What is happening in China?

What's Happening In China?

The Chinese government stands accused of rounding up Chinese Muslims and holding them without trial and against their will.

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Recently, NowThis news source released a video of an advocate by the name of Aydin Anwar speaking about the current state of East Turkestan. She discussed how people were being taken from their homes, their lives, and forced into "concentration camps" (her words specifically). She alleges that inside these camps, people are being tortured and forced to denounce God and their own identities and religions and then to pledge loyalty to the Chinese president, government, and country. She even says that one of her own relatives was sent to a camp and was killed there.

This video spread around the internet pretty rapidly circulated this information with the video having over 19 million views on Facebook. I decided to do some digging into this. If what Anwar alleges is true, it closely resembles actions taken by Chechnya to purge their LGBT population back in 2017 and even actions were taken against the many millions who were affected by the Holocaust. Here is what I have found so far:

The government has denied any concentration or internment camps. They claim that people are at special schools to combat the rise of religious violence and extremism. Despite this claim, BBC reporters have published an aerial image of an alleged concentration camp in the desert this past April (2018) that was not present in July of 2015. Another aerial image taken in October 2018 shows the alleged concentration camp has grown in size since April.

Inside these concentration camps, as outlined earlier, the Chinese government is carrying out acts of psychological and physical torture. It is alleged that the guards and interrogators inside the camps are pulling out nails and teeth as forms of torture to counteract any "bad behavior" or "resistance". It is also alleged that victims are tied down in chairs and left in solitary confinement. Snakes are used during interrogations as well. Victims inside the concentration camps allegedly stand chanting things like "there is no God" or "all hail the Chinese state" for hours on end. It has even been alleged that people inside the concentration camps are being sterilized (this is a practice used in genocide to destroy the possibility of any future offspring from the affected group of people).

But, you may be thinking, if this is true, WHY hasn't anyone in a position of power done anything? There are a few different answers to this question: The first is that China is extremely good at regulating what their media can and cannot post. This means any news of the concentration camps generated within the country itself would immediately be shut down before even reaching the post. Also, China has close ties with strong countries and could be suing its political and economic (specifically its economic) power to put pressure on the rest of the world not to say anything. Think about it, many products come with a little tag that says "made in China". This gives China the power and connections to shut down production of goods. In an economic world such as this, production means power.

However, YOU can do something. You can dig around for more information and raise awareness for such atrocities. Here are a few links to get you started:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/China_...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/china-is-c...

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5 Must Dos in Yilan, Taiwan

A small, but beautiful country.
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When people speak of Taiwan, they often talk about its famous capital, Taipei. With Taipei 101, the third tallest building in the world, towering over the gorgeous skyline, this city sure is a hot spot for both locals and tourists. However, aside from its exciting city life, Taiwan has many hidden treasures. Yilan, a small county along the northeastern coast, is certainly one of them. Surrounded by beautiful mountains coupled with flowing waterways, Yilan is the place to go to escape our fast-paced lives and re-connect with nature. Having recently explored the lovely county, here are my suggestions on 5 must do's in Yilan!

1. Suao Cold Spring

If you ever find yourself in Taiwan, you don't need me to tell you that it is hot, hot, hot. But no need to fear, one of the world's two natural cold springs lies right in the heart of Yilan. With average temperatures below 22 degrees Celsius, people flock here to relax on a humid day and let the all natural cold spring water sooth their skin.

2. Jiaosi Hot Spring

After a trip to the cold spring during the viciously hot daytime, nothing is more relaxing than a trip to the hot spring during the chilled night time. Here, you can either choose to soak your body or get a "fish massage" in which little fish bite the dead skin off your feet. Both options are sure to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

3. Seafood

Filled with rivers and surrounded by the open sea, Yilan has some of the freshest, tastiest seafood around town. People line up for hours outside of restaurants such as Wu's Harbour Contemporary Cuisine and Fu Mei Fresh Seafood, just to get a taste of the perfectly seasoned fish, shrimp, scallop, squid, octopus and even shark meat.

4. Meihua Lake

This is a fantastic place for children, elders, families, couples and everyone in between! With delicious local snacks and fun rental bikes, this is the perfect place for people of all ages to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. One can choose to ride a single, tandem, or family bike around the lake, surrounded by beautiful mountains.

5. Ludong Night Market

As one of the most famous night markets in Taiwan, Ludong Night Market is favored for various delicious and unique foods such as pan fried spring onion pancakes and red bean boba desserts. There are also many carnival games to be played, street performances to be enjoyed and shopping to be done. Ludong Night Market is so popular, if you ever visit, expect to find yourself packed between flocks of strangers also trying to make their way to the next exciting stand.

Cover Image Credit: Wordpress

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11 K-Pop Songs For Any Mood, Big Or Small

It's becoming a popular genre, so here's some suggestions.

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Over the past two years, I have been diving into a genre that has become very popular called K-pop. K-pop is short for Korean pop which is what the name entitles. Koreans singing pop music. The reason that I have been getting more into this genre was because of a group called BTS (if you don't know who they are at this moment and why, they are seven guys that essentially broke through the music barrier in the US first. To all my fellow army reading this, they paved the way). It takes a lot to understand what a song meaning is, but here are some for any mood.

1. Lost or feeling like you're nothing

Some suggestions that I would give are "Butterfly" by Loona or "2! 3!" by BTS. Both songs talk about being strong and that there are days that are going to be better because you are awesome.

2. Just went through a breakup and you're pissed

This I have go to with "Gashina" by solo artist Sunmi. It's more of the badass song that gives off this "bitch, why did you mess with me" vibe and literally one of the lyrics is "why are you leaving such a beautiful woman like me behind?"

3. Just went through a breakup and you're sad.

I had to dig but I have to go with "Butterfly" by BTS. This has a different feel from Loona's "Butterfly" but it's good to listen to because it can lift up a spirit.

4. Need a pump up song before a house party

"Gogobebe" by Mamamoo. It's that song that can get someone pumped up for a night out while getting ready, in my opinion at least.

5. A good party song

"Cherry Bomb" by NCT 127. The beat is big and it's a song to get people dancing.

6. A song for Wine Wednesday

"Dionysus" by BTS. The song title is literally the Greek God of wine. I don't that's not the meaning behind the lyrics but like... wine.

7. A song for if you just want people to say your name

"Say My Name" by ATEEZ. A new hot rookie group that I've been obsessed with listening to like that deep voice when they sing "say my name, say my name, say my naaaame."

8. Just need some drama in your life

"Dramarama" by Monsta X. *deep breath* DRAMAMARAMAMARAMAMA HEY! And rest.

9. In a happy and peppy mood

"Very Very Very" by I.O.I. Can I first say I love this song and can I also say that I wish I.O.I didn't disband.

10. A good summer song

"Dance the Night Away" or "What is Love" both by Twice. They're great songs and the music videos for both are just amazing. I mean, "What is Love" makes many video references!

11. A song you need to stream

Just stream K-pop in general. It's hard to get into the mainstream of music here in the United States and now K-pop is in that. Yes, it's in a language most may not know, but it's not the language. Music is universal.

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