Daily Current Affairs News And General Studies For UPSC/IAS Exam: May 31

What’s the G-7 Group?

Calling the existing Group of Seven (G-7) club a “very outdated group of countries”, US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he wanted to include India, Russia, South Korea, and Australia in the group; although it was unclear whether he wanted the expansion to be permanent.

Last year, the G-7 summit was held on August 24-26 at Biarritz in southwestern France, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to attend as a special guest of French President Emmanuel Macron.
The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues. Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.

The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Read More: The Indian Express

Why is China not a member of G7?

Despite having the world’s biggest population and its second-biggest economy, China’s relatively low level of wealth per head of population means that it is not deemed to be an advanced economy in the way the G7 members are, though it is part of the wider G20 group of nations, boasting a number of modern cities, such as Shanghai.

Read More: BBC

THAAD Defence Systems

China has issued a statement reiterating its long-standing objections to the presence of the US THAAD missile defence system in South Korea.

China has issued a statement reiterating its long-standing objections to the presence of the US THAAD missile defence system in South Korea.

THAAD is an acronym for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, a transportable, ground-based missile defense system.

Read More: The Indian Express

China’s Revisionism

In 1997, under the principle of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong became part of China with an understanding that it would enjoy “a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs” for 50 years. That very principle came under challenge with an extradition law last year that would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China.

here was a massive backlash against this law as hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers took to the streets.

At a time when China is facing global pressure and indignation over its mismanagement of the initial stages of coronavirus, tightening screws on Hong Kong gives Xi Jinping a nationalistic boost and potentially rallies the nation around the flag.

It is not surprising that as the situation in Hong Kong has become more precarious, Beijing has dialled down the rhetoric on the Indian border tensions.

Read More: ORF

The End of Autonomy for Hong Kong

China seems to have begun consolidating its territorial claims on its periphery and the first victim will be an autonomous Hong Kong. The mainland’s National People’s Congress has passed a new sweeping security law that will criminalise most forms of political dissent, undermine other individual freedoms and put a tight lid on foreigner activity in the city-state.

Read More: The Hindustan Times

Pandemic And Gender Inequality

Besides endangering their own economic independence and the survival of their families, the lockdown has had the most impact on the health, both physical and mental, of women. With the lockdown now being eased, the government must categorise all services catering women’s reproductive health as “essential” and violence against women must be seen as a health care issue to prevent needless deaths and pain.

Violence against women increases during most crises, including epidemics. The National Commission for Women has reported increases in violence against women in the last two months.

Read More: Hindustan Times