Orak and Verum were helping each other with their homework. While Orak taught math problems to Verum, she, in turn, helped him brush up his geography skills. Of course, Verum’s crystal ball also played a role in teaching geography to Orak. It spun round and round, and then highlighted a country. Verum called out the country and Orak had to name its capital city.

Suddenly, Verum’s crystal ball began spinning faster and faster as it made a familiar humming sound. Verum said, “Orak, I think we must take a break. It’s time for world-gazing!”

“Of course,” replied Orak, “Do tell me the news, Verum!”

“Today’s news is about China and Taiwan. Remember we discussed how Chinese planes have been entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ)?” said Verum.

Every country has airspace earmarked. It is above the land and water. Countries monitor this airspace for security. It is called ADIZ – air defense identification zone.

“Yes, I do remember,” said Scorch, “You had also explained the history behind this conflict. Could you explain it once more?”

“During the 1940s, a civil war was going on in China,” started Verum, “In this war, General Mao Zedong’s armies defeated then-leader Chiang Kai-shek’s troops. Chiang and his government fled to Taiwan where they maintained their rule.”

She added, “Eventually, Taiwan phased into a democratic government in which people choose their leaders through elections. So, Taiwan began thinking of itself as a self-governed state and not dependent on China. It has its constitution, democratic government, and about 300,000 troops.”

“So, what’s the latest news?” said an eager Felix.

“China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province and believes it will rejoin China eventually,” replied Verum, “That’s why China’s President Xi Jinping recently said that Taiwan must be reunited with China peacefully. But at the same time, China hasn’t ruled out the use of force to bring about this reunification.”

“Oh, no,” said Scorch, “What does Taiwan have to say about this?”

“Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen gave a speech in response to Xi. She said Taiwan will not bow to China. It will do everything to protect its democratic way of life,” said Verum, “China then claimed she was encouraging conflict.”

“How complicated!” said Orak.