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Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam – 25 September 2020

Contents

  1. 380 ‘detention camps’ in Xinjiang: report
  2. China cautious on G4 calling for UNSC reforms
  3. Another round of Operation Twist

380 ‘DETENTION CAMPS’ IN XINJIANG: REPORT

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

China is running hundreds of detention centres in northwest Xinjiang across a network that is much bigger than previously thought, according to research by an Australian think tank.

Details

  • The research said that more than 380 “suspected detention facilities” have been identified in the region, where China is believed to have held more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking residents.
  • The number of facilities is around 40% greater than previous estimates, the research said, and has been growing despite China’s claims that many Uighurs have been released.
  • Using satellite imagery, eyewitness accounts, media reports and official construction tender documents, the institute said that more than 60 detention sites have seen new construction and expansion work in 2020.
  • U.S. lawmakers recently voted to ban imports from Xinjiang, citing the alleged use of systematic forced labour.
  • Beijing recently published a white paper defending its policies in Xinjiang, where it says training programmes, work schemes and better education mean life has improved.

Who are Uyghurs / Uighurs?

  • Uyghurs are predominately Turkic-speaking Sunni Muslims who live primarily in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. Islam came to the region in the 10th century. Prior to Islam, the Uyghurs embraced Buddhism, Shamanism, and Manicheism.
  • Uyghurs embraced Islam in 934 during the Karahanid Kingdom. Kashgar, the capital of the Kingdom, quickly became one of the major learning centers of Islam.
  • Art, the sciences, music and literature flourished as Islamic religious institutions nurtured the pursuit of an advanced culture. In this period, hundreds of world-renowned Uyghur scholars emerged.
  • Uyghurs played an important role in cultural exchanges between the East and West and developed a unique culture and civilization of their own based on Islam.

What are the accusations Levelled against China?

  • China is accused of encouraging internal migration into the Xinjiang province to increase the non-Uyghur population and power in the region.
  • In recent years, there have been many reports of students, teachers, and civil servants have been forbidden from fasting during Ramadan, forbidden from wearing their traditional dress and even keeping a beard.
  • Uyghurs continue to be the only population in China consistently subjected to executions for political crimes, and these executions are often both summary and public. With the rise of China as the expected superpower of the 21st century, such repressive policies against the Uyghur Muslims are likely to get worse.

-Source: The Hindu


CHINA CAUTIOUS ON G4 CALLING FOR UNSC REFORMS

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

China said there were “enormous divisions” and a lack of consensus on taking forward the stalled reforms of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a day after the G4 group – India, Brazil, Japan and Germany – called for an early push for text-based negotiations.

Details

  • The foreign ministers of the four countries that are seeking UNSC reforms and permanent membership of the body met virtually expressing their frustration at the repeated attempts to stall and derail the reforms process.
  • India begins a two-year term as one of the 10 non-permanent UNSC members in January, and has said it will continue pushing for reforms that have failed to materialise over many years.
  • The G4 group “expressed disappointment at attempts to derail this process and committed to addressing the issue in a meaningful way and with increased urgency at this 75th anniversary of the UN”.

Analysts dismissive of G4

  • Chinese analysts have long been dismissive of the G4, and have in the past indicated that China would not favour the inclusion of at least three of its members for differing reasons – India and Japan considering their historically difficult relations with China, and Germany because it is not a developing country.
  • China’s long-held stance that the reforms process cannot go ahead quickly is unlikely to change.

Click Here to read more about UNSC and Functions

-Source: The Hindu


ANOTHER ROUND OF OPERATION TWIST

Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rejected all bids received in its first outright bond purchase of the fiscal year and announced another edition of Operation Twist, signalling its determination to bring down long-term yields.

Details

  • Against the Rs 10,000 crore of long-term bonds that it had planned to buy under open market operations (OMO), the central bank received bids more than six times its target, and their rejection indicates RBI’s discomfort with the high yields demanded by investors.
  • The purpose is to bring down the 10-year benchmark yield, which has crossed 6%, making the government’s borrowing plan expensive.
  • The bond market was expecting the Reserve Bank to absorb the excess supply of government papers since this was the first time in six months that the central bank was going for an outright purchase of bonds.
  • In this fiscal year so far, RBI had been pursuing Operation Twist—simultaneously buying and selling bonds of equal amounts to bring down long-term yields.

Operation Twist

  • ‘Operation Twist’ is when the central bank uses the proceeds from sale of short-term securities to buy long-term government debt papers, leading to easing of interest rates on the long-term papers.
  • The name “Operation Twist” was given by the mainstream media due to the visual effect that the monetary policy action was expected to have on the shape of the yield curve.
  • If we visualize a linear upward sloping yield curve, this monetary action effectively “twists” the ends of the yield curve, hence, the name Operation Twist.
  • To put another way, the yield curve twists when short-term yields go up and long-term interest rates drop at the same time.
  • This is expected to lead to a flattening of the yield curve. Long-end rates are expected to come off, while short-term rates could rise

-Source: Hindustan Times

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