TO SUM UP
Lesson 1: The land belongs to the people at large
Lesson 2: The best method of public revenue is when you do not appropriate what people rightly regard as their private property
Lesson 3: The basis of allocation land should be use
Lesson 4: There will not be an effective land tax when there is unrestrained private ownership of land
Lesson 5: It is possible to move back from unrestrained private ownership to government allocation of land
Lesson 6: A tax on land is better than a tax on people
Lesson 7: An effective land tax needs regular updating of land values
Lesson 8: An effective land tax needs effective administration
Lesson 9: That administration has to be paid for
The state of the earth bears witness to the way it has been used, even 100 years later!
More IU Conference notes (pdf)
Lecture notes also published here
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea:
Declarations made upon signature, ratification, accession or succession or anytime thereafter
Upon ratification (7 June 1996)
In accordance with the decision of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China at its nineteenth session, the President of the People's Republic of China has hereby ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 and at the same time made the following statement:
1. In accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the People's Republic of China shall enjoy sovereign rights and jurisdiction over an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles and the continental shelf.
2. The People's Republic of China will effect, through consultations, the delimitation of the boundary of the maritime jurisdiction with the States with coasts opposite or adjacent to China respectively on the basis of international law and in accordance with the principle of equitability.
3. The People's Republic of China reaffirms its sovereignty over all its archipelagos and islands as listed in article 2 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the territorial sea and the contiguous zone, which was promulgated on 25 February 1992.
4. The People's Republic of China reaffirms that the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning innocent passage through the territorial sea shall not prejudice the right of a coastal State to request, in accordance with its laws and regulations, a foreign State to obtain advance approval from or give prior notification to the coastal State for the passage of its warships through the territorial sea of the coastal State.
Declaration made after ratification (25 August 2006)
Declaration under article 298:
The Final Settlement 1713: Unification of China
The unification of China by the king of the Qin state is one of the most important events in China's history. The Qin dynasty was a comparatively short-lived dynasty but it implemented landmark reforms and established a model for China that would be used for centuries to come.
The states of China before unification
As we have discovered in previous chapters, ancient China was made up of a number of states that were independent of each other. These states were in the north of modern-day China. The Shang and the Zhou were two particularly powerful states that had some control over the other states. The Zhou began to weaken in around 500 BC and the states fell into a period of war and chaos as each state tried to assert its power over the others. During this time, the states were also invaded by nomadic tribes to the north of China that had become aware of the disharmony among the Chinese states.
Seven states emerged as key players in the fight for power. They were the Han, the Chao, the Wei, the Ch'u, the Yen, the Ch'i and the Qin. The two main competitors were the Ch'i and the Qin. It was the state of the Qin that was to emerge as the most powerful of the warring states and it was the king of the Qin who would ultimately unite the states and become ruler over all of them.
The Qin state
The Qin state was a comparatively small state in the west, near the Wei River. Between 328 and 308 BC, the Qin assumed control of the north and northwest states. The Qin began to rule from their territory and gradually brought the other states under their control. By 256 BC the Zhou had lost the last of their power and were no longer influential.
The Qin adopted the then recent philosophy of Legalism which was in favour of a centrally governed state.
A unified China
Historians date the start of the Qin dynasty to 256 BC but unification did not take place until 221 BC. The Qin had been the most powerful state in China from 256 BC, since the fall of the Zhou, but in 246 BC power was handed to a 13-year-old boy named Ying Zheng.
Being only a teenager, Zheng was counselled by a number of advisers. Among them was Li Su, one of the founders of Legalism. In 232 BC, Zheng's advisers counselled him to unite the states. Many of the states were very weak and could not stand up to the Qin military. By 221 BC he had conquered the northern states. Zheng then proclaimed himself Shi Huangdi, meaning First Emperor. Once in this position of power and aided by his advisers, Shi Huangdi put in place a system of rule and government that would be emulated by all future Chinese dynasties. The system of government placed the emperor and his officials at the centre, with various other levels branching out to administer the government in the newly-created provinces.
The Qin implemented a number of reforms. They improved agriculture, built better roads, introduced a single currency and consolidated the existing systems of law and writing. Strict laws were put in place, particularly within the government, and any corrupt officials were sentenced to death. The shift was made from the feudal landholder system to a bureaucratic system, within which was a strict hierarchy. Land was confiscated from the feudal nobles and shared among the peasants.
Before uniting the states, the Qin state had already adopted the beliefs of legalism. Legalists believed that humans were essentially base and selfish and that they needed to be strictly controlled and disciplined. These were the principles on which the Qin ran their kingdom and went on to rule a unified China.
Shi Huangdi was considered a cruel and brutal ruler. In uniting the states, he abolished local customs and aimed to minimise the differences between languages so that a central system could be put in place which could be understood by everyone.
Anything that the Qin thought would help to centralise and unite the states was implemented, such as standard weights and measures and a standard currency. In 213 BC, advised by a legalist, the First Emperor ordered the burning of all private libraries and all books that included teachings that were not in line with the Qin government, particularly Confucianist ideals. This action was an attempt to extinguish any opposition to the centralised government and to destroy anything that might allow people to form their own ideas and might lead to potential rebellion. Many scholars who tried to protect their books were executed. The burning of the books was a tragic loss for Chinese culture as the majority of early records, teachings and philosophies were destroyed.
Once these reforms were in place, the Qin looked to take control of territory further south. Qin Shi Huangdi was strong but had many enemies. Nomadic tribes to the north had long been a threat to China. It is also thought that the thousands of ruling families who had been overthrown when the Qin came to power also opposed Shi Huangdi's rule. They were also angry as he had confiscated much of the land belonging to them and redistributed it among the nobles.
End of the Qin
Shi Huangdi died in 210 BC and his son assumed the throne of the Qin dynasty. A large rebellion broke out after the death of Shi Huangdi. Many people were unhappy with the oppressive rule of the Qin and the legalist government. The prince of the Han defeated the Qin troops in battle and overthrew Shi Huangdi's son to establish the Han dynasty.
Shi Huangdi's Qin dynasty fell only four years after his death. Although it was a short-lived dynasty, it is a hugely significant period in China's history. The Qin dynasty also left a lasting legacy with its name. Pronounced 'chin', it is from Qin that the modern-day country of China takes its name.