semitic name of the city, if not Sela, remains unknown. The passage in Diodorus Siculus (xix. 94–97) which describes the expeditions which Antigonus sent against the Nabataeans in 312 BC is understood to throw some light upon the history of Petra, but the "petra" referred to as a natural fortress and place of refuge cannot be a proper name and the description implies that the town was not yet in existence.

 

The name "Rekem" was inscribed in the rock wall of the Wadi Musa opposite the entrance to the Siq,[12] but about twenty years ago the Jordanians built a bridge over the wadi and this inscription was buried beneath tons of concrete[citation needed].

More satisfactory evidence of the date of the earliest Nabataean settlement may be obtained from an examination of the tombs. Two types have been distinguished: the Nabataean and the Greco-Roman. The Nabataean type starts from the simple pylon-tomb with a door set in a tower crowned by a parapet ornament, in imitation of the front of a dwelling-house. Then, after passing through various stages, the full Nabataean type is reached, retaining all the native features and at the same time exhibiting characteristics which are partly Egyptian and partly Greek. Of this type there exist close parallels in the tomb-towers at el-I~ejr in north Arabia, which bear long Nabataean inscriptions and supply a date for the corresponding monuments at Petra. Then comes a series of tombfronts which terminate in a semicircular arch, a feature derived from north Syria. Finally come the elaborate façades copied from the front of a Roman temple; however, all traces of native style have vanished. The exact dates of the stages in this development cannot be fixed. Few inscriptions of any length have been found at Petra, perhaps because they have perished with the stucco or cement which was used upon many of the buildings. The simple pylon-tombs which belong to the pre-Hellenic age serve as evidence for the earliest period. It is not known how far back in this stage the Nabataean settlement goes, but it does not go back farther than the 6th century BC.

 

A period follows in which the dominant civilization combines Greek, Egyptian and Syrian elements, clearly pointing to the age of the Ptolemies. Towards the close of the 2nd century BC, when the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms were equally depressed, the Nabataean kingdom came to the front. Under Aretas III Philhellene, (c.85–60 BC), the royal coins begin. The theatre was probably excavated at that time, and Petra must have assumed the aspect of a Hellenistic city. In the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris, (9 BC–40 AD), the fine tombs of the el-I~ejr [?] type may be dated, and perhaps also the great High-place.

  

Roman rule

In 106 AD, when Cornelius Palma was governor of Syria, that part of Arabia under the rule of Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire as part of Arabia Petraea, becoming capital. The native dynasty came to an end, but the city continued to flourish. A century later, in the time of Alexander Severus, when the city was at the height of its splendor, the issue of coinage comes to an end. There is no more building of sumptuous tombs, owing apparently to some sudden catastrophe, such as an invasion by the neo-Persian power under the Sassanid Empire. Meanwhile, as Palmyra (fl. 130–270) grew in importance and attracted the Arabian trade away from Petra, the latter declined. It seems, however, to have lingered on as a religious centre. A Roman road was constructed at the site. Epiphanius of Salamis (c.315–403) writes that in his time a feast was held there on December 25 in honor of the virgin Khaabou (Chaabou) and her offspring Dushara (Haer. 51).[

  

Decline

  

The narrow passage (Siq) that leads to Petra

Petra declined rapidly under Roman rule, in large part from the revision of sea-based trade routes. In 363 an earthquake destroyed many buildings, and crippled the vital water management system.[13] The ruins of Petra were an object of curiosity in the Middle Ages and were visited by Sultan Baibars of Egypt towards the end of the 13th century. The first European to describe them was Swiss traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

Because the structures weakened with age, many of the tombs became vulnerable to thieves, and many treasures were stolen. In 1929, a four-person team, consisting of British archaeologists Agnes Conway and George Horsfield, Palestinian physician and folk-lore expert Dr Tawfiq Canaan and Dr Ditlef Nielsen, a Danish scholar, excavated and surveyed Petra.

  

T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)

In October, 1917, Lawrence, as part of a general effort to divert Turkish military resources away from the British invasion of North Africa, led a small force of Syrians and Arabians in defending Petra against a much larger combined force of Turks and Germans. The Bedouin women living in the vicinity of Petra and under the leadership of Sheik Khallil's wife were recruited to fight in the defense of the city. The defenders were able to completely devastate the Turkish/German forces.[

  

Religion

 

The Nabataeans worshipped the Arab gods and goddesses of the pre-Islamic times as well as a few of their deified kings. One, Obodas I, was deified after his death. Dushara was the main male god accompanied by his female trinity: Al-‘Uzzá, Allat and Manāt. Many statues carved in the rock depict these gods and goddesses.

The Monastery, Petra's largest monument, dates from the 1st century BC. It was dedicated to Obodas I and is believed to be the symposium of Obodas the god. This information is inscribed on the ruins of the Monastery (the name is the translation of the Arabic "Ad Deir").

Christianity found its way to Petra in the 4th century AD, nearly 500 years after the establishment of Petra as a trade center. Athanasius mentions a bishop of Petra (Anhioch. 10) named Asterius. At least one of the tombs (the "tomb with the urn"?) was used as a church. An inscription in red paint records its consecration "in the time of the most holy bishop Jason" (447). After the Islamic conquest of 629–632 Christianity in Petra, as of most of Arabia, gave way to Islam. During the First Crusade Petra was occupied by Baldwin I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and formed the second fief of the barony of Al Karak (in the lordship of Oultrejordain) with the title Château de la Valée de Moyse or Sela. It remained in the hands of the Franks until 1189. It is still a titular see of the Catholic Church.[16]

Two Crusader-period castles are known in and around Petra. The first is al-Wu'ayra and is situated just north of Wadi Musa. It can be viewed from the road to "Little Petra". It is the castle of Valle Moise which was seized by a band of Turks with the help of local Muslims and only recovered by the Crusaders after they began to destroy the olive trees of Wadi Musa. The potential loss of livelihood led the locals to negotiate surrender. The second is on the summit of el-Habis in the heart of Petra and can be accessed via a flight of steps that begins near the tomb complex known as "the Monastery".

According to Arab tradition, Petra is the spot where Moses (Musa) struck a rock with his staff and water came forth, and where Moses' brother, Aaron (Harun), is buried, at Mount Hor, known today as Jabal Haroun or Mount Aaron. The Wadi Musa or "Wadi of Moses" is the Arab name for the narrow valley at the head of which Petra is sited. A mountaintop shrine of Moses' sister Miriam was still shown to pilgrims at the time of Jerome in the 4th century, but its location has not been identified since.

 

Threats to Petra

The site suffers from a host of threats, including collapse of ancient structures, erosion due to flooding and improper rainwater drainage, weathering from salt upwelling, improper restoration of ancient structures, and unsustainable tourism.[18] The latter has increased substantially, especially since the site received widespread media coverage in 2007 during the controversial New Seven Wonders of the World Internet and cell phone campaign.[19]

In an attempt to reduce the impact of these threats, Petra National Trust (PNT) was established in 1989. Over this time, it has worked together with numerous local and international organizations on projects that promote the protection, conservation and preservation of the Petra site.

  

Petra today

On December 6, 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site.

In 2006 the design of a Visitor Centre began. The Jordan Times reported in December 2006 that 59,000 people visited in the two months October and November 2006, 25% fewer than the same period in the previous year.[

  

In popular culture

Petra was the main topic in John William Burgon's Poem Petra. Referring to it as the inaccessible city which he had heard described but had never seen. The Poem was awarded the Newdigate Prize in 1845 :

“It seems no work of Man's creative hand,

by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;

But from the rock as if by magic grown,

eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!

Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,

where erst Athena held her rites divine;

Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,

that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;

But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,

that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;

The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,

which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,

match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,

a rose-red city half as old as time.”

 

In 1977, the famous Lebanese Rahbani brothers wrote the musical "Petra" as a response to the Lebanese Civil War.-[22]

The site is featured in films such as: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Arabian Nights, Passion in the Desert, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It was recreated for the video games Spy Hunter (2001), King's Quest V, Lego Indiana Jones and Sonic Unleashed and appeared in the novels Left Behind, Appointment with Death, The Eagle in the Sand and The Red Sea Sharks, the nineteenth book in The Adventures of Tintin series. It featured prominently in the Marcus Didius Falco mystery novel Last Act in Palmyra.

In Blue Balliett's novel, Chasing Vermeer, the character Petra Andalee comes from the site.[23] In Agatha Christie's, "Appointment with Death" (1938), the mysterious and enigmatic Petra is the setting for a murder mystery featuring Hercule Poirot.

The Sisters of Mercy filmed their popular music video for "Dominion/Mother Russia" in and around Al Khazneh ("The Treasury") in February 1988.

Petra was featured in episode 3 of the 2010 series "An Idiot Abroad"

   

Sister cities

• Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Mada'in Saleh in Saudi Arabia

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

This late afternoon magic stayed only for few minutes........and we were the blessed ones to reach at the right moment.

  

National Highway 1D (NH 1D), also known as Srinagar-Leh Highway, is a National Highway entirely within the state of Jammu & Kashmir in North India that connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh. It is one of the only two roads that connect Ladakh with the rest of India, the other being Leh-Manali Highway. The Srinagar-Leh Highway was declared as National Highway in 2006.

The old Central Asian trade route Srinagar-Leh-Yarkand was also known as the Treaty Road, after a commercial treaty signed in 1870 between Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Thomas Douglas Forsyth.

Weather conditions

Even nowadays, heavy snowfall at highest passes blocks traffic, cutting Leh from Srinagar for some six months each year. During springtime, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) plows snow and repairs damages caused by landslides. Zoji La pass received reportedly some 18 m (59 ft) of snowfall in 2008.

Geography

For most part, NH 1D runs through extremely treacherous terrain and follows the historic trade route along the Indus River, thus giving modern travelers a glimpse of villages which are historically and culturally important. The road generally remains open for traffic from early June to mid-November. The total length of NH 1 is 422 km.

The two highest passes on NH 1D include Fotu La at 4,108 m (13,478 ft) elevation and Zoji La at 3,528 m (11,575 ft) elevation.

Dras, located some 170 km from Srinagar at elevation of 3,249 m (10,659 ft), is the first major village over the Zoji La pass. The village is inhabited by a population of mixed Kashmiri and Dard origins, having a reputation of being the second coldest permanent inhabited spot in the world after Siberia, with temperatures dropping to −45 °C (−49 °F).

History

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the road was only a track, impassable even with ponies. Goods, mainly pashmina wool, were carried by porters from Yarkand and Tibet for Kashmir shawl industry.

In the 19th century, the route was improved, allowing pony caravans to pass. This work was started after Dogra General Zorawar Singh conquered Ladakh region from the Sikh Empire during 1836–1840 Trans-Himalayan campaign and princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was formed when the British sold Kashmir to maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 Treaty of Amritsar.

In April 1873, the Kashmir government allocated 2,500 rupees annually for upkeep of the Treaty Road and associated serais.

During the 1950s, tensions rose in Ladakh region. China had quietly been building a military road spanning some 1,200 km from Xinjiang to western Tibet. The road was discovered by Indians in 1957 and this was confirmed by Chinese maps showing the road in 1958. The political situation eroded, culminating in 1962 in the Sino-Indian War.

The road on the Chinese side gave PLA an advantage as a reliable supply line, giving the Indian Army impetus to build a road for supply and mobilisation of their own troops. The building started from Sringar in 1962, reaching Kargil in two years. This was the basis of modern Srinagar-Leh Highway. Building the road was hazardous task, given the challenging geographical location, and maintaining the road is still unenviable task.

Restrictions on civilian traffic were lifted in 1974.

This highway was used as mobilisation route by the Indian Army during Pakistani occupation of Kargil in 1999, known as Operation Vijay.

( Source : Wikipedia)

  

Sanibel is a city in Lee County, Florida, United States, on Sanibel Island. The population was 6,469 at the 2010 census, with an estimated 2012 population of 6,741. It is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. Sanibel is a barrier island – a collection of sand on the leeward side of the more solid coral-rock of Pine Island.

The city incorporates the entire island, with most of the city proper at the east end of the island. After the Sanibel causeway was built to replace the ferry in May 1963, the residents asserted control over development by establishing the Sanibel Comprehensive Land Use Plan in 1974 helping to maintain a balance between development and preservation of the island's ecology. A new, higher bridge, permitting passage without a bascule bridge (drawbridge) of tall boats and sailboats, was completed in late 2007.

Due to easy causeway access, Sanibel is a popular tourist destination known for its shell beaches and wildlife refuges. More than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest being J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Island hosts the Sanibel Historical Village and a variety of other museums and theaters, as well as many non-profit organizations like the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, and the Sanibel Sea School. In August 2004, Hurricane Charley hit the island causing mandatory evacuation for the residents and resulting in the most storm damage to the island in 44 years.[

 

The parish church of St Ronan in the village centre of Locronan, Brittany, France

 

Some background information:

 

Locronan is a commune in the Breton department of Finistère in north-western France. With its population of just about 800 residents it belongs to the association "The most beautiful villages of France" (in French: "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France"), which promotes small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage. Currently 155 villages throughout France are pooled under the umbrella of the organisation.

 

The area of Locronan is already inhabited since 2,500 years at least. Beginning with the 5th century BC, it used to be a cultic site of druids for many centuries. Around 600 AD, Saint Ronan, a monk from Ireland, settled at this place. He became a hermit and itinerant bishop, but ended his days in Saint-Brieuc at the north coast of Brittany. However, after his death his mortal remains were again brought to and buried at today’s Locronan.

 

According to legend, it was decided to place Saint Ronan’s dead body on a cart, dragged by wild oxen, and lieave it to them to drag it wherever they would. But curiously the wild oxen dragging the cart brought it straight to the saint’s former cell in the forest of Névez, the site of today’s Locronan.

 

The commune derives its name from its still persistent connection with this saint, as Locronan means "hermitage of Ronan" in English. In the 13th century the Dukes of Brittany began worshipping Saint Ronan with great devotion. Around its burial place, the little settlement of Locronan grew up. In 1477, the church of St Ronan was completed during the reign of Duke Francis II, the father of Anne of Brittany. It was erected directly on the burial place of Saint Ronan. Today it still houses the relic with his bones.

 

In the 15th century, hemp, which had naturally grown in the area, was already cultivated and processed by the town’s flourishing hemp industry. Also linen and flax were traded and brought real wealth to Locronan, that was granted town status by Anne of Brittany in 1505. The hemp was exported internationally, as it was used for rigging the ships, both commercial and military, that operated from Brittany's many ports.

 

But in the 19th century the end of the sail-ship era and the beginning of industrialisation caused Locronan’s decline. On the other hand this decline was also responsible for Locronan preserving its completely medieval appearance, as money for the construction of new buildings was simply not available in the little town. Nowadays tourism shakes things up in Locronan, offering the people another source of economic livelihood.

 

Furthermore the picturesque medieval architecture of Locronan was also used as a setting in different films, like "Tess" by Roman Polanski, "A Very Long Engagement" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet or "Chouans!" by Philippe de Broca.

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

The national economy of the Philippines is the 45th largest in the world, with an estimated 2010 gross domestic product (nominal) of $189 billion.Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits.Major trading partners include China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia.Its unit of currency is the Philippine peso (₱ or PHP).

 

A newly industrialized country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Of the country's total labor force of around 38.1 million, the agricultural sector employs close to 32% but contributes to only about 13.8% of GDP. The industrial sector employs around 13.7% of the workforce and accounts for 30% of GDP. Meanwhile the 46.5% of workers involved in the services sector are responsible for 56.2% of GDP.

 

The unemployment rate as of July 2009 stands at around 7.6% and due to the global economic slowdown inflation as of September 2009 reads 0.70%. Gross international reserves as of February 2010 are $45.713 billion. In 2004, public debt as a percentage of GDP was estimated to be 74.2%; in 2008, 56.9%. Gross external debt has risen to $66.27 billion. The country is a net importer.

  

The Philippine Stock Exchange with the statue of Benigno Aquino, Jr.After World War II, the country was for a time regarded as the second wealthiest in East Asia, next only to Japan. However, by the 1960s its economic performance started being overtaken. The economy stagnated under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos as the regime spawned economic mismanagement and political volatility. The country suffered from slow economic growth and bouts of economic recession. Only in the 1990s with a program of economic liberalization did the economy begin to recover.The Philippines has enjoyed sustained economic growth during first decade of the 21st century. However, as of 2010, the country's economy remained smaller than its neighbors in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia from both GDP and GDP per capita (nominal).

 

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis affected the economy, resulting in a lingering decline of the value of the peso and falls in the stock market. But the extent it was affected initially was not as severe as that of some of its Asian neighbors. This was largely due to the fiscal conservatism of the government, partly as a result of decades of monitoring and fiscal supervision from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in comparison to the massive spending of its neighbors on the rapid acceleration of economic growth. There have been signs of progress since. In 2004, the economy experienced 6.4% GDP growth and 7.1% in 2007, its fastest pace of growth in three decades. Yet average annual GDP growth per capita for the period 1966–2007 still stands at 1.45% in comparison to an average of 5.96% for the East Asia and the Pacific region as a whole and the daily income for 45% of the population of the Philippines remains less than $2.

 

Other incongruities and challenges exist. The economy is heavily reliant on remittances which surpass foreign direct investment as a source of foreign currency. Regional development is uneven with Luzon—Metro Manila in particular—gaining most of the new economic growth at the expense of the other regions,although the government has taken steps to distribute economic growth by promoting investment in other areas of the country. Despite constraints, service industries such as tourism and business process outsourcing have been identified as areas with some of the best opportunities for growth for the country.Goldman Sachs includes the country in its list of the "Next Eleven" economies.But China and India have emerged as major economic competitors.

 

The Philippines is a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asian Development Bank which is headquartered in Mandaluyong City, the Colombo Plan, and the G-77 among other groups and institutions

   

A late afternoon landscape.

 

National Highway 1D (NH 1D), also known as Srinagar-Leh Highway, is a National Highway entirely within the state of Jammu & Kashmir in North India that connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh. It is one of the only two roads that connect Ladakh with the rest of India, the other being Leh-Manali Highway. The Srinagar-Leh Highway was declared as National Highway in 2006.

The old Central Asian trade route Srinagar-Leh-Yarkand was also known as the Treaty Road, after a commercial treaty signed in 1870 between Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Thomas Douglas Forsyth.

Weather conditions

Even nowadays, heavy snowfall at highest passes blocks traffic, cutting Leh from Srinagar for some six months each year. During springtime, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) plows snow and repairs damages caused by landslides. Zoji La pass received reportedly some 18 m (59 ft) of snowfall in 2008.

Geography

For most part, NH 1D runs through extremely treacherous terrain and follows the historic trade route along the Indus River, thus giving modern travelers a glimpse of villages which are historically and culturally important. The road generally remains open for traffic from early June to mid-November. The total length of NH 1 is 422 km.

The two highest passes on NH 1D include Fotu La at 4,108 m (13,478 ft) elevation and Zoji La at 3,528 m (11,575 ft) elevation.

Dras, located some 170 km from Srinagar at elevation of 3,249 m (10,659 ft), is the first major village over the Zoji La pass. The village is inhabited by a population of mixed Kashmiri and Dard origins, having a reputation of being the second coldest permanent inhabited spot in the world after Siberia, with temperatures dropping to −45 °C (−49 °F).

History

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the road was only a track, impassable even with ponies. Goods, mainly pashmina wool, were carried by porters from Yarkand and Tibet for Kashmir shawl industry.

In the 19th century, the route was improved, allowing pony caravans to pass. This work was started after Dogra General Zorawar Singh conquered Ladakh region from the Sikh Empire during 1836–1840 Trans-Himalayan campaign and princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was formed when the British sold Kashmir to maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 Treaty of Amritsar.

In April 1873, the Kashmir government allocated 2,500 rupees annually for upkeep of the Treaty Road and associated serais.

During the 1950s, tensions rose in Ladakh region. China had quietly been building a military road spanning some 1,200 km from Xinjiang to western Tibet. The road was discovered by Indians in 1957 and this was confirmed by Chinese maps showing the road in 1958. The political situation eroded, culminating in 1962 in the Sino-Indian War.

The road on the Chinese side gave PLA an advantage as a reliable supply line, giving the Indian Army impetus to build a road for supply and mobilisation of their own troops. The building started from Sringar in 1962, reaching Kargil in two years. This was the basis of modern Srinagar-Leh Highway. Building the road was hazardous task, given the challenging geographical location, and maintaining the road is still unenviable task.

Restrictions on civilian traffic were lifted in 1974.

This highway was used as mobilisation route by the Indian Army during Pakistani occupation of Kargil in 1999, known as Operation Vijay.

 

( Source : Wikipedia)

  

location : Kyoto Ohara Sanzen-in Temple ,Kyoto city. Japan

 

冬の京都 大原 三千院 庭園「聚碧園」

 

Sanzen-in is located in Ohara in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. The temple is in a prominent scenic location among the many other temples in the Ohara area. The first Sanzen-in was built when the great priest Saicho founded Enryaku-ji on Hiei-zan in the 8th century after returning from China where he studied Buddhism. The temple was moved to the present site in the latter half of the 15th century, when Kyoto had been devastated by wars. Historically, members of the Imperial family served for many generations as the heads of the temple. The Amida-Nyorai Sanzon Buddhist statue housed in the temple has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The temple is widely known for its lovely display of hydrangeas in early summer and maples in autumn.

 

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/kyoto/ohara.html

 

-Japan National Tourism Organization

Does It Matter What You Call It?: Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians

By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON

November 27, 2006

 

PLEASE READ

 

During an appearance in late October on Ireland's Pat Kenny radio show, a popular national program broadcast daily on Ireland's RTE Radio, we were asked as the opening question if Israel could be compared to Nazi Germany. Not across the board, we said, but there are certainly some aspects of Israel's policy toward the Palestinians that bear a clear resemblance to the Nazis' oppression. Do you mean the wall, Kenny prompted, and we agreed, describing the ghettoization and other effects of this monstrosity. Before we could elaborate on other Nazi-like features of Israel's policies, Kenny moved on to another question. Within minutes, while we were still on the air, a producer handed Kenny a note, which we later learned was a request from the newly arrived Israeli ambassador to Ireland to appear on the show, by himself. Several days later, on the air by himself, the ambassador pronounced us and our comparisons of Israeli and Nazi policies "outrageous."

 

What else? We were not surprised or disturbed by his outrage. We had just spent two weeks in the West Bank witnessing the oppression, and it was a sure bet that, even had he not been fulfilling his role as propagandist for Israel, the ambassador would not have known the first thing about the Palestinian situation in the West Bank because he had most likely not set foot there in any recent year. In retrospect, we regret not having used even stronger language. Having at that point just completed our fifth trip to Palestine since early 2003, we should have had the courage and the insight to call what we have observed Israel doing to the Palestinians by its rightful name: genocide.

 

We have long played with words about this, labeling Israel's policy "ethnocide," meaning the attempt to destroy the Palestinians as a people with a specific ethnic identity. Others who dance around the subject use terms like "politicide" or, a new invention, "sociocide," but neither of these terms implies the large-scale destruction of people and identity that is truly the Israeli objective. "Genocide" -- defined by the UN Convention as the intention "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group" -- most aptly describes Israel's efforts, akin to the Nazis', to erase an entire people. (See William Cook's The Rape of Palestine for a discussion of what constitutes genocide.)

 

In fact, it matters little what you call it, so long as it is recognized that what Israel intends and is working toward is the erasure of the Palestinian people from the Palestine landscape. Israel most likely does not care about how systematic its efforts at erasure are, or how rapidly they proceed, and in these ways it differs from the Nazis. There are no gas chambers; there is no overriding urgency. Gas chambers are not needed. A round of rockets on a residential housing complex in the middle of the night here, a few million cluster bomblets or phosphorous weapons there can, given time, easily meet the UN definition above.

 

Children shot to death sitting in school classrooms here, families murdered while tilling their land there; agricultural land stripped and burned here, farmers cut off from their land there; little girls riddled with bullets here, infants beheaded by shell fire there; a little massacre here, a little starvation there; expulsion here, denial of entry and families torn apart there; dispossession is the name of the game. With no functioning economy, dwindling food supplies, medical supply shortages, no way to move from one area to another, no access to a capital city, no easy access to education or medical care, no civil service salaries, the people will die, the nation will die without a single gas chamber. Or so the Israelis hope.

  

Surrender vs. Resistance

 

A major part of the Israeli scheme -- apart from the outright land expropriation, national fragmentation, and killing that are designed to strangle and destroy the Palestinian people -- is to so discourage the Palestinians psychologically that they will simply leave voluntarily -- if they have the money -- or give up in abject surrender and agree to live quietly in small enclaves under the Israeli thumb. You wonder sometimes if the Israelis are not succeeding in this bit of psychological warfare, as they are succeeding in tightening their physical stranglehold on territory in the West Bank and Gaza. Overall, we do not believe they have yet brought the Palestinians to this point of psychological surrender, although the breaking point for Palestinians appears nearer than ever before.

 

The anger and depression, even despair, in Palestine are palpable these days, far worse than we have previously encountered. We met two Palestinians so discouraged that they are preparing to leave, in one case uprooting family from a Muslim village where roots go back centuries. The other case is a Christian young person, also from an old family, who sees no prospects for herself or anyone and who feels betrayed by her Catholic Church for having abandoned Palestine's Christians. She would rather just be elsewhere. A Palestinian pollster who has tracked attitudes toward emigration recently reported that the proportion of people thinking about leaving has jumped from about 20 percent, where it has long hovered, to 32 percent in a recent poll, largely because of despair arising from intra-Palestinian factional fighting and from Hamas' inability to govern thanks to crippling Israeli, U.S., and European sanctions.

 

Nothing like one-third of Palestinians will ultimately leave or even attempt to leave, but the trend in attitudes clearly points to the kind of despair that is afflicting much of Palestine. One thoughtful Palestinian writer with whom we spent an evening feels so defeated and so oppressed by Israeli restrictions that he thinks Hamas should abandon its principled stand and agree to recognize Israel's right to exist, in the hope that this concession might induce the Israelis to lift some of the innumerable restrictions on Palestinian life, end the military siege on Palestinian territories and the land theft, and in general ease the day-to-day misery that Palestinians endure under occupation. Asked if he thought such a major Hamas concession would actually bring meaningful Israeli concessions, he said no, but perhaps it would ease the misery a little. It was clear he holds out no great hope. His village's land is gradually disappearing underneath the separation wall and expanding Israeli settlements.

 

We met westerners who have lived in the West Bank, working on behalf of the Palestinians for various NGOs for a decade and more, who are planning to leave out of frustration at seeing the situation worsen year after year and their own work increasingly go for naught. Many other western human rights workers and educators, particularly at venerable institutions like the Friends' School in Ramallah and Bir Zeit University, are being denied visas by the Israelis as part of their deliberate campaign to keep out foreign passport holders, including thousands of ethnic Palestinians who have lived in the West Bank with their families and worked for years. The Israeli campaign to deny residency and re-entry permits is a deliberate attempt at ethnic cleansing, a hope that if a husband or wife is barred, he or she will remove the rest of the family and Israel will have fewer Palestinians to deal with. In addition, the entry denial campaign targets in particular anyone, Palestinian or international, who might bring a measure of business prosperity to the Palestinian territories, or education, or medical assistance, or humanitarian assistance.

 

The campaign against foreigners who might help the Palestinians or bear witness for them became particularly vicious in mid-November when a 19-year-old Swedish volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement escorting Palestinian children to school was brutally attacked by Israeli settlers in Hebron as Israeli soldiers watched. The young woman, Tove Johansson, was walking through an Israeli army checkpoint with several other volunteers when they were set upon by a group of approximately 100 settlers chanting, "We killed Jesus, we'll kill you too!" A settler hit Johansson in the face with a broken bottle, breaking her cheekbone, and as she lay bleeding on the ground, the settlers cheered and clapped and took pictures of themselves posing next to her. The Israeli soldiers briefly questioned three settlers but made no arrests and conducted no investigation. In fact, they threatened the international volunteers with arrest if they did not leave the area immediately. The assault was so raw and brutal that Amnesty International issued an alert warning internationals to beware of settler attacks. The U.S. media have not seen fit to report the incident, which was clearly part of a longstanding effort to discourage witnesses to Israeli atrocities and deprive Palestinians of any protection against the atrocities.

 

Palestinian resistance does figure in this dismal story. In the same small village where one of our acquaintances is uprooting his family, others are building, building small homes and multi-story apartment buildings, simply as a sign of resistance. International human rights volunteers are still trying to reach the West Bank and Gaza to assist Palestinians. When we told one Palestinian friend about our conversation with the writer who wants Hamas to concede Israel's right to exist, his immediate reaction was "absolutely not." He is himself a secular Muslim, a Fatah supporter, does not like Hamas and did not vote for Hamas in last January's legislative elections, but he fully supports Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist until Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to exist as a nation. "Why should I recognize you until you get out of my garden?" he wondered.

 

Our friend Ahmad's views reflect the general feeling among Palestinians: a poll conducted in September by a Palestinian polling organization found that 67 percent of Palestinians do not think Hamas should recognize Israel in order to satisfy Israeli and international demands, while almost the same proportion, 63 percent, would support recognizing Israel if this came as part of a peace agreement in which a Palestinian state was established -- in other words, if Israel also recognized the Palestinians as a nation. Surrender is not yet on the horizon.

 

On the possibility of pulling up stakes and leaving Palestine, Ahmad was equally adamant. "Why should I leave and then have to fight to get back later? Empires never last." He mentioned the Turks and the British and the Soviets, "and the Americans and the Israelis won't last either. It may take a long time, but we can wait." He was angrier than we have ever previously seen him, and more uncompromising -- and with good reason: the separation wall is now within a few yards of his home and demolition is threatened. Ahmad and some neighbors have been fighting the wall's advance in court and succeeded in stopping it for over a year, but construction is moving ahead again. He already has to drive miles out of his way to skirt the wall on his way to work and will be able to exit only on foot when the wall is completed -- assuming his house is not demolished altogether.

 

But he is not giving up. He thinks suicide bombers are "a piece of shit," but he believes the Palestinians have to resist in some way, if only by throwing stones, and he sees some kind of explosion in the offing. If Palestinians do nothing at all, he said, "the Israelis will just relax" and will feel no pressure to cease the oppression. Palestinians everywhere are keeping up the pressure. Haaretz correspondent Gideon Levy described a cloth banner displayed in Beit Hanoun immediately after Israel's devastation of that small Gaza city during the first week in November. "Kill, destroy, crush -- you won't succeed in breaking us," declared the banner.

 

Palestinians in Beit Hanoun, as well as throughout Gaza and the West Bank, have been putting up resistance to their own incompetent, quisling leadership, as well as to Israel. It has not escaped the notice of the Palestinian man in the street that, while Israel slaughters men, women, and children in Beit Hanoun and continues its march across the West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mamhud Abbas has been cooperating with the U.S. and Israel to undermine the democratically elected Hamas government. The U.S. is arming and training a militia that will protect Abbas' and Fatah's narrow factional interests against Hamas' fighters, in what can only be termed an open coup attempt against the legally constituted Palestinian government.

 

Few Palestinians, even Fatah supporters, condone this U.S. interference or Abbas' traitorous acquiescence. "Fatah are thieves," a local leader who is a Fatah member himself told us. "Hamas won because we wanted to get rid of the thieves." He thinks that if there were an election today, "ordinary people" -- by which he means people not associated with either Fatah or Hamas -- would win. In each house, he said, "we find one son with Hamas, another son with Fatah, so how is a father going to support one or the other?" It is perhaps this knowledge that they cannot fight each other without destroying the nuclear and the broader Palestinian family, and that they must not succumb to Israeli and U.S. schemes to fragment Palestinian society, that have motivated the intensive Palestinian efforts to achieve some kind of unity government.

  

Around the West Bank

 

In Bil'in, the small town west of Ramallah that has seen a non-violent protest against the wall by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals every Friday for almost two years, the village leader, Ahmad Issa Yassin, talked about the lesson his youngest son learned after being arrested last year at age 14 in an Israeli raid. "He is more courageous now, more ready to resist," Yassin said. "So am I." We first met this boy a few months before his arrest, a particularly friendly young man with a sweet smile. He greeted us again this year with another warm smile and bantered with us as we took his picture. He gave no hint of having spent two months in one of Israel's worst prisons or of the horror of having been arrested in a Nazi-style middle-of-the-night raid. Perhaps he threw stones at the Israeli soldiers who converge on his village at least once a week and respond to non-violent protests with live ammunition, rubber bullets, teargas, concussion grenades, and batons. This boy was no terrorist. On the other hand, the Israelis may have turned him into a young man willing to fight terror with terror a few years from now.

 

Yassin walked us to his olive grove, half destroyed, on the other side of the wall. The Israelis allow the villagers access to lands that now lie on Israel's side of the wall, but there is only one gate, manned by Israeli soldiers who may or may not bestir themselves to open it. The villagers' names are all on a list of Palestinians authorized to pass through the gate. At this particular village, one of many whose lands have been cut off from the village, protesters have established an outpost or, as they call it, a "settlement" on the Israeli side to stake a claim to the land for the village even though it now lies on Israel's side in the path of an expanding Israeli settlement. The Palestinian "settlement" consists of a small building, a tent where a couple of activists maintain a constant vigil, and a soccer field for a bit of normality.

 

Yassin took us uphill on a dirt path running alongside the wall, which in this rural area consists of an electronic fence, a dirt patrol road on each side where footprints can be picked up, a paved patrol road on the Israeli side, and coils of razor wire on each side -- encompassing altogether an area about 50 meters wide, where olive groves once stood. We waited at the gate in the electronic fence while Yassin called several times to the Israeli soldiers, whom we could see lounging under a tent canopy on a nearby hillside. When they finally came to the gate, they checked Yassin's name against their list of permitees, recorded our names and passport numbers, and officiously warned us against taking pictures in this "military zone." As we made our way across country to the Bil'in outpost, Yassin pointed out olive trees burned and uprooted by Israelis and, at the outpost right next to the stump of a tree that had been cut down, a new tree sprouting from the old one.

 

We talked for a while with a Palestinian activist from the village and a young British activist who had both been sleeping late into the morning, after enjoying a Ramadan meal, the Iftar, late the night before. When we returned to the gate, the Israeli soldiers were even slower arriving to open it, obviously totally bored with their duty. The following Friday at the weekly protest, they enjoyed a little more excitement as protesters managed to erect ladders to scale the fence. The soldiers responded with batons and teargas.

 

The resistance goes on, but so does the Israeli encroachment. We took away with us two striking impressions: the little olive tree being carefully nurtured as a sign of renewal and resistance, and in the near distance the constant sound of bulldozers and earth-clearing equipment working on the Israeli settlement of Modiin Illit, being built on the lands of Bil'in and other neighboring villages.

 

Elsewhere, signs of the Israeli advance override the continuing signs of Palestinian resistance. In the small village of Wadi Fuqin southwest of Bethlehem, a beautiful village sitting in a narrow, fertile valley between ridge lines that is being squeezed on one side by the wall, still to be constructed, and on the other by the already large and rapidly expanding Israeli settlement of Betar Illit, we saw more destruction. The settlement is dumping vast tonnages of construction debris down onto the village, so that its fields are gradually being swallowed. This was more evident this year than when we visited last year. The settlement's sewage often overflows onto village land through sewage pipes evident high up on the hillside. Israeli settlers swagger through the village increasingly, as if it were theirs, swimming in the many irrigation pools that are fed by natural springs dating back to Roman times.

 

In the village of Walaja, not far away to the north, nearer Jerusalem, Ahmad took us to visit friends of his. The village is scheduled to be surrounded completely by the wall because it sits near the Green Line in the midst of a cluster of Israeli settlements. We sat in a garden of fruit trees with a family whose house is on a hill overlooking a spectacular valley and hills beyond. Jerusalem sits on another hill in the distance. We commented that, except for the Israeli settlements across the valley, the place is like paradise, but our host responded with a cynical laugh that actually it is hell. Even beautiful scenery loses its appeal when one is trapped and surrounded.

 

In another encircled village that we visited last year, Nu'man, the approximately 200 residents are also trapped between the wall, now completed, on one side and the advancing settlement of Har Homa, which covets the village land, on the other. Although last year, with the wall incomplete, we could drive in, this year we were denied entry at the one gate in. With Ahmad, we tried to talk to four obviously intimidated young Palestinian men waiting across the patrol road from the gate to gain entry to their homes, but the Israeli soldiers told them not to talk to us; one of them said a few words to Ahmad but never took his eyes off the Israeli guardpost. We drove off and left them to their plight. We could have tried to get to the village with an arduous cross-country walk, but we did not.

  

"Grand" Terminals

 

With the near completion of the separation wall, the Israelis have systematized the West Bank prison. Since August 2005, the number of checkpoints throughout the West Bank has risen 40 percent, from 376 to 528, according to OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which carefully tracks the numbers and types of Israeli checkpoints, as well as other aspects of the Israeli stranglehold on the Palestinians. As part of the systematization, a series of elaborate terminals now manage the humiliation of Palestinians at major checkpoints, particularly around Jerusalem. The terminals are huge cages resembling cattle runs, which direct foot traffic in snaking lines that double back and forth. At the end of the line are a series of turnstiles, x-ray machines, conveyor belts, and other accoutrements of heavy security. Any Palestinian entering Jerusalem from the West Bank to work, to visit family, to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to go to school, or for medical treatment must have a hard-to-obtain permit from Israel. The turnstiles and other security barriers are controlled remotely by Israeli soldiers housed behind heavy bullet-proof glass.

 

The cages are currently painted a bright, cheerful blue, but it's a fair bet that when they are older and worn, the paint job will not be renewed. Adding to the false cheer, the Israelis have erected incongruous welcoming signs at the terminals. Most egregious is the giant sign at the Bethlehem terminal. "Peace be with you," it proclaims in three languages to travelers leaving Jerusalem for Bethlehem. This is on a giant pastel-colored sign erected by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, as if travel through this terminal were the ordinary tourist lark. At the Qalandiya terminal between Ramallah and Jerusalem, a large cartoon-like red rose welcomes Palestinians with a sign in Arabic. Early this year when the terminal was opened, the rose was on a sign that proclaimed, in three languages, "The hope of us all." Apparently embarrassed at being caught so red-handed in their hypocrisy, the Israelis removed the sign, preserving only the rose, after a Jewish activist stenciled over it the words that once graced the entrance to Auschwitz, "Arbeit Macht Frei" -- work makes you free. There is still a sign saying in three languages, "May you go in peace and return in peace." The Israelis still don't really get it.

 

Nor do the Americans. The terminals, advertised as a way to "ease life" for Palestinians by prettying up the checkpoints of old and making passage more efficient, were paid for out of U.S. aid monies designated originally for the Palestinian Authority (before the Hamas election) but diverted to Israel's terminal-building enterprise -- helping Israel make Palestinian humiliation more efficient. Steven Erlanger in the New York Times, among others, fell for the scam, noting when the Bethlehem terminal opened in December last year that the terminals were aimed at "easing the burden on Palestinians and softening international criticism." He labeled the Bethlehem terminal a "grand" gateway for Christians visiting Jesus' birthplace -- not acknowledging that Christians had been visiting for two millennia without benefit of turnstiles and concrete walls.

 

The burden on Palestinians has not been significantly eased as far as we could tell. We spent some time watching at several of the terminals -- feeling like voyeurs of Palestinian misery. At Qalandiya, about 100 people stood waiting to pass through three locked turnstiles. A young Israeli woman soldier sat in a glassed-in control booth barking commands at them. Our friend Ahmad speaks Hebrew as well as Arabic and could not even make out which language she was speaking in. There was no reason for her anger or for her decision to lock the turnstiles. When she saw us observing, carrying a camera, she shook her finger in an apparent warning against taking pictures. They don't like witnesses. Immediately after this, she unlocked the turnstiles.

 

We walked through after everyone else who had been waiting, and Ahmad took us to the waiting area on the other side where Palestinians from the West Bank apply for permits to enter Jerusalem. About 50 people were waiting. A middle-aged man walked up to us and began telling his story. He was scheduled for neurosurgery at Maqassad Hospital in East Jerusalem in two days, according to a certificate from the hospital, written in English and clearly intended for Israeli permit authorities. He had already been waiting for six days -- three futilely sitting in this waiting area and a previous three when the Israelis had closed the terminal altogether for Yom Kippur. He was beginning to fear he would never get his permit and, as he expressed his frustration and desperation, he began to cry. He asked that we take his picture holding the certificate and tell the world. We did, but we will never know if he obtained his permit in time, or at all.

 

At another terminal, leading from al-Azzariyah, the biblical Bethany, into Jerusalem, a soldier screamed at us -- quite literally, his face red, blood vessels standing out on his neck -- when he saw us taking pictures of his soldier colleagues questioning Palestinians before they entered the terminal area, a pre-screening for the screening at the terminal. We told the soldier we thought pictures would be all right; this terminal was run after all by the Ministry of Tourism and so must be a tourist attraction. But our flippancy didn't go over well. He pushed us toward an exit gate, screaming that this was the "Ministry of Gates" and that we had to get out. We managed to remain inside until Ahmad, who was talking to another Israeli soldier, finished and exited with us. Maybe we saved one or two Palestinians from scrutiny by distracting a couple of soldiers -- or maybe unfortunately we just delayed them further.

 

At a third checkpoint, this a makeshift one set up temporarily at an opening in the wall where the concrete barrier is still incomplete, we watched as a growing crowd of Palestinians wanting to enter Jerusalem to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque tried to negotiate with two young Israeli soldiers. It was a Friday in Ramadan and, although these Palestinians had permits to enter Jerusalem, their names were not on the authorized list at this particular checkpoint. They had to go, according to Israel's administrative fiat, to the main terminal from their area into the city. As the crowd gathered, more Israeli soldiers arrived. The crowd included women as well as men, and several children. Being watched by a couple of Americans who probably appeared more patronizing than helpful clearly did not improve the mood of most of the crowd.

 

One little boy of about five, dressed neatly in a tie and pressed white shirt, stood looking at the commotion for a few minutes, standing slightly apart from his father, and suddenly burst into tears. A few minutes later, the soldiers exploded a concussion grenade, and most of the crowd dispersed. It's the Israeli way: make them cry, run them off in fear. We left, embarrassed by our own inadequacy.

  

Terminology

 

Is it genocide when a little boy is made to cry because belligerent armed men intimidate him, intimidate his father, and ultimately run them off; when they are forbidden from performing their religious ceremonies because a belligerent government decides they are of the wrong religion; when their town is encircled and cut off because a racist state decides their ethnic identity is of the wrong variety?

 

You can argue over terminology, but the truth is evident everywhere on the ground where Israel has extended its writ: Palestinians are unworthy, inferior to Jews, and in the name of the Jewish people, Israel has given itself the right to erase the Palestinian presence in Palestine -- in other words, to commit genocide by destroying "in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group."

 

As we debate about and analyze the Palestinian psyche, trying to determine if they have had enough and will surrender or will survive by resisting, it is important to remember that the Jewish people, despite unspeakable tragedy, emerged from the holocaust ultimately triumphant. Israel and its supporters should keep this in mind: empires never last, as Ahmad said, and gross injustice such as the Nazis and Israel have inflicted on innocent people cannot prevail for long.

   

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession.

 

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis. They spent October 2006 in Palestine and on a speaking tour of Ireland sponsored by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

ORIGINAL PHOTO: Mohamed Abed, Beit Lahiya, Occupied Gaza Strip, November 23, 2006 (image shows the sister of Mohamed al-Jarjawi, age 20, killed by Israelis, weeping outside his hospital room).

IMAGE ALTERATION: /anomalous

Boathouse 4 was built in 1939 in response to the need for a rapid rearmament programme prior to the start of World War II. This vast building, incorporating its own dock and locks, is typical of 1930s military industrial architecture.

 

The building has also been restored and converted into a Boatbuilding Skills Training Centre and will soon be home to the International Boatbuilding College Portsmouth and Highbury College. These two colleges will be training a new generation of students in the techniques of traditional boatbuilding and other related skills that are still very much required today to build and conserve wooden boats.

 

Built within this historic building, overlooking the Boatbuilding Skills Training Centre is an exhibition “The Forgotten Craft” which tells the heroic stories of the small boats which were the backbone of the Royal Navy. From the wooden cutters that ferried Lord Nelson to and from his flagship, to the Cockleshell Heroes in their canoes and the powerful motorboats that helped to win the Second World War.

 

Boathouse 4 is part of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which is an area of HM Naval Base Portsmouth which is open to the public; it contains several historic buildings and ships. It is managed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy as an umbrella organisation representing five charities: the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, the National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth, the Mary Rose Trust, the Warrior Preservation Trust Ltd and the HMS Victory Preservation Company. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Ltd was created to promote and manage the tourism element of the Royal Navy Dockyard, with the relevant trusts maintaining and interpreting their own attractions. It also promotes other nearby navy-related tourist attractions.

 

www.historicdockyard.co.uk/site-attractions/attractions/b...

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth_Historic_Dockyard

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

日本,北海道,洞爺湖晨景。

Japan National Tourism Organization :

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/

La zona de conservació del Ngorongoro (NCA) és una zona de conservació inscrit a la llista del Patrimoni de la Humanitat per la UNESCO, des de 1979 i ampliat el 2010. Està situat a 180 km a l'oest d'Arusha als altiplans dels cràters deTanzània. Dins s'hi troba el cràter del Ngorongoro, una gran caldera volcànica.

 

La zona de conservación del Ngorongoro (NCA) es una zona de conservación inscrito en la lista del Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO, desde 1979 y ampliado en 2010. Está situado a 180 km al oeste de Arusha a los altiplanos de los cráteres deTanzània. Dentro se encuentra el cráter del Ngorongoro, una gran caldera volcánica.

 

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180 km (110 mi) west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area, is recognized by one private organization as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.] The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of the Arusha Region. It has been reported in 2009 that the government authority has proposed a reduction of the population of the conservation area from 65,000 to 25,000. There are plans being considered for 14 more luxury tourist hotels, so people can access "the unparalleled beauty of one of the world's most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries", however, the people who own the land have had few benefits from tourism. None of the senior level positions in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are yet held by a member of the local Maasai pastoralists, who, in 2013, were aided by an international Avaaz campaign from being evicted from pastures bordering Serengeti National Park in order to facilitate the interests of a private luxury safari company.

location : Sanzen-in (三千院)temple

Kyoto city ,Kyoto prefecture,Japan

 

Sanzen-in is located in Ohara in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. The temple is in a prominent scenic location among the many other temples in the Ohara area. The first Sanzen-in was built when the great priest Saicho founded Enryaku-ji on Hiei-zan in the 8th century after returning from China where he studied Buddhism. The temple was moved to the present site in the latter half of the 15th century, when Kyoto had been devastated by wars. Historically, members of the Imperial family served for many generations as the heads of the temple. The Amida-Nyorai Sanzon Buddhist statue housed in the temple has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The temple is widely known for its lovely display of hydrangeas in early summer and maples in autumn.

 

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/kyoto/ohara.html

 

-Japan National Tourism Organization

From the outside this time...

 

Technique/Processing

 

Really nothing fancy this time. The most complicated thing about this shot was to get all the lines lined up ;-)

 

P.S.: I mirrored the image horizonatally, in order to have the Apple logo right - it looked strange otherwise.

 

----------------------------------------

 

Info

 

The Big Apple is a nickname or moniker for New York City. It was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph. Its popularity since the 1970s is due to a promotional campaign by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, known now as NYC & Company.

 

Although the history of the Big Apple was once considered a mystery, research over the past two decades, primarily by noted amateur etymologist Barry Popik and Professor Gerald Cohen of Missouri University of Science and Technology, has provided a reasonably clear picture of the term's history. Prior to their work, there were a number of false etymologies, of which the most ridiculous was the claim that the term derived from a New York brothel whose madam was known as Eve. This was subsequently exposed as a hoax and has been replaced on the source web site with more accurate information.

 

The Big Apple was first popularized as a reference to New York City by John J. Fitz Gerald in a number of New York Morning Telegraph articles in the 1920s in reference to New York horse-racing. The earliest of these was a casual reference on May 3, 1921:

 

J. P. Smith, with Tippity Witchet and others of the L. T. Bauer string, is scheduled to start for "the big apple" to-morrow after a most prosperous Spring campaign at Bowie and Havre de Grace.

 

Fitz Gerald referred to the "big apple" frequently thereafter. He explained his use in a February 18, 1924, column under the headline "Around the Big Apple":

 

The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There's only one Big Apple. That's New York.

 

Two dusky stable hands were leading a pair of thoroughbred around the "cooling rings" of adjoining stables at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans and engaging in desultory conversation.

 

"Where y'all goin' from here?" queried one.

 

"From here we're headin' for The Big Apple," proudly replied the other.

 

"Well, you'd better fatten up them skinners or all you'll get from the apple will be the core," was the quick rejoinder.

 

Fitz Gerald's reference to the "dusky" stable hands suggests the term's origin may lie in African-American culture. Support for this is found in the Chicago Defender, an African-American newspaper that had a national circulation. “Ragtime” Billy Tucker, a vaudeville/ragtime performer and writer for the Defender, there used "big apple" to refer to New York in a non-horse-racing context on September 16, 1922:

 

I trust your trip to 'the big apple' (New York) was a huge success and only wish that I had been able to make it with you.

 

The same writer had earlier used "Big Apple" as a reference to a different city, Los Angeles. This example, from May 15, 1920, is the earliest known use of "Big Apple" to refer to any city. It is possible that the writer simply understood "Big Apple" as an appropriate nickname for any large city:

 

Dear Pal, Tony: No, Ragtime Billy Tucker hasn't dropped completely out of existence, but is still in the 'Big Apple', Los Angeles.

 

By the late 1920s, New York writers other than Fitz Gerald were starting to use "Big Apple" and were using it outside of a horse-racing context."The Big Apple" was a popular song and dance in the 1930s. Walter Winchell and other writers continued to use the name in the 1940s and 1950s.

 

By the 1960s, "the Big Apple" was known only as an old name for New York. In the early 1970s, however, the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau (now NYC & Company, the official marketing and tourism organization for New York City), under the leadership of its president, Charles Gillett, begin promoting "the Big Apple" as the city's moniker. It has remained popular since that time. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in 1997 signed legislation designating the southwest corner of West 54th Street and Broadway, the corner on which John J. Fitz Gerald resided from 1934 to 1963, as "Big Apple Corner."

 

Since 1980, the New York Mets baseball team has featured a "Home Run Apple" that rises when a Mets player hits a home run at Shea Stadium and Citi Field.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Apple

 

---------------------------------------------

 

You can license my photos through Getty images

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

We have been staying with my friend of seventeen years, Brian Reilly. He asked if I could post one of his favourite quotes with one of my photos, so here it is:

 

Whatever the Mind Can Conceive it Can Achieve. W.Clement Stone (1902-2002)

Brian has just started a personal development article website at Internal Workings if you would like to check it out.

 

About the photo:

 

From Japan National Tourism Organisation:

 

The Sagano and Arashi-yama districts are located in the western part of Kyoto City. In the 8th century, aristocrats often came to this area of rice fields and bamboo woods to enjoy the colored leaves, or to go boating. The landscape today is still reminiscent of that period. Tenryu-ji Temple, a World Cultural Heritage Site, was erected in the 14th century by the then shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, in a gesture of mourning for the Emperor. It is one of the Kyoto-gozan (Five Major Temples of Kyoto), and the garden located there is designated as a special national scenic spot.

 

The Sagano area has a number of temples such as: Daikaku-ji Temple (national treasure); Jojakko-ji Temple with its Taho-to Tower; Nison-in Temple with a standing statue of Buddha Shaka-nyorai and a statue of Buddha Amida-nyorai; Jikishi-an with a standing statue of Buddha Shaka-nyorai (national treasure); Seiryo-ji Temple with a statue of Buddha Shaka-nyorai (national treasure); and the Adashi-no-Nenbutsu-ji Temple, famous for the Sento-Kuyo, or the Thousand Lantern Memorial Service, held there every August.

 

Togetsu-kyo Bridge spans the Hozu-gawa River at the foot of Mt. Arashi-yama. It is 250 meters long and still retains its 17th century appearance, despite renovations made using steel. In the summer evening, people write their wishes on 'toro' lanterns and let them float away on the Hozu-gawa River. This beautiful sight is called "Manto-Nagashi," or the floating of ten-thousand lanterns.

 

View On Black

 

View Original Size

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

The Bowen River is a river in northern Fiordland, New Zealand. The river runs south for 8 kilometres (5 mi) before flowing from a hanging valley to become the 162-metre (531 ft) Lady Bowen Falls and draining into the head of Milford Sound. The falls are named for Diamantina Bowen, wife of George Bowen, the fifth Governor of New Zealand.

 

The falls provide electricity for the Milford Sound settlement by feeding a small hydroelectric scheme, and are also the water source for the settlement.

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

Bali / INDONESIA.

***********************

We are delighted to announce that your image has been commended in the top 50 images in the Smile Category in the Open Competition of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards. (www.flickr.com/photos/paza140/11095706383/)

 

Your work has been selected from 139,554 images entered from 166 countries. This is an incredible achievement.

 

Your name will be announced to press and on our website on 4th February. The winners of each category will be announced on 18th March.

 

The reason I write to you now, is that we need your image may be used on our website, for promotional material and will be shown digitally at Somerset House, as part of World Photo, London from 1st – 18th May.

 

The high-resolution will be live as of 10th February, and the deadline for uploading your images is 17th February.

 

As a commended photographer, we would to like to offer you a free access pass to the World Photography Awards exhibition. Your name will be on the door. Please bring ID.

 

Following the 4th February announcement, we encourage you to highlight your achievement through your website and/or social platforms. We have created photographer’s badges for your use in such announcements, which can be downloaded here (worldphoto.org/2014-swpa-badges/open-commended/).

 

For more detailed information regarding the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition and World Photo London, please visit worldphoto.org/2014exhibition

 

Stay tuned to our website on 4th February to see the full shortlist released!

 

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to let us know.

 

Many congratulations once again,

World Photography Organisation

  

__________________________

Open Competition Commended Smile Category (3rd page):

www.worldphoto.org/images/image-gallery/21083/?page=3

__________________________

 

Open Competition Shortlist:

worldphoto.org/about-the-sony-world-photography-awards/20...

 

Open Competition Commended:

www.worldphoto.org/galleries/swpa-galleries/2014-sony-wor...

 

Open Competition Commended Smile Category:

www.worldphoto.org/images/image-gallery/21083

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

This mystical open-air scenery in front of the Hummingbird Activity Centre suddenly became an extension of our own freedom of expression, our cry, our Urban Outcries.

 

This series is best viewed as a slide show

 

On Saturday, June 12th, the open green landscape in front of our Hummingbird Activity Centre was suddenly turned into a miniature Hollywood film studio due to the realisation of a music video clip made by the students of the SENAC Cinema, Video and TV professional course.

The exchange of experiences was valuable for both the SENAC students and our youth mentors at Hummingbird. Hopefully they will further develop some ideas together with the intention to produce other video clips involving the various activities at Hummingbird.

 

SENAC - Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Comercial (National Service of Commercial Apprenticeship) was created by the National Confederation of Commerce and has been active throughout Brazil since 1946. SENAC offers educational and professional training courses in a variety of areas such as; Hotel and Tourism, Gastronomy and Nutrition, Languages, Cinema, Video and TV, Radio and Audio, Arts and Culture, Journalism and Publicity, Photography, Administration and Marketing, Health and Beauty, Fashion and Design, Environment, Gardening and Landscaping, Multimedia and Graphics Design, Third Sector, Telecommunications, Computers and Internet...etc.

 

The institutional mission of SENAC is to provide development through knowledge, to people and organisations, by means of educational actions with a commitment to social responsibility.

  

Bastia (Corsican: Bastìa) (French pronunciation: ​[bas.tja], Corsican and Italian pronunciation: [basˈti.a]) is a French commune in the Haute-Corse department of France located in the north-east of the island of Corsica at the base of Cap Corse.[1] It also has the second-highest population of any commune on the island after Ajaccio and is the capital of the Bagnaja region and of the department.

 

Bastia is the principal port of the island and its principal commercial town and is especially famous for its wines. Approximately 10% of the population are immigrants. The unemployment rate in the commune has persistently been one of the highest in France, standing at over 20% in 2004.

 

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Bastiais or Bastiaises.[2]

 

The commune has been awarded three flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[3]

 

Contents

 

1 Geography

1.1 Geology and relief

1.2 Hydrography

1.3 Climate and vegetation

2 Communication and transport

2.1 Road Transport

2.2 Bus Transport

2.3 Rail Transport

2.4 Sea transport

2.5 Air transport

3 History

3.1 Ancient times

3.2 Middle Ages

3.3 Originally Cardo

3.4 Modern times

3.5 The Genoese era

3.6 Contemporary period

3.7 Heraldry

4 Administration

4.1 Inter-communality

4.2 Cantons

4.3 Security

4.4 Twinning

5 Demography

5.1 Education

5.2 Health

5.3 Sports

6 Town planning

6.1 The city centre and outlying urban areas

7 Economy

8 Culture and heritage

8.1 Civil heritage

8.2 Religious heritage

8.3 Gastronomy

8.4 Films made in Bastia

9 Notable people linked to the commune

10 See also

10.1 Bibliography

11 Notes and references

11.1 Notes

11.2 References

12 External links

 

Geography

 

Located in the North-East of Corsica at the base of the Cap Corse, between the sea and the mountain, Bastia is the principal port of the island. The city is located 35 km (22 mi) away from the northern tip of the Cap Corse, 50 km (31 mi) west from Elba, an Italian island, and 90 km (56 mi) away from continental Italy which can be seen a few days per year when visibility is excellent.

Bastia seen from the "Pigno"

The city of Bastia as seen from the "Pigno": notice the lack of constructions in the foreground and the city along the coast in the background

 

In terms of geography, Bastia is defined by its position between the sea and the mountain. The city is located on the Eastern side of the "Serra di Pignu", a 960 m (3,150 ft) mountain (see photo opposite). This steep mountain and several hills in the city shape a relief typical of the Cap Corse. This pronounced landscape caused the city to develop mostly on a coastal band about 1.5 km (1 mi) wide, which is a very limited part of the 19.38 km2 (7.48 sq mi) that the commune has.

 

Above all, Bastia is a port, and the sea has of course a significant role in the spatial organization of the city. Bastia possesses nowadays three different ports. The old port ("Vieux Port" in French and "Portu Vechju" in Corsican), located in a remarkable and narrow cove, offers good natural shelter against the climatic hazards of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, it was at the core of the initial development of the city. Nowadays, many pleasure and fishing boats are still there, but it is not as economically vital than the other more modern ports, although its touristic and aesthetic charm almost makes the old port the official emblem of the city. In fact, many cafés, bars and restaurants have moved to its docks to which access is granted by the city for pedestrians only during summer evenings.

 

A bit more to the North is located the commercial and ferry port. As a major economic asset of the city, the "port de commerce" is the pulse of the city. It is even more so during the summer when ferry arrivals and departures of thousands of passengers and cars can sometimes cause long traffic jams along the north–south axis, the national road RN193. In front of the commercial port, the large Saint-Nicolas square represents the heart of the city. Just North of the commercial port, the Toga marina, named after a city neighborhood, is a harbor for leisure boating activities like sailing and yachting. There are also some bars, restaurants and night clubs on its docks.

 

Thus, Bastia is logically organized on a relatively narrow north–south axis which can make access to the city centre difficult under particular circumstances. Nowadays, the city centre is mainly composed of the "citadelle", the stronghold, also called Terra-Nova, with the Genoese Governors' Palace, the old port and its popular quarter and the market plaza, and finally the ensemble of buildings along the "Boulevard Paoli", the main commercial street of the city, which lies from the Justice Court to the Avenue Maréchal Sebastiani.

 

During the last few decades, Bastia and its region have experienced a strong demographic growth, which has cause somewhat of a suburban crawl in the South of the city, because of the congestion of the city center.

Neighbouring communes and villages[4][5]

 

Farinole Ville-di-Pietrabugno Tyrrhenian Sea

Patrimonio Tyrrhenian Sea

Bastia

Barbaggio Furiani Tyrrhenian Sea

 

Geology and relief

 

The commune is located in the Alpine Eastern Corsica region [Note 1] which is formed from "a succession of Autochthons (fixed terrain), para-Autochtons (weakly displaced terrain) and especially Allochthons (highly displaced terrain). The first two coincide roughly with the central depression. The Allochtons are mainly in the area of lustrous schists and ophiolites corresponding to the eastern relief (Cap Corse and Castagniccia)".[6]

 

Its base rests on a granite bedrock (Felsic granites from the Hercynian, plain rocks), which has been covered with oceanic layers of:

 

Sedimentary rocks (Miocene to Quaternary) on the east coast, ranging from the mouth of the Ruisseau de Lupino north to the south bank of the mouth of the Travo

lustrous schists along the entire eastern side of Cap Corse,

ophiolite deposited in eastern Corsica during the Eocene period.

 

Note the presence of copper ore in Cardo which was once the subject of a concession.

 

Geographically, Bastia is characterized by its location between the sea and the mountains. The commune lies on the eastern flank of the "Serra di Pignu" a mountain which rises to 960 m above sea level. This steep mountain with other hills around Bastia forms the typical terrain of Cap Corse. This pronounced relief largely explains the development of the city on a coastal strip of about 1.5 km in width which is a very limited proportion of the 19.38 km2 of the whole commune.

Hydrography

 

The river network is sparse. There are three small streams (or fiumes) flowing from west to east:

 

in the north the Ruisseau Fiuminale rises in the north-west of the commune 400 m north-east of Monte Muzzone (920 m).[7] Along its length of 4.3 kilometres it forms the border between the communes of Bastia and Ville-di-Pietrabugno from its source to the roundabout of the Annunciation. Part of its course is covered in the city from the path of the Annunciation to the port where it empties into the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is fed by the Ruisseau de Cardo.[Note 2]

in the centre, the Ruisseau de Lupino is also 4.3 kilometres long with its source in the commune near the Cima Orcaio (769 m).[8] The stream is covered from the Abbatoir crossroad to its mouth.

in the south the Ruisseau de Corbaia, 5.3 kilometres long.[9] Its source is in the old quarry near the Col de Teghime.

 

Climate and vegetation

 

Bastia possesses a Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature is 15.5 °C (60 °F) and there are about five days of frost per year. Winds are frequent and violent, precipitation copious, but there are also 240 sunny days on average per year

Comparison of local Meteorological data with other cities in France[10] Town Sunshine

 

(hours/yr) Rain

 

(mm/yr) Snow

 

(days/yr) Storm

 

(days/yr) Fog

 

(days/yr)

National Average 1,973 770 14 22 40

Bastia[11] 2602.9 771.3 1.6 33.3 2.7

Paris 1,661 637 12 18 10

Nice 2,724 767 1 29 1

Strasbourg 1,693 665 29 29 56

Brest 1,605 1,211 7 12 75

Climate data for Bastia

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 25.1

(77.2) 23.9

(75) 27.1

(80.8) 25.2

(77.4) 30.7

(87.3) 33.3

(91.9) 36.5

(97.7) 38.3

(100.9) 34.3

(93.7) 29.7

(85.5) 28.0

(82.4) 24.0

(75.2) 38.3

(100.9)

Average high °C (°F) 13.6

(56.5) 13.8

(56.8) 15.6

(60.1) 17.8

(64) 22.0

(71.6) 25.8

(78.4) 29.1

(84.4) 29.3

(84.7) 25.8

(78.4) 21.9

(71.4) 17.4

(63.3) 14.5

(58.1) 20.6

(69.1)

Average low °C (°F) 5.1

(41.2) 4.9

(40.8) 6.7

(44.1) 8.8

(47.8) 12.4

(54.3) 16.0

(60.8) 19.0

(66.2) 19.4

(66.9) 16.5

(61.7) 13.3

(55.9) 9.2

(48.6) 6.3

(43.3) 11.5

(52.7)

Record low °C (°F) −4.6

(23.7) −5.0

(23) −3.8

(25.2) 0.5

(32.9) 3.1

(37.6) 8.2

(46.8) 10.2

(50.4) 11.8

(53.2) 7.6

(45.7) 2.8

(37) −0.5

(31.1) −3.3

(26.1) −5.0

(23)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 67.4

(2.654) 56.9

(2.24) 59.8

(2.354) 76.2

(3) 49.6

(1.953) 41.0

(1.614) 12.6

(0.496) 20.9

(0.823) 81.1

(3.193) 127.1

(5.004) 113.7

(4.476) 93.0

(3.661) 799.3

(31.469)

Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.9 5.4 3.4 1.7 2.4 5.0 7.1 8.4 8.1 67.0

Average snowy days 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 2.0

Average relative humidity (%) 73 73 72 74 76 73 70 71 75 76 75 74 73.5

Mean monthly sunshine hours 133.8 157.5 192.0 214.0 268.0 295.6 345.1 304.2 232.0 175.8 133.0 128.2 2,579.3

Source #1: Meteo France[12][13]

Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)[14]

 

The commune has two levels of vegetation as a result of its climate but also the flora:

 

Thermo-mediterranean level: from 1 to 100 metres altitude on the south-facing slope. This level is characterized by a dry summer season from two to three months that promotes wild olives, white asparagus, Mastics, Tree Spurges, Clematis, etc.

Meso-Mediterranean level: from 100 to 1000 m above sea level on the south-facing slope and 0 to 700m on the north slope. This level, with cooler temperatures, is characterized mainly by the holm oak, Maquis shrubland and arbutus but also by cork oak and maritime pine (on the sunny side), the downy oak (on the shady side), chestnut, lavender, broom, cistus, and lentisk.[15] On the heights, between bare rocks, vegetation is stubbly - swept by frequent and violent westerly and south-westerly winds (the Libeccio) which become stronger after crossing the ridge of the Serra di Pigno and blow down along the valleys to the sea. The winds form remarkable lenticular clouds off Bastia.

 

Communication and transport

Road Transport

 

There are three main access roads to Bastia:

 

from the South: by the Route nationale N193. A portion of about 23 km is 2X2 lanes between Arena and Vescovato since the inauguration of the "expressway Borgo-Vescovato" in January 2013. This is the major road axis into the Bastia region because it connects the city of Bastia directly or indirectly to all other Corsican towns (Ajaccio, Corte, Porto-Vecchio, Calvi etc.) while also passing through the main cities of the peripheral region of Bastia such as Furiani, Biguglia, Borgo, and Lucciana where Bastia Poretta Airport is located. This road is also called the Waterfront Route from the Montesoro district because it runs along the seafront up to the Old Port Tunnel which runs under the citadel and the Old Port. This road ultimately ends at Ajaccio.

from the West:, by the D81, a road which goes to Saint-Florent via the Col de Teghime.

from the North: by the D80, which goes in a loop around Cap Corse (the road between Bastia and Pietranera was opened in 1829).

 

The road distance to other towns and cities in Corsica is:

 

10 km to Santa-Maria-di-Lota

12 km to Brando

18 km to Patrimonio

19 km to Borgo

20 km to Oletta

23 km to Murato

24 km to Saint-Florent

26 km to Vescovato

29 km to Luri

33 km to Nonza

34 km to Volpajola

36 km to Macinaggio

40 km to Rogliano

46 km to Canari

47 km to Ponte-Leccia

48 km to Centuri

49 km to Cervione

68 km to Corte

68 km to L'Île-Rousse

73 km to Aléria

92 km to Calvi

129 km to Vico

143 km to Porto-Vecchio

145 km to Zicavo

147 km to Ajaccio

171 km to Bonifacio

179 km to Sartène

181 km to Propriano

 

Bus Transport

 

The urban area of Bastia is served by a bus network with 14 routes operated by the Autobus Bastiais company.[16]

Rail Transport

 

The Bastia railway station belongs to Chemins de Fer de la Corse and is located in the city centre. There are services to Ajaccio and Calvi. There are also 7 other Bastia rail stops for suburban services to Casamozza: Lupino, Rivoli, Bassanese, Arinella, Montesoro, Sole-Meo, Erbajolo.

Sea transport

Port of Bastia

The Mega Smeralda Ferry

 

Despite its small size the port of Bastia is the busiest French port on the Mediterranean Sea with 2,291,944 passengers in 2011.[17]

 

This makes it the second busiest French port behind Calais (about 15 million passengers).

 

Ports served from Bastia are:

Port No. of Passengers in 2014 %age

Livorno (Italy) 529,822 24.7%

Toulon 548,071 25.6%

Marseille 253,899 11.9%

Nice 340,007 15.9%

Savona (Italy) 324,512 15.2%

Genoa (Italy) 110,997 5.2%

Other routes 19,790 0.9%

Portoferraio (Italy) 14,283 0.6%

Total 2,141,381 100%

 

Source: CCI Haute Corse - Port Statistics 2014 (p. 12)[17]

 

Domestic traffic is 47.4% against 52.6% international traffic.[17]

No. of passengers per month transiting the port of Bastia in 2011[17]

 

Port Seasonality

 

As shown in the diagram on the right shipping and passenger traffic is characterized by a very marked seasonality. This is explained by the importance of summer tourism for the economy of Corsica. Thus the traffic is multiplied by eleven in the high season (July–August). This seasonality has a very strong impact on the city of Bastia, as on all Corsica. The city must be equipped with the necessary infrastructure to be able to accommodate such numbers of passengers even though it is for a short time each year.

 

Port Passenger Market share

 

There is a clear dominance by Corsica Ferries:

Shipping Company No. of passengers transported in 2014[17] Market share

Corsica Ferries 5,611,350 74.0%

SNCM 854,204 11.3%

Moby Lines 840,000 11.1%

La Méridionale 281,700 3.7%

Total 7,587,254 100%

Air transport

 

The Bastia – Poretta Airport is located 16 km south of the city in the commune of Lucciana. It is the second largest airport in Corsica by passenger numbers after Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport.

 

It serves several French airports including Paris-Orly, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Marseille-Provence, Nice-Côte d'Azur, and Lyon-Saint-Exupery.

 

There are also some European routes such as London, Geneva, and Cologne. The main airlines are Air Corsica, Air France, EasyJet, Germanwings, Luxair, British Airways, and Volotea.

History

Ancient times

 

In Roman times the site of Cardo with the north-eastern district of the current commune of Bastia and Pietrabugno formed a Pieve: the oldest known administrative division. This territory was occupied by the Vanacimi people.[18] Bastia did not exist. Neither Ptolemy, Strabo, or Pliny in the descriptions they made of the island mentioned Bastia.[19]

Middle Ages

 

At the end of the 9th century, the territory or pieve of Mantino depended on the lords Loretesi.[Note 3] They were driven out in 1072 by the Da Furiani, Aschesi or Laschesi, aided by the Marquis of Massa.

 

In 1370 the Republic of Genoa sent two governors to Corsica: Leonello Lomellino and Aluigi Toriorino. Shortly afterwards, considering the great expense and little profit in Corsica, the Republic decided to withdraw and no longer intervene in the affairs of the island. Nevertheless some Genoese gentlemen formed a partnership known as the Maona to try and manage the economy on the island on behalf of the Republic of Genoa. The five partners were: Leonello Lomellino, Giovanni da Balagnera, Aluigi Tortorino, Andreolo Ficone, and Cristoforo Maruffo. They all came with the title of Governor and brought with them a thousand soldiers.[20]

 

After an expedition to Cinarca followed by a short period of peace, Leonello Lomellino returned as governor and to gain an advantage over the Count Arrigo della Rocca with whom he would have to fight, he began by fortifying Aléria. " Then Count Arrigo and his allies once again crossed the mountains and made incursions against Cap Corse: having met no resistance, they went to besiege Aléria which capitulated after four months. Leonello, deprived of all support, returned to Biguglia and from there he went to build the castle of Bastia to maintain his sea communications".[20] [Note 4]

 

"Between the second half of the 12th century and the middle of the 13th century the feudal system was in place at all levels of society and new links were created between the elite of the aristocracy and the Maritime Republics, between representatives of the island's nobility, and between them and the poor. At the same time castles multiplied. They were then owned by fifteen noble families of local or peninsular origin, sometimes fragmented into independent lordships or even [sic] rivals: Bagnaia, Amondaschi, Cortinchi, Pinaschi de Coasini, Lotreto de Nebbio, Loreto de Casinca, Orezza, Avogari, Camilla, Turca, Pevere, de Mari (from the mid-13th century only), and the Marquis de Massa and Corsica".

 

- Daniel Istria - Powers and fortifications in northern Corsica 11th - 14th Century p. 145

 

According to Giovanni della Grossa, the "seigneurialisation" of Loreto would have beene, as with Genoese families of the Cape, usurping the County title acquired during the "people's government". Small lordships that emerged around the courts of the Bishop of Nebbio, probably sometime in the second half of the 12th century or the beginning of the 13th century, were partly absorbed by the lords of Bagnaia before 1247. Then, before 1289, they were recovered and absorbed, like many others in the new lordship of Giovanninello de Loreto. Taking advantage of the Genoese-pisano rivalries, he extended his possessions to the east and west.

 

Written documentation illustrates the business of territorial conquest conducted by Giovanninello during the years 1260–1280. After raiding the castles of Nebbio and Pureto in the Ostriconi, he went on to the conquest of the pieve of Orto, which was then under the control of Bagnaia, and he built two new fortifications: Montebello and Petra di Bugno. These were intended not only to dominate and control the northern part of Bagnaia, whose Cerlino Lake had a certain economic interest, but probably also to neutralise Porto Cardo, which occupied a strategic military position as well as having businesses. It was here that the fortress of Bastia was erected, the residence of the Genoese governors from the 15th century. The agreements between Giovanninello and the commune of Genoa in 1289 demonstrated the importance of this baronial control of land routes and anchorages, a major source of revenue and a guarantee of the security of the territory.[21]

Originally Cardo

La Vetrice Tower

 

Before the occupation of Corsica by the Genoese there were several communities of the pieve of Orto: Soverta, La Vetrice, Belgodere, Astima, and Le Corbaia. All these villages have today almost disappeared. On the coast there was a small hamlet inhabited by fishermen called Porto Cardo which means "Cardo Port".

Modern times

The citadel, built by the Genoese

 

In the 16th and 17th centuries the Franciscans settled in the Pieve of Orto.

 

At the beginning of the 16th century, Monseigneur Agostino Giustiniani, Bishop of Nebbio, described in his Dialogo nominato Corsica:

 

"[...] The pieve of Orto is almost ruined; it contains 340 fires. In this piève is Biguglia with a convent of Friars Minor [...]. With Biguglia there are still these pièves: Furiani, Belgodere, Soverta, La Vetrice, and Corbaia; nowadays, all these villages have almost disappeared."

 

- Agostino Giustiniani in Description of Corsica, translation by Lucien Auguste Letteron in History of Corsica, Bulletin of the Society for Historical and Natural Sciences of Corsica - Volume I - 1888, p. 50. (in French)

 

Continuing, he writes:

 

"It is in this piève Bastia lies, home to the Bishop and Governor of Corsica. Before the last war this city had 700 houses divided into two districts: Terranova and Terravecchia. There was formerly in this place a castle or tower, or rather a fortress of the kind called on the continent Bastie [...]. Terravecchia was an open area which is now burned and ruined largely as a result of the war. The land is very steep on the lower slopes and walking is very painful; on the other hand the Terranova area is generally flat, with fairly wide streets and many modern houses. It is surrounded not only by a solid wall, which forms a continuous enclosure, but a wide and deep moat and magnificent bastions. The wall was begun in the time of Tomasino de Campofregoso, then lord of the island, and completed later through the efforts of the Bank of Saint George. The bastions and the moat were made by that same bank and by the Genoese government during the last war. The bank has added a very beautiful citadel but the benefits do not match the expense it required during its construction; it cost, in fact, 25,000 ducats. Bastia has two convents of Friars Minor, one of Recollects, and the other Capuchin. This city, being the governor's residence, prospered greatly but it also had much to suffer in recent wars. Although the main centre on the island many people were of the opinion that its importance will hardly increase. The first reason they give is that the population of the city is composed of Genoese and Corsicans: the Genoese, from Rivières, belong to the lower class. Most Corsicans also belonged in this class. There is a jealousy and rivalry between the inhabitants of Bastia so great that few mind the interests of the city: they apply themselves only to deceit and to oust each other and that is where we get all the evil. The second reason is that the city has no port. It has in fact a small bay where it is possible to relax on small boats. On the other hand, houses, until now, have been very poorly distributed. There is not one that has a stable nor even a well or a cistern, so that it is necessary to fetch water from the fountain outside. Also in summer the water is very hot because it comes from far away via an aqueduct.

 

The cellars are far from being good. Bastia is built on a rocky ground, where ducts and sewers can be dug only with great difficulty. The city has no pleasant walks and is also very exposed to the West Wind which sometimes lasts for eight or ten days, so we can not leave home because the wind is so strong that it shakes the houses. What is more advantageous for Bastia is to be near fertile country that produces some wine, such as at Cap Corse, and elsewhere wheat, as on the higher pièves. There is a at the doorstep and only a short distance from Piombino and other mainland locations. It is for these reasons, and not for others, that the Board has chosen Bastia to make the residence of its governors: because there is nowhere on the island where the governor would be better off than at Bastia".

 

- Agostino Giustiniani in Description of Corsica, translation by Lucien Auguste Letteron in History of Corsica. (in French)

 

He ends his description as follows:

 

"There were still in the piève of Orto two small villages with the main pieve church dedicated to Saint Mary. These two villages and the church were ruined after the last plague and also because of the negligence of the piévans. After Porraggia comes Punta d'Arco and the Chiurlino Lake, about ten miles long, which can be entered only by very small boats. In this lake is an island, where there is good hunting for wild boar. This place is called the island. There are also two other small islands where fishermen stay: one is called Ischia nova which became famous in the recent wars and the other is called Ischia Vacchia. There is fishing in this lake for cephalic (cefalu or mazzardi), mullet (muggini), and other fish that make excellent Botargo. These fish and eels are taken in large quantities and serve as ordinary food for the inhabitants of Bastia, not to mention the fish that comes from the pièves of Orto, Mariana and Mercurio. Then comes the Port of Lo Pino then the Gulf of Bastia, which is called Portocardo by the sailors. There is then the Ruisseau de S. Nicolas, then successively the Port of Toga, Grigione, the port and Ruisseau di Pietranera where there is a tower."

 

- Agostino Giustiniani in Description of Corsica, translation by Lucien Auguste Letteron in History of Corsica. (in French)

The Genoese era

 

The Genoese soon felt the need to protect Bastia from invasions coming from the sea and began to build a bastiglia (moat) and a citadel in the time of governor Leonello Lomellini.

 

Over time, the Bastiglia (Bastia) has grown, become prosperous, and become more important than Cardo.

 

Its history is in its "bastiglia" or citadel which was originally a walled city. Here it was the sea and the mountains that determined the location of habitations as well as the relief of the island. Bastia was the capital at the time of the Genoese domination. It spread to the slopes later, centred around the water in the Place Saint-Nicolas.

 

Created by the Genoese patrician Leonello Lomellini in 1353 to liaise with Genoa, the city originated on the roack where a tower was built ( a bastiglia, hence its name) and, a hundred years later, was surrounded by walls.

 

At the beginning of the 18th century, many improvements were made in the Punta district, where many shops were built. Bastia and the whole island came under French military domination on 8 May 1769.

 

In 1794, during a war with Revolutionary France, British troops under Admiral Nelson and Lieutenant-General David Dundas briefly captured Bastia.

 

In 1848 Bastia took 44 hectares from Ville-di-Pietrabugno.

Contemporary period

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

See also: Italian occupation of Corsica

 

Bastia suffered much damage during the Second World War. Nevertheless Corsica was the first department to be liberated on 4 October 1943 by the Corsican resistance in the Pearl Harbor secret mission (sent by the secret services of the military defence establishment in Algiers) and the submarine Casabianca.

 

The commandos of the secret mission (Roger de Saule, Laurent Preziosi, the cousins Toussaint, and Pierre Griffi) landed in the night of 13 to 14 December 1942 from the submarine Casabianca in the Bay of Topiti. After organizing a network in this region (Piana), they then moved to organize 2nd network at Corte led locally by Pascal Valentini, finally heading for Bastia to organise a 3rd network in the Bastia and Cap Corse region. It was around Hyacinthe de Montera at 35 Bouvelard Paoli that the movement was organized. Laurent Preziosi had already participated in the first meetings in 1941 before returning to Algiers to be recruited for the mission. The movement then organized within the National Front. The radioman, Pierre Griffi was arrested in Ajaccio, severely tortured, and shot in Bastia without talking on 18 August 1943.

 

The turret of the submarine Casabianca is displayed at the corner of the Place Saint-Nicolas on the sea side. A commemorative stone of the first meeting was affixed to 35 boulevard Paoli (above the door).

 

After the war, Bastia gradually emerged as a key economic centre of Corsica. The Bastia agglomeration is the most extensive on the island.

 

During the last fifty years Cardo had the second homes of wealthy Bastiais. Currently Cardo is a district of Bastia on the heights of Pigno. It attracts many people who want to live there as it has all the advantages of a village in the countryside while being close to the city.

Heraldry

Arms of Bastia

Blazon:

 

Azure, a fortress Argent, turreted, masoned, windows, and port of Sable on a terrace in base Vert.

  

Administration

 

List of Successive Mayors[22]

Mayors from 1770 to 1941

From To Name

1770 1778 Pierre Poggi

1779 1789 Pierre-François Rigo

1789 1791 B. Carrafa

1791 1794 Jean-Baptiste Galeazzini

1794 1795 Casimir Poggi

1795 1796 Pierre-Antoine Casella

1796 1798 Jean Benedetti

1798 1798 Dominique Bozio

1798 1798 Paul-Louis Stefanini

1798 1799 Jean-Baptiste Ristori

1799 1800 Pierre-Antoine Casella

1800 1800 Ignace Agostini

1800 1808 Pierre Giovellina

1808 1814 Charles Cecconi

1814 1815 Charles Vanucci

1815 1815 Pierre Antoni

1815 1816 Romuald Ficarella

1816 1818 Antoine Carbuccia

1818 1820 Joseph Graziani

1821 1827 Jean-Antoine Didau

1828 1831 Antoine-Hyacinthe Lota

1831 1833 Antoine-Pierre Lota

1833 1840 Antoine-Hyacinthe Lota

1840 1843 Antoine-Joseph Casevecchie

1843 1848 Antoine-Sébastien Lazarotti

1848 1848 Philippe Caraffa

1848 1851 Horace Carbuccia

1851 1854 François Lota

1854 1858 Vincent Piccioni

1858 1865 François-Hyacinthe d'Angelis

1865 1870 Antoine Piccioni

1870 1871 Antoine Fabiani

1871 1879 Ignace Bonelli

1871 1871 Patrice de Corsi

1879 1881 Jean-Jacques Ajaccio

1881 1882 Auguste Etretti

1882 1888 Ignace Bonelli

1888 1903 Auguste Baudin

1903 1903 Sébastien Gavelli

1903 1912 Auguste Baudin

1912 1917 Jean-Baptiste de Caraffa

1917 1919 Lucien Dupello

1919 1937 Emile Sari

1937 1941 Hyacinthe de Montera

 

Mayors from 1941

 

From To Name Party Position

1941 1943 Joseph Gerardi

1943 1945 Jacques Faggianelli

1945 1947 Hyacinthe de Montera

1947 1968 Jacques Faggianelli Radical

1968 1989 Jean Crucien Zuccarelli MRG

1989 1997 Emile Pierre Dominique Zuccarelli PRG

1997 2000 Albert Calloni

2000 2014 Émile Zuccarelli

2014 2016 Gilles Simeoni

2016 Pierre Savelli

 

(Not all data is known)

Inter-communality

 

The Agglomeration Community of Bastia includes 5 communes with a total population of 57,276 in 2010.

Cantons

 

Bastia is divided into four cantons:

 

Canton of Bastia-1

Canton of Bastia-2

Canton of Bastia-3

Canton of Bastia-4

 

Security

 

Bastia has a police station located in the Rue du Commandant Luce de Casabianca.

Twinning

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Bastia has twinning associations with:[23]

 

Germany Erding (Germany) since 1980.

Italy Viareggio (Italy) since 1980.

 

Demography

 

In 2010 the commune had 43,008 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 5]

Population change (See database)

1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851

- 11,336 7,922 9,316 9,531 13,610 14,568 15,004 15,985

1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896

16,002 19,304 21,535 17,850 17,572 20,100 20,765 23,397 22,552

1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954

25,425 27,338 39,412 33,094 36,376 44,628 52,208 49,327 42,729

1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -

31,375 38,746 42,810 44,020 37,845 37,884 43,008 -

 

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

  

Population of Bastia

Education

 

The commune has:[24]

 

10 kindergartens

13 primary schools

5 colleges

7 High schools

 

There is also a research institute of the engineering school of Arts et Métiers ParisTech (ENSAM). This institute was opened in 2000 and offers doctoral programs and specialized Masters in the field of renewable energy.

 

Bastia is the location of one of five regional institutes of administration (IRA) in France for the training of future administrative officials.

Health

 

Bastia has a hospital in the Paese Novu district (Falconaja Hospital) and a clinic (Maymard Clinic) in the city centre as well as another clinic specializing in ophthalmology (Filippi clinic) in the Saint-Antoine district.

 

Around the city there is also the Zuccarelli Clinic (Toga district) and a polyclinic 2 km from the centre of town at Furiani.

Sports

 

SC Bastia is the football club for Bastia. The Armand-Cesari Stadium is located in the neighbouring commune of Furiani. The club was a finalist in the UEFA Cup competition in 1978 and winner of the Coupe de France in 1981. They were also finalists in the Coupe de France in 1972 and 2002, Champion of France in Ligue 2 in 1968 and 2012, as well as National Champion of France in 2011. In 2015 SC Bastia played and lost the final of the League Cup against PSG, 20 years after playing them in the same competition in 1995. The club currently plays in Ligue 1.[25]

 

Besides SC Bastia there are two other amateur footbal clubs: CA Bastia who currently play in the Championnat National and ÉF Bastia. A fourth club, the Football Corsica Club Bastiais (FCCB) disappeared after playing in six amateur championships in Corsica in the 1950s Historically each of these four clubs was supported by a different part of the city: the Place Saint-Nicolas district were blue (SC Bastia), the Old Port was black (CA Bastia), the citadel and the Saint Joseph district were white (EF Bastia), and the market area was red (FCCB). Sporting dominance has overshadowed other clubs in Bastia over time. At the end of the 2012/2013 season there were for the first time two professional clubs in Bastia: SC Bastia in Ligue 1 and the CA Bastia promoted from National, for a total of four Corsican professional football clubs (with AC Ajaccio in Ligue 1 and GFC Ajaccio, relegated to National but retaining its professional status).

 

Bastia was also a city-stage in the Tour de France 2013: the arrival point of the first stage from Porto-Vecchio and starting point for the second to Ajaccio.

Town planning

View from the Citadel

Coloured façades in the Old Port

 

Bastia is primarily a port city so the sea has a predominant place in the spatial organization of the city. Nowadays Bastia has three different ports.

 

The Old Port: located in a narrow cove that offers good protection against the Mediterranean weather. It was therefore at the heart of the initial development of the city. Today it still is home to many yachts and fishing boats but it is not so economically vital for the city than the other modern ports, although its tourism and aesthetic appeal makes it an almost official emblem of Bastia. Many bar-cafes and restaurants have opened on its quays whose streets are pedestrian access only in the summer.

The Commercial Port: a little north of the Old Port, it is the major economic asset of the city. This is especially true in the summer period when thousands of arrivals and departures of passengers and vehicles can sometimes cause long traffic jams along Route nationale N193 despite the existence of a tunnel under the Old Port. Opposite the commercial port is the vast Place Saint Nicolas which is the heart of the city.

The Toga Marina: north of the commercial port partly in Ville-di-Pietrabugno is occupied by many sailboats and yachts. There are also several bars, restaurants and nightclubs on its quays.

 

The city centre and outlying urban areas

 

Today the city centre consists mainly of the citadel (also called Terra Nova), the Palace of the Governors, the Old Port with its surrounding neighbourhood and the market place, and finally all the buildings along the Paoli Boulevard - the main commercial street of the city which stretches from the courthouse to the Avenue Maréchal Sebastiani.

 

In recent decades Bastia and its region have had strong demographic growth which has now grown beyond the municipal boundaries.

The Village of Cardo

 

Bastia has several hamlets and districts that are, from north to south:

 

Cardo: a village northeast of the city, Cardo was one of the first inhabited places in the area.

Le Fango: an area which has developed recently on the mountainside. It includes in particular the prefecture of Haute-Corse, Bastia railway station, and the Lycée Giocante de Casabianca.

Gradiccia

Saint Antoine

Fort Lacroix

La Citadelle

Saint Joseph

Monserato

Lupino: a district south of the city, the first to be developed mainly with social housing.

Paese Novo: a residential district overlooking Montesoro on the old "Imperial road" that bypasses the town via the heights. Bastia Hospital is located in this district.

Montesoro: another residential district south of Bastia. It has large groups of new buildings with many shops. Montesoro also has large schools: technical and vocational schools, and a secondary education college.

Erbajolo: another district at the southern end of town. It marks the beginning of the industrial zone south of Bastia agglomeration. It has the largest commercial area in the city (Hyper U) and a football stadium.

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

Sign of the restaurant "Comptoir des Voyageurs" (in English: "Bar of the travellers") in the village centre of Locronan, Brittany, France

 

Some background information:

 

The restaurant "Comptoir des Voyageurs" is a gourmet restaurant in the village centre of Locronan. It is listed in the Guide Michelin 2017 and offers a modern Breton cuisine with many traditional local influences.

 

Locronan is a commune in the Breton department of Finistère in north-western France. With its population of just about 800 residents it belongs to the association "The most beautiful villages of France" (in French: "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France"), which promotes small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage. Currently 155 villages throughout France are pooled under the umbrella of the organisation.

 

The area of Locronan is already inhabited since 2,500 years at least. Beginning with the 5th century BC, it used to be a cultic site of druids for many centuries. Around 600 AD, Saint Ronan, a monk from Ireland, settled at this place. He became a hermit and itinerant bishop, but ended his days in Saint-Brieuc at the north coast of Brittany. However, after his death his mortal remains were again brought to and buried at today’s Locronan.

 

According to legend, it was decided to place Saint Ronan’s dead body on a cart, dragged by wild oxen, and lieave it to them to drag it wherever they would. But curiously the wild oxen dragging the cart brought it straight to the saint’s former cell in the forest of Névez, the site of today’s Locronan.

 

The commune derives its name from its still persistent connection with this saint, as Locronan means "hermitage of Ronan" in English. In the 13th century the Dukes of Brittany began worshipping Saint Ronan with great devotion. Around its burial place, the little settlement of Locronan grew up. In 1477, the church of St Ronan was completed during the reign of Duke Francis II, the father of Anne of Brittany. It was erected directly on the burial place of Saint Ronan. Today it still houses the relic with his bones.

 

In the 15th century, hemp, which had naturally grown in the area, was already cultivated and processed by the town’s flourishing hemp industry. Also linen and flax were traded and brought real wealth to Locronan, that was granted town status by Anne of Brittany in 1505. The hemp was exported internationally, as it was used for rigging the ships, both commercial and military, that operated from Brittany's many ports.

 

But in the 19th century the end of the sail-ship era and the beginning of industrialisation caused Locronan’s decline. On the other hand this decline was also responsible for Locronan preserving its completely medieval appearance, as money for the construction of new buildings was simply not available in the little town. Nowadays tourism shakes things up in Locronan, offering the people another source of economic livelihood.

 

Furthermore the picturesque medieval architecture of Locronan was also used as a setting in different films, like "Tess" by Roman Polanski, "A Very Long Engagement" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet or "Chouans!" by Philippe de Broca.

A spotlight rests its beam on the grass of our football pitch, almost designing an image of the Brazilian flag on the ground. Seems like those blue clouds hanging heavily over the design complete this symbolic image of our country.

 

This series is best viewed as a slide show

 

On Saturday, June 12th, the open green landscape in front of our Hummingbird Activity Centre was suddenly turned into a miniature Hollywood film studio due to the realisation of a music video clip made by the students of the SENAC Cinema, Video and TV professional course.

The exchange of experiences was valuable for both the SENAC students and our youth mentors at Hummingbird. Hopefully they will further develop some ideas together with the intention to produce other video clips involving the various activities at Hummingbird.

 

SENAC - Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Comercial (National Service of Commercial Apprenticeship) was created by the National Confederation of Commerce and has been active throughout Brazil since 1946. SENAC offers educational and professional training courses in a variety of areas such as; Hotel and Tourism, Gastronomy and Nutrition, Languages, Cinema, Video and TV, Radio and Audio, Arts and Culture, Journalism and Publicity, Photography, Administration and Marketing, Health and Beauty, Fashion and Design, Environment, Gardening and Landscaping, Multimedia and Graphics Design, Third Sector, Telecommunications, Computers and Internet...etc.

 

The institutional mission of SENAC is to provide development through knowledge, to people and organisations, by means of educational actions with a commitment to social responsibility.

 

location : Randen line’s Arashiyama Station ,Kyoto city ,Kyoto Prefecture,Japan

  

The magical lights of “Kimono Forest” at Randen line’s Arashiyama station :

 

In July 2013 Arashiyama Station on Kyoto’s Keifuku Arashiyama line (commonly known as Randen line) was fully opened after renovation. After the makeover Arashiyama Station truly became one of the most remarkable stations in Kyoto. The most attractive feature now is the so called “Kimono Forest” decoration, consisting of textile displays dyed in the traditional Kyo-yuzen style.

the “Kimono Forest” decoration project developed by the interior designer Yasumichi Morita. - Trip101.com

  

Kyo yuzen dyeing :

 

The yuzen dyeing method was introduced to Japan from the continent in the 8th century. Tradition has it that hand painted yuzen was first made by the artist Miyazaki Yuzensai of Kyoto. Many colors are used and yuzen dyeing used to dye kimonos in picturesque designs developed with the cultural life of Kyoto townspeople. In modern times craftsmen developed Utsushi-yuzen (tracing) in which a yuzen design is dyed using paper patterns. Yuzen dyeing is used for kimonos, coats and haori (short coats worn with formal kimonos), and these days is produced in the cities of Kyoto and Uji, part of greater Kyoto. Kyo-yuzenn dyeing was designated a traditional craft in 1976. - Japan National Tourism Organization

  

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Thank you everyone that's taken time to view,comments

and fav... :) Very much appreciated ..*** ✰

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Sea

   

The Red Sea (alternatively Arabian Gulf[1] or Gulf of Arabia[2][3]) is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.

The Red Sea has a surface area of roughly 438,000 km² (169,100 mi²).[4][5] It is about 2250 km (1398 mi) long and, at its widest point, 355 km (220.6 mi) wide. It has a maximum depth of 2211 m (7254 ft) in the central median trench, and an average depth of 490 m (1,608 ft). However, there are also extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals. The sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, and 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea.

  

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Red Sea as follows:[6]

On the North. The Southern limits of the Gulfs of Suez [A line running from Ràs Muhammed (27°43'N) to the South point of Shadwan Island (34°02'E) and thence Westward on a parallel (27°27'N) to the coast of Africa] and Aqaba [A line running from Ràs al Fasma Southwesterly to Requin Island (

27°57′N 34°36′E) through Tiran Island to the Southwest point thereof and thence Westward on a parallel (27°54'N) to the coast of the Sinaï Peninsula].

On the South. A line joining Husn Murad (

12°40′N 43°30′E) and Ras Siyan (

12°29′N 43°20′E).

   

Name

 

Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa (Ερυθρὰ Θάλασσα) and Latin Mare Rubrum (alternatively Sinus Arabicus, literally "Arabian Gulf"), Arabic Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar (البحر الأحمر) or Baḥr Al-Qalzam(بحر القلزم), Somali Badda Cas and Tigrinya Qeyyiḥ bāḥrī (ቀይሕ ባሕሪ). The name of the sea may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-coloured Trichodesmium erythraeum near the water's surface.[7] A theory favored by some modern scholars[who?] is that the name red is referring to the direction South, just as the Black Sea's name may refer to North. The basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used color words to refer to the cardinal directions.[8] Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Sea and Southern Sea interchangeably.[9]

The association of the Red Sea with the Biblical account of the Israelite Crossing the Red Sea is ancient, and was made explicit in the Septuagint translation of the Book of Exodus from Hebrew to Koine Greek in approximately the third century B.C. In that version, the Hebrew Yam Suph (ים סוף) is translated as Erythra Thalassa (Red Sea). (See also the more recent suggestion that the Yam Suph of the Exodus refers to a Sea of Reeds). The Red Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Black Sea, the White Sea and the Yellow Sea. The direct rendition of the Greek Erythra thalassa in Latin as Mare Erythraeum refers to the north-western part of the Indian Ocean, and also to a region on Mars.

  

History

 

The earliest known exploration of the Red Sea was conducted by Ancient Egyptians, as they attempted to establish commercial routes to Punt. One such expedition took place around 2500 BC, and another around 1500 BC ( by Hatshepsut ). Both involved long voyages down the Red Sea.[10] The Biblical Book of Exodus tells the story of the Israelites' miraculous crossing of a body of water, which the Hebrew text calls Yam Suph. Yam Suph is traditionally identified as the Red Sea. The account is part of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. Yam Suph can also been translated as Sea of Reeds.

In the 6th century BC, Darius the Great of Persia sent reconnaissance missions to the Red Sea, improving and extending navigation by locating many hazardous rocks and currents. A canal was built between the Nile and the northern end of the Red Sea at Suez. In the late 4th century BC, Alexander the Great sent Greek naval expeditions down the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. Greek navigators continued to explore and compile data on the Red Sea. Agatharchides collected information about the sea in the 2nd century BC. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea ("Periplus of the Red Sea"), a Greek periplus written by an unknown author around the 1st century AD, contain a detailed description of the Red Sea's ports and sea routes.[11] The Periplus also describes how Hippalus first discovered the direct route from the Red Sea to India.

 

The Red Sea was favored for Roman trade with India starting with the reign of Augustus, when the Roman Empire gained control over the Mediterranean, Egypt, and the northern Red Sea. The route had been used by previous states but grew in the volume of traffic under the Romans. From Indian ports goods from China were introduced to the Roman world. Contact between Rome and China depended on the Red Sea, but the route was broken by the Aksumite Empire around the 3rd century AD.[12]

During the Middle Ages, the Red Sea was an important part of the Spice trade route. In 1513, trying to secure that channel to Portugal, Afonso de Albuquerque laid siege to Aden.[13] but was forced to retreat. They cruised the Red Sea inside the Bab al-Mandab, as the first European fleet to have sailed this waters.

In 1798, France ordered General Bonaparte to invade Egypt and take control of the Red Sea. Although he failed in his mission, the engineer Jean-Baptiste Lepère, who took part in it, revitalised the plan for a canal which had been envisaged during the reign of the Pharaohs. Several canals were built in ancient times from the Nile to the Red Sea along or near the line of the present Sweet Water Canal, but none lasted for long. The Suez Canal was opened in November 1869. At the time, the British, French, and Italians shared the trading posts. The posts were gradually dismantled following the First World War. After the Second World War, the Americans and Soviets exerted their influence whilst the volume of oil tanker traffic intensified. However, the Six Day War culminated in the closure of the Suez Canal from 1967 to 1975. Today, in spite of patrols by the major maritime fleets in the waters of the Red Sea, the Suez Canal has never recovered its supremacy over the Cape route, which is believed to be less vulnerable.

   

Oceanography

 

The Red Sea lies between arid land, desert and semi-desert. The main reasons for the better development of reef systems along the Red Sea is because of its greater depths and an efficient water circulation pattern, The Red Sea water mass exchanges its water with the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Aden. These physical factors reduce the effect of high salinity caused by evaporation water in the north and relatively hot water in the south.

The climate of the Red Sea is the result of two distinct monsoon seasons; a northeasterly monsoon and a southwesterly monsoon. Monsoon winds occur because of the differential heating between the land surface and sea. Very high surface temperatures coupled with high salinities makes this one of the hottest and saltiest bodies of seawater in the world. The average surface water temperature of the Red Sea during the summer is about 26 °C (79 °F) in the north and 30 °C (86 °F) in the south, with only about 2 °C (3.6 °F) variation during the winter months. The overall average water temperature is 22 °C (72 °F). Today surface water temperatures remain relatively constant at 21–25 °C (70–77 °F). Temperature and visibility remain good to around 200 m (656 ft). The sea is known for its strong winds and unpredictable local currents.

The rainfall over the Red Sea and its coasts is extremely low, averaging 0.06 m (2.36 in) per year. The rain is mostly in the form of showers of short spells, often associated with thunderstorms and occasionally with dust storms. The scarcity of rainfall and no major source of fresh water to the Red Sea result in the excess evaporation as high as 205 cm (81 in) per year and high salinity with minimal seasonal variation. A recent underwater expedition to the Red Sea offshore from Sudan and Eritrea[14] found surface water temperatures 28 °C in winter and up to 34 °C in the summer, but despite that extreme heat the coral was healthy with much fish life with very little sign of coral bleaching, and there were plans to use samples of these corals' apparently heat-adapted commensal algae to salvage bleached coral elsewhere.

 

Salinity

 

The Red Sea is one of the most saline bodies of water in the world, due to high evaporation. Salinity ranges from between ~36 ‰ in the southern part due to the effect of the Gulf of Aden water and reaches 41 ‰ in the northern part, due mainly to the Gulf of Suez water and the high evaporation. The average salinity is 40 ‰. (Average salinity for the world's seawater is ~35 ‰ on the Practical Salinity Scale, or PPS; that translates to 3.5 % actual dissolved salts.)

In terms of salinity, the Red Sea is greater than the world average, approximately 4 percent. This is due to several factors:

1.High rate of evaporation and very little precipitation.

2.Lack of significant rivers or streams draining into the sea.

3.Limited connection with the Indian Ocean, which has lower water salinity.

 

Tidal range

In general tide ranges between 0.6 m (2.0 ft) in the north, near the mouth of the Gulf of Suez and 0.9 m (3.0 ft) in the south near the Gulf of Aden but it fluctuates between 0.20 m (0.66 ft) and 0.30 m (0.98 ft) away from the nodal point. The central Red Sea (Jeddah area) is therefore almost tideless, and as such the annual water level changes are more significant. Because of the small tidal range the water during high tide inundates the coastal sabkhas as a thin sheet of water up to a few hundred metres rather than inundating the sabkhas through a network of channels. However, south of Jeddah in the Shoiaba area the water from the lagoon may cover the adjoining sabkhas as far as 3 km (2 mi) whereas, north of Jeddah in the Al-kharrar area the sabkhas are covered by a thin sheet of water as far as 2 km (1.2 mi). The prevailing north and northeastern winds influence the movement of water in the coastal inlets to the adjacent sabkhas, especially during storms. Winter mean sea level is 0.5 m (1.6 ft) higher than in summer. Tidal velocities passing through constrictions caused by reefs, sand bars and low islands commonly exceed 1–2 m/s (3–6.5 ft/s). Coral reefs in the Red Sea are near Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Sudan.

 

Current

In the Red Sea detailed current data is lacking, partially because they are weak and variable both spatially and temporally. Temporal and spatial currents variation is as low as 0.5 m (1.6 ft) and are governed all by wind. During the summer, NW winds drive surface water south for about four months at a velocity of 15–20 cm/s (6–8 in/s), whereas in winter the flow is reversed resulting in the inflow of water from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea. The net value of the latter predominates, resulting in an overall drift to the northern end of the Red Sea. Generally, the velocity of the tidal current is between 50–60 cm/s (20–23.6 in/s) with a maximum of 1 m/s (3.3 ft) at the mouth of the al-Kharrar Lagoon. However, the range of the north-northeast current along the Saudi coast is 8–29 cm/s (3–11.4 in/s).

 

Wind regime

With the exception of the northern part of the Red Sea, which is dominated by persistent north-west winds, with speeds ranging between 7 km/h (4.3 mph) and 12 km/h (7.5 mph), the rest of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are subjected to the influence of regular and seasonally reversible winds. The wind regime is characterized by both seasonal and regional variations in speed and direction with average speed generally increasing northward.

Wind is the driving force in the Red Sea for transporting the material either as suspension or as bedload. Wind induced currents play an important role in the Red Sea in initiating the process of resuspension of bottom sediments and transfer of materials from sites of dumping to sites of burial in quiescent environment of deposition. Wind generated current measurement is therefore important in order to determine the sediment dispersal pattern and its role in the erosion and accretion of the coastal rock exposure and the submerged coral beds.

 

Geology

 

The Red Sea was formed by Arabia splitting from Africa due to movement of the Red Sea Rift. This split started in the Eocene and accelerated during the Oligocene. The sea is still widening and it is considered that the sea will become an ocean in time (as proposed in the model of John Tuzo Wilson). In 1949, a deep water survey reported anomalously hot brines in the central portion of the Red Sea. Later work in the 1960s confirmed the presence of hot, 60 °C (140 °F), saline brines and associated metalliferous muds. The hot solutions were emanating from an active subseafloor rift. The highly saline character of the waters was not hospitable to living organisms.[15]

Sometimes during the Tertiary period the Bab el Mandeb closed and the Red Sea evaporated to an empty hot dry salt-floored sink. Effects causing this would be:

•A "race" between the Red Sea widening and Perim Island erupting filling the Bab el Mandeb with lava.

•The lowering of world sea level during the Ice Ages due to much water being locked up in the ice caps.

A number of volcanic islands rise from the center of the sea. Most are dormant, but in 2007 Jabal al-Tair island, in the Bab el Mandeb strait, erupted violently. An eruption among the nearby Zubair islands followed in 2011.[16]

  

Mineral resources

In terms of mineral resources the major constituents of the Red Sea sediments are as follows:

•Biogenic constituents:

Nanofossils, foraminifera, pteropods, siliceous fossils

•Volcanogenic constituents:

Tuffites, volcanic ash, montmorillonite, cristobalite, zeolites

•Terrigenous constituents:

Quartz, feldspars, rock fragments, mica, heavy minerals, clay minerals

•Authigenic minerals:

Sulfide minerals, aragonite, Mg-calcite, protodolomite, dolomite, quartz, chalcedony.

•Evaporite minerals:

Magnesite, gypsum, anhydrite, halite, polyhalite

•Brine precipitate:

Fe-montmorillonite, goethite, hematite, siderite, rhodochrosite, pyrite, sphalerite, anhydrite.

 

Living resources

The Red Sea is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1200 species of fish[17] have been recorded in the Red Sea, and around 10% of these are found nowhere else.[18] This also includes 42 species of deepwater fish.[17]

 

The rich diversity is in part due to the 2,000 km (1,240 mi) of coral reef extending along its coastline; these fringing reefs are 5000–7000 years old and are largely formed of stony acropora and porites corals. The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders (such as the Blue Hole (Red Sea) at Dahab). These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of red sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark.

The Red Sea also contains many offshore reefs including several true atolls. Many of the unusual offshore reef formations defy classic (i.e., Darwinian) coral reef classification schemes, and are generally attributed to the high levels of tectonic activity that characterize the area.

The special biodiversity of the area is recognized by the Egyptian government, who set up the Ras Mohammed National Park in 1983. The rules and regulations governing this area protect local marine life, which has become a major draw for diving enthusiasts.

Divers and snorkellers should be aware that although most Red Sea species are innocuous, a few are hazardous to humans: see Red Sea species hazardous to humans.[19]

Other marine habitats include sea grass beds, salt pans, mangroves and salt marshes.

 

Desalination plants

There is extensive demand of desalinated water to meet the requirement of the population and the industries along the Red Sea.

There are at least 18 desalination plants along the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia which discharge warm brine and treatment chemicals (chlorine and anti-scalants) that may cause bleaching and mortality of corals and diseases to the fish stocks. Although this is only a localized phenomenon, it may intensify with time and have a profound impact on the fishing industry.[20]

The water from the Red Sea is also utilized by oil refineries and cement factories for cooling purposes. Used water drained back into the coastal zones may cause harm to the nearshore environment of the Red Sea.

 

Security

The Red Sea is part of the sea roads between Europe, the Persian Gulf and East Asia, and as such has heavy shipping traffic. Piracy in Somalia occurs principally near the area of the Gulf of Aden south of the sea. Government-related bodies with responsibility to police the Red Sea area include the Port Said Port Authority, Suez Canal Authority and Red Sea Ports Authority of Egypt, Jordan Maritime Authority, Israel Port Authority, Saudi Ports Authority and Sea Ports Corporation of Sudan.

 

Facts and figures

•Length: ~2,250 km (1,398.1 mi) - 79% of the eastern Red Sea with numerous coastal inlets

•Maximum Width: ~ 306–355 km (190–220 mi)– Massawa (Eritrea)

•Minimum Width: ~ 26–29 km (16–18 mi)- Bab el Mandeb Strait (Yemen)

•Average Width: ~ 280 km (174.0 mi)

•Average Depth: ~ 490 m (1,607.6 ft)

•Maximum Depth: ~2,211 m (7,253.9 ft)

•Surface Area: 438-450 x 10² km² (16,900–17,400 sq mi)

•Volume: 215–251 x 10³ km³ (51,600–60,200 cu mi)

•Approximately 40% of the Red Sea is quite shallow (under 100 m/330 ft), and about 25% is under 50 m (164 ft) deep.

•About 15% of the Red Sea is over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) depth that forms the deep axial trough.

•Shelf breaks are marked by coral reefs

•Continental slope has an irregular profile (series of steps down to ~500 m/1,640 ft)

•Centre of Red Sea has a narrow trough (~ 1,000 m/3,281 ft; some deeps may exceed 2,500 m/8,202 ft)

 

Tourism

 

The sea is known for its spectacular recreational diving sites, such as Ras Mohammed, SS Thistlegorm (shipwreck), Elphinstone, The Brothers, Dolphin Reef and Rocky Island in Egypt and less known sites in Sudan such as Sanganeb, Abington, Angarosh and Shaab Rumi.

The Red Sea became known as a sought-after diving destination after the expeditions of Hans Hass in the 1950s, and later by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Popular tourist resorts include El Gouna, Hurghada, Safaga, Marsa Alam, on the western shore of the Red Sea, and Sharm-El-Sheikh, Dahab, and Taba on the Egyptian side of Sinaï, as well as Aqaba in Jordan and Eilat in Israel in an area known as the Red Sea Riviera.

The popular tourist beach of Sharm el-Sheikh was closed to all swimming in December 2010 due to several serious shark attacks, including one fatal one. As of December 2010, scientists are investigating the attacks and have identified, but not verified, several possible causes including over fishing which causes large sharks to hunt closer to shore, tourist boat operators who chum the waters just offshore to present shark-photo opportunities, and reports of passing ships throwing dead livestock overboard. Furthermore the geography of some parts of the Red Sea is such that large sharks can sometimes wander close to shore. This is due to the sea's narrow width, significant depth, and sharp drop-offs, all of which combine to form a geography where large deep-water sharks can roam in hundreds of meters of water, yet be within a hundred meters of swimming areas.

 

Bordering countries

The Red Sea may be geographically divided into three sections: the Red Sea proper, and in the north, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez. The six countries bordering the Red Sea proper are:

•Eastern shore:

o Saudi Arabia

o Yemen

•Western shore:

o Egypt

o Sudan

o Eritrea

o Djibouti

The Gulf of Suez is entirely bordered by Egypt. The Gulf of Aqaba borders Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

In addition to the standard geographical definition of the six countries bordering the Red Sea cited above, areas such as Somalia and Ethiopia are sometimes also described as Red Sea territories. This is primarily due to their proximity to and geological similarities with the nations facing the Red Sea and/or political ties with said areas.[21][22]

 

Towns and cities

Towns and cities on the Red Sea coast (including the coasts of the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez) include:

• Al Hudaydah (الحديدة)

• Al Lith (الليِّث)

• Al Qunfudhah (القنفذة)

• Al-Qusair (القصير)

• Al Wajh (الوجه)

• Aqaba (العقبة)

• Asseb (ዓሳብ)

• Dahab (دهب)

• Duba (ضباء)

• Eilat (אילת)

• El Gouna (الجونة)

• El Suweis (السويس)

• / Hala'ib (حلايب) (disputed)

• Haql (حقل)

• Hirgigo (ሕርጊጎ)

• Hurghada (الغردقة)

• Jeddah (جدة)

• Jazan (جازان)

• Marsa Alam (مرسى علم)

• Massawa (ምጽዋ)

• Nuweiba (نويبع)

• Port Safaga (ميناء سفاجا)

• Port Sudan (بورت سودان)

• Rabigh (رابغ)

• Sharm el Sheikh (شرم الشيخ)

• Soma Bay (سوما باي)

• Suakin (سواكن)

• Taba (طابا)

• Thuwal (ثول)

• Yanbu (ينبع)

   

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

Switzerland (in German: Schweiz, in French: Suisse, in Italian: Svizzera and in romanche: Svizra), officially Swiss Confederation (in German: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, in French: Confédération suisse, in Italian: Confederazione Svizzera, in Romansh: Confederaziun svizra And in Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica - hence its ISO code is CH-), is a landlocked country located in central Europe and has a population of 8 139 600 inhabitants (2013) .9 Switzerland is a republic Confederate of 26 states, called cantons. Bern is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country's financial centers are located in the cities of Zurich, Basel, Geneva and Lugano.10 Switzerland is the fourth richest country in the world, according to its GDP per capita, with 83 718 US Dollars (2011) .7

It limits the north with Germany, the west with France, the south with Italy and the east with Austria and Liechtenstein. It is characterized diplomatically by its neutral foreign relations policy, having not participated actively in any international conflict since 1815. Switzerland is home to several international organizations, such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, The Universal Postal Union, as well as one of the two UN offices in Europe, as well as hosting FIFA, the largest body of football in the world, and UEFA, the largest body of European football; Is also the seat of the IOC, the highest body responsible for the realization of the Olympic Games and FIDE, the largest body of chess in the world.

Switzerland is a multilingual confederation and has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The date of its creation as State was set 1 of August of 1291 according to the tradition. Due to this reason, the national holiday is celebrated every year on 1 August.

Today, it is perceived as one of the most developed countries in the world. Because of its policy of neutrality, the country is home to a large number of immigrants from nations on several continents, and is therefore considered one of the most culturally diverse European countries. Finally, it is internationally recognized for its mountain tourism and its watches, chocolates, knives, benches, railways and cheese.11

 

The Swiss name comes from Schwyz, name of one of the cantons of Waldstätten that formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederation.12 The toponym of the canton dates from the year 972 and comes from the old high German Suittes, word related to the verb swedan that means "Burn, sear" (Icelandic svíða, Danish and Swedish svide "scorching"), referring to the felling and burning by which a wooded area is burned to build some houses in the area (artiga) .13 Use of the name for this area was extended to denote the whole canton, and after the Swabian War in 1499 was gradually used to name the entire confederation. The German name of Switzerland for the country, Schwiiz, is homonymous to the one of the canton and its capital, reason why to distinguish it is used a certain article in d'Schwiiz to refer to the country and the simple form Schwiiz for the canton and the city .

The ancient name of the country, Helvetia, derives from the word Helvetii, a Celtic tribe that inhabited the Swiss plateau before the time of the Romans. The first mention of the name Helvetti dates from the year 300 a. C.14 The names of the Neolithic Confoederatio Helvetica or Helvetia were introduced when Switzerland became a federal state in 1848, dating back to the Helvetic Republic.

 

Suiza (en alemán: Schweiz, en francés: Suisse, en italiano: Svizzera y en romanche: Svizra), oficialmente Confederación Suiza (en alemán: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, en francés: Confédération suisse, en italiano: Confederazione Svizzera, en romanche: Confederaziun svizra y en latín: Confoederatio Helvetica —de ahí que su código ISO sea CH—), es un país sin salida al mar ubicado en la Europa central y que cuenta con una población de 8 139 600 habitantes (2013).9 Suiza es una república confederada de 26 estados, llamados cantones. Berna es la sede de las autoridades federales, mientras que los centros financieros del país se encuentran en las ciudades de Zúrich, Basilea, Ginebra y Lugano.10 Suiza es el cuarto país más rico del mundo, según su PIB per cápita, con 83 718 dólares estadounidenses (2011).7

Limita al norte con Alemania, al oeste con Francia, al sur con Italia y al este con Austria y Liechtenstein. Se caracteriza diplomáticamente por su política de relaciones exteriores neutral, sin haber participado activamente en ningún conflicto internacional desde 1815. Suiza es la sede de varias organizaciones internacionales, como la Organización Mundial del Movimiento Scout, la Cruz Roja, la Organización Mundial del Comercio, la Unión Postal Universal, así como una de las dos oficinas de la ONU en Europa, además de ser sede de la FIFA, máximo organismo del fútbol a escala mundial, y de la UEFA, mayor ente del fútbol europeo; también es sede del COI, máximo organismo encargado de la realización de los Juegos Olímpicos y de la FIDE, máximo organismo del ajedrez en el ámbito mundial.

Suiza es una confederación multilingüe y cuenta con cuatro idiomas oficiales: alemán, francés, italiano y romanche. La fecha de su creación como Estado se fijó el 1 de agosto de 1291 de acuerdo con la tradición. Debido a este motivo, cada año se celebra la fiesta nacional el 1 de agosto.

Actualmente, se percibe como uno de los países más desarrollados del mundo. Por su política de neutralidad, el país alberga gran cantidad de inmigrantes provenientes de naciones de varios continentes, por lo que es considerado como uno de los países europeos con mayor diversidad cultural. Finalmente, es reconocida internacionalmente por su turismo de montaña y por sus relojes, chocolates, navajas, bancos, ferrocarriles y quesos.11

 

El nombre Suiza proviene de Schwyz, nombre de uno de los cantones de Waldstätten que conformaron el núcleo de la Antigua Confederación Suiza.12 El topónimo del cantón data del año 972 y procede del antiguo alto alemán Suittes, vocablo relacionado con el verbo swedan que significa «quemar, chamuscar» (cf. islandés svíða, danés y sueco svide «chamuscar»), haciendo referencia a la tala y quema mediante el cual se quema una zona boscosa para construir algunas viviendas en la zona (artiga).13 El uso del nombre para esta área se extendió para denominar a todo el cantón, y después de la Guerra de Suabia en 1499 gradualmente se utilizó para nombrar a toda la confederación. El nombre en alemán de Suiza para el país, Schwiiz, es homónimo al del cantón y su capital, por lo que para distinguirse se emplea un artículo determinado en d'Schwiiz para referirse al país y la forma simple Schwiiz para el cantón y la ciudad.

El antiguo nombre del país, Helvetia, deriva de la palabra Helvetii, una tribu celta que habitó en la meseta suiza antes de la época de los romanos. La primera mención del nombre Helvetti data del año 300 a. C.14 Los nombres del neolatín Confoederatio Helvetica o Helvetia fueron introducidos cuando Suiza se convirtió en un Estado federal en 1848, remontándose a la República Helvética.