Chapter 4 Alternative Centres of Power Class 12 Political Science Notes

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Chapter 4 Alternative Centres of Power Class 12 Political Science Notes

Chapter 4 Alternative Centres of Power Class 12 Political Science Notes

European Union

• European integration after 1945 was aided by the Cold War. America extended massive financial help for reviving Europe’s economy under what was called the ‘Marshall Plan’.

• Under the Marshall Plan, the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was established in 1948 to channel aid to the west European states.

• The Council of Europe established in 1949 was another step forward in political cooperation. The
process of economic integration of European capitalist countries proceeded leading to the formation of the European Economic Community in 1957.

• After the collapse of Soviet bloc, European Union was established in 1992. It has its own flag, anthem,  founding date and currency. 

• European union was the world’s largest economy in 2005. It had a GDP of more than US $17 trillion in 2016. Its share of world trade is much larger than that of the United States. Its currency, the euro, can pose a threat to the dominance of US dollar.

• Militarily, the EU’s combined armed forces are the second largest in the world. Its total spending on  defence is second after the US. Two EU member states, France and Britain, also have nuclear arsenals  of approximately 550 nuclear warheads. It is also the world’s most important source of space and  communication technology. 

On the political and diplomatic ground, Britain and France, the two members of EU are permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Association of South East Asian nations (ASEAN)

• Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967 by five countries of this  region - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand by signing the Bangkok  Declaration.

• On the ASEAN logo, the ten stalks of paddy (Rice) represent the ten South East Asian countries bound together in friendship and solidarity. The circle symbolises the unity of ASEAN.

• The objectives of ASEAN were primarily to accelerate economic growth and through that ‘social progress and cultural development’. A secondary objective was to promote regional peace and stability based on the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

• ASEAN countries have adopted the ‘ASEAN way’ as a form of interaction that is informal, non-confrontationist and cooperative.

• In 2003, ASEAN moved along the path of establishing an ASEAN community comprising three pillary,  namely, the ASEAN security community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Sociocultural community.

• ASEAN had several agreements in place by which member states promised to uphold peace, neutrality,  cooperation, non-interference and respect for national differences and sovereign rights.

• ASEAN has focused on creating a Free Trade Area (FTA) for investment, labour and services.

• ASEAN vision 2020 has defined an outward-looking role for ASEAN in the international community.  This builds on the existing ASEAN policy to encourage negotiation over conflicts in the region.

• India signed trade agreements with three ASEAN members, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The ASEAN-India FTA came into effect in 2010.

The Rise of the Chinese Economy

• China has been growing as an economic power since 1978. It is projected to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2040. Its economic integration into the region makes it the driver of East Asian growth.

• After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, under the leadership of Mao, its
economy was based on the Soviet model. This model allowed China to use its resources to establish the foundations of an industrial economy on a scale that did not exist before.

• China ended its political and economic isolation with the establishment of relations with the United States in 1972. Premier Zhou Enlai proposed the ‘four modernisations’(agriculture, industry, science and technology and military) in 1973.

• By 1978, the then leader Deng Xiaoping announced the ‘open door’ policy and economic reforms in China.

• The privatisation of agriculture in 1982 was followed by the privatisation of industry in 1998. Trade barriers were eliminated only in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) where foreign investors could set up enterprises.

• Privatisation of agriculture led to a remarkable rise in agricultural production and rural incomes. The new trading laws and the creation of Special Economic Zones led to a phenomenal rise in foreign trade and become the most important destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) anywhere in the world.

• While the Chinese economy has improved dramatically, not everyone in China has received the benefits of the reforms.

• The rate of unemployment has risen, working conditions and female employment is bad.

• However, regionally and globally, China has become an economic power to reckon with.

India-China Relations

• Historically, there was limited political and cultural interaction between India and China.

• After independence, both states were involved in differences arising from the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1950 and the final settlement of the Sino-Indian border.

• The conflict of 1962, in which India suffered military reverses, had long-term implications for India–China relations. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were downgraded until 1976.

• After the change in China’s political leadership from the mid to late 1970s, China’s policy became more reasonable and less ideological.

• A series of talks to resolve the border issue were also initiated in 1981.

• Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in December 1988 provided the impetus for an improvement in India–China relations.

• Bilateral trade between India and China has increased from $338 million in 1992 to more than $84 billion in 2017. Both countries have agreed to cooperate with each other in areas that could otherwise create conflict between the two, such as bidding for energy deals abroad.

Timeline of European Integration

• April 1951: Six west European countries, France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg sign the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).

• 25 March 1957: These six countries sign the Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

• January 1973: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom join the European Community (EC).

• June 1979: First direct elections to the European Parliament

• January 1981: Greece joins the EC.

• June 1985: The Schengen Agreement abolishes border controls among the EC members.

• January 1986: Spain and Portugal join the EC.

• October 1990: Unification of Germany.

• 7 February 1992: The Treaty of Maastricht was signed establishing the European Union (EU).

• January 1993: The single market was created.

• January 1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden join the EU.

• January 2002: Euro, the new currency, was introduced in the 12 EU members.

• May 2004: Ten new members, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia join the EU.

• January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania join the EU. Slovenia adopts the Euro.

• December 2009: The Lisbon Treaty came into force.

• 2012: The EU is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

• 2013: Croatia becomes the 28th member of the EU.

• 2016: Referendum in Britain, 51.9 per cent voters decide that Britain exit (Brexit) from the EU.
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