The Han Dynasty
After Liu Bang’s conquer of the Qin Dynasty in a four-year civil war, the Han Dynasty was established in 206 B.C. Shortly after in 202 B.C and later in A.D. 25 respectively, the cities Chang’an (Xian) and Luoyang were also established. During the Han Dynasty, 24 emperors and two separate Dynasty periods: Western Han (206 B.C.-A.D. 24) and the Eastern Han (A.D. 25-220). The picture above shows the tile of the Han Dynasty. Many wise emperors, such as Gaozu and Wu, contributed to this peaceful and prosperous time in China. Subjects such as literature, arts, culture, and technology flourished, and much noteworthy advancement in these fields was made during this time. China was regarded as a world power during this time, and the country was reunited by the reign of the Han. Today, China is ethnically homogenous and the main ethnic group is Han, which means they are descended from the people of this Dynasty. This particular dynasty had a major influence on modern China.
On its coastal location north of the Pearl River delta, Guangzhou is a busy trading port and the capital city of the province of Guangdong. The climate is sub-tropical with an average year-round temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This bustling city of 6.7 million people has a history that dates back more than 2, 800 years. The city’s nickname, Goat Town or City of Five Goats, comes from a legend saying that five gods riding on five goats brought the first grain to the city. Much of the city’s history is remembered through monuments and statues around the city. For example, the monument at San Yuan Li remembers the 1841 uprising against British invaders and the Chinese Anti-British struggle; the 72 martyrs killed in a 1911 revolt against the Manchu dynasty are commemorated with the Huang Hua Gang Park. The city is also a center of foreign commerce. The Chinese Export Commodities Fair is held twice a year in Guangzhou. The city is also full of many universities and higher educational establishments. They’re also known for arts and crafts, primarily the Guang Dong embroidery, and they have tourist attractions galore, such as the White Cloud Hill Scenic Spot and the Six Banyan Temple. The world-known phrase “eating in Guangzhou” refers to the top-notch restaurants and tea-houses in the city, as they have the most in the country. One of the most popular types of cuisine is the Cantonese cuisine, known for its pastry, color, fragrance, taste, and presentation. This beautiful port city is full of wonders that keep the city alive.
The Pearl River is the second largest river system in China. The Xi River is the western tributary. It has three tributaries: the Xi Jiang (the longest at over 1,200 miles), the Beijang, and the Dongjiang. The Xi is shorter than the Yangtze or Huang He rivers, but it is still extremely important as it delivers an enormous volume of water, only second to the Yangtze. The river flows through the Pearl Delta and empties into the South China Sea. Every summer, monsoon rains flood the Xi Jiang River. There are 3,000 dams built on the Xi Jiang, which has made a significant change to the landscape and vegetation around the river. The population in this area is predicted to increase, and those people will present an increased demand for fresh water, which the dams prevent the flow of. Fish in this region include the rare Chinese sturgeon, used in medicine, and two kinds of Shads. The Xi Jiang is extremely important to the people of Guangzhou and other port cities. It is one of the three major rivers in China Proper, and the people of the Xi River Basin would be unable to survive without the water it provide
Overfishing in Pacific & East Asian Waters
Illegal overfishing is one of (if not the) biggest threats to our oceans’ sustainability today. Simply put: people are catching fish quicker than the populations can sustain. This over-exploitation and mismanagement of the oceans’ resources is quickly leading to the demise of many species of marine animals and eventually the whole underwater ecosystem. So, instead of listening to scientists, the fish industry is looking at the Pacific waters. One of the biggest issues is bycatch. According to Greenpeace, 90 percent of what is caught by gigantic ocean trawlers is simply thrown back, either dead or dying, because it is not commercially valuable. This is maybe the most destructive fishing practice in global fishing. The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is home to over 20 island nations and the world’s largest tuna fishery. Seventy percent of the world’s tuna supply comes from this region. This region is also full of illegal and pirate fishing, threatening the already-dwindling tuna supply. Fish has been caught traditionally and at a stable rate here for many years, but powerhouse industries, usually from distant countries, are coming in and catching as many fish as possible. Large industrial fishing companies who have state-of-the-art technology threaten the survival of small-scale fisheries. Less fish in the oceans means less to eat and less money for these traditional fishermen. Taiwan is especially in the middle of this crisis: they have the largest fishing fleet in the Pacific, and they catch more than 500,000 tons of fish every year. In the last couple of years, the number of Taiwanese tuna fishing vessels and its fishing capacity increased due to the development of exploitative fisheries. Government attempts to limit this fishing capacity are in vain because of flags of convenience, which means than fishermen in Taiwan can register their vessels in a foreign country and follow those rules. This practice has grown quickly. As a result, the government has failed at controlling the Taiwanese fishing industry. The future of the fishing industry is hard to predict at this point. However, there are some things that you can do to help. Watch the seafood you are eating and follow the safe seafood guide to see what is overfished and what is not. Ask your waiter at a restaurant where the seafood is from. If a fish is not in high demand, the fishermen won’t fish for it. Tell your friends about eating sustainable fish. Spreading the world is one of the key factors in making a difference. As Robin Williams said, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” Spread the right words and ideas to make a difference.
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