More than 40 years ago China and the United States engaged in “ping pong diplomacy”, ea
sing the tensions between the two countries ever since the founding of New China in 1949.
With the People’s Republic of China retaining its rightful seat in the Un
ited Nations Security Council in 1971 and its international status continuously imp
roving, it had become apparent that the US policy to contain New China would be fruitless.
The US, on the other hand, was mired in the Vietnam War, which was sapping its national po
wer. So the US administration realized it should establish friendly relations with China in order to end the w
ar. Against this background, on Jan 1, 1979, the two countries formally established diplomatic relations.
But even before it established diplomatic relations with the US, China launched reform and opening-up in late 1978. As the leade
r of the Western world, the US played the dominant role in the global economy, as well as the technology, invest
ment, finance and other fields, with which China had to integrate to ensure its economic development.
grower in Laixi of Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province, has been able to grow peach trees into the shapes of tab
les and chairs. The price of one of his peach branch chairs has now reached more than 20,000 yuan ($2,987).
In a farm in Jimo district of Qingdao, Zhang, 65, says that he plans to grow the tables and chairs at a ratio of four to one: four chairs to each table.
Zhang said that he started planting peach trees 15 years ago. He used to be a carpen
ter and often made wooden furniture, so, when planting peach trees, he liked to collect the roots of va
rious materials and use them for making ornaments, tables, chairs, figures, flowers, birds, and other root carvings.
As the raw materials became scarce however, Zhang had another idea, asking, “Can I p
lant tables and chairs myself?” Although his family were initially skeptical, Zhang persisted.
Still, presidential vetoes occur more often than you might think. Every president since Garfield has vetoed at least
one bill. The younger Bush was the first president since John Quincy Adams to go a full four years without a veto, acco
rding to the Congressional Research Service. The House, which was Republican-led for Bush’s entire first term,
was protecting him from bills he opposed. Barack Obama, similarly, had help on Capitol Hill for most of his pr
esidency, just as Trump has. But Obama did veto two bills even when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress.
The President with the most vetoes was Democrat Roosevelt, wi
th 635, although he also served the longest in the White House (12 years). All those vetoes cam
e even though Roosevelt enjoyed Democratic majorities for his entire time in the White House.
If you plot vetoes alongside how closely aligned Congress is
to the president, it used to be quite common for a president to veto bills from a House and Senate ali
gned with him. This data comes from The American Presidency Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
South Korea, according to the Ministry of Environment.
In theory, all waste produced in the country is handled in one of three ways: it is either rec
ycled, processed into fuel, or incinerated. But a series of events in recent years have disrupted this system.
In 2017, a surge in smog levels prompted the governmen
t to tighten regulations on waste-to-energy plants and waste incineration facilities which wer
e blamed for belching out polluting fumes, says Sung Nak-kuen of the Korea Waste Association.
Consequently, the number of incineration facilities fell from
611 in 2011 to 395 last year. And with the waste-to-energy plants feeling the squeeze, dem
and for solid recovered fuel — non-recyclable plastic and paper burned for heat and energy — has collapsed.
But in late 2017, China banned the import of 24 types
of solid waste, including paper and plastic, extending it in April last year to include dozens more type
s of recyclable materials, including steel waste, used auto parts and old ships.
Exports of plastic waste from South Korea to China fell by ove
r 90%, according to the Korea International Trade Association. Trash overflowed on the
streets of Seoul as the waste management companies refused to collect it.