Article Two of the United States Constitution
Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws. Article Two vests the power of the executive branch in the office of the President of the United States, lays out the procedures for electing and removing the president, establishes the president's powers and responsibilities. Section 1 of Article Two establishes the positions of the president and the vice president, sets the term of both offices at four years. Section 1's Vesting Clause declares that the executive power of the federal government is vested in the president and, along with the Vesting Clauses of Article One and Article Three, establishes the separation of powers between the three branches of government. Section 1 establishes the Electoral College, the body charged with electing the president and the vice president. Section 1 provides that each state chooses members of the Electoral College in a manner directed by each state's respective legislature, with the states granted electors equal to their combined representation in both houses of Congress.
Section 1 lays out the procedures of the Electoral College and requires the House of Representatives to hold a contingent election to select the president if no individual wins a majority of the electoral vote. Section 1 sets forth the eligibility requirements for the office of the president, provides procedures in case of a presidential vacancy, requires the president to take an oath of office. Section 2 of Article Two lays out the powers of the presidency, establishing that the president serves as the commander-in-chief of the military and has the power to grant pardons and require the "principal officer" of any executive department to tender advice. Though not required by Article Two, President George Washington organized the principal officers of the executive departments into the Cabinet, a practice that subsequent presidents have followed; the Treaty Clause grants the president the power to enter into treaties with the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. The Appointments Clause grants the president the power to appoint judges and public officials subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, which in practice has meant that presidential appointees must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate.
The Appointments Clause establishes that Congress can, by law, allow the president, the courts, or the heads of departments to appoint "inferior officers" without requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. The final clause of Section 2 grants the president the power to make recess appointments to fill vacancies that occur when the Senate is in recess. Section 3 of Article Two lays out the responsibilities of the president, granting the president the power to convene both houses of Congress, receive foreign representatives, commission all federal officers. Section 3 requires the president to inform Congress of the "state of the union"; the Recommendation Clause requires the president to recommend measures he deems "necessary and expedient." The Take Care Clause requires the president to obey and enforce all laws, though the president retains some discretion in interpreting the laws and determining how to enforce them. Section 4 of Article Two establishes that the president and other officers can be removed from office through the impeachment process, further described in Article One.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows Section 1 begins with a vesting clause that confers federal executive power upon the President. Similar clauses are found in Article I and Article III; the former bestows federal legislative power to Congress, the latter grants judicial power to the Supreme Court. These three articles create a separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government. In addition to separation of powers and important to limited government, each independent and sovereign branch provides checks and balances on the operation and power of the other two branches; the President's executive power is subject to two important limitations. First, the President lacks executive authority explicitly granted to Congress. Hence the President cannot declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, or regulate commerce though executives had wielded such authority in the past.
In these instances, Congress retained portions of the executive power that the Continental Congress had wielded under the Articles of Confederation. In fact, because those actions require legislation passed by Congress which must be signed by the President to take effect, those powers are not executive powers granted to or retained by Congress per se. Nor were they retained by the U. S. Congress as leftovers from the Articles of Confederation; the Articles of Confederation, Continental Congress and its powers were abolished at the time the new U. S. Congress was seated and the new federal government formally and replaced its interim predecessor, and although the President is implicitly denied the power to unilaterally declare war, a declaration of war is not in and of itself a vehicle of executive power since it is just a public declaration that the U. S. government considers itself "at war" with a foreign political entity. Regardless of the inability to declare war, the President does have the power to unilaterally order military action in defense of the United States pursuant to "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces".
By U. S. law, this pow
The Sino-Vietnamese War known as the Third Indochina War, was a brief border war fought between China and Vietnam in early 1979. China launched an offensive in response to Vietnam's invasion and occupation of Cambodia in 1978. Chinese forces captured several cities near the border. On March 6, 1979, China declared that the gate to Hanoi was open and that their punitive mission had been achieved. Chinese troops withdrew from Vietnam. Both China and Vietnam claimed victory in the last of the Indochina Wars; as Vietnamese troops remained in Cambodia until 1989, China remained unsuccessful in its goal of dissuading Vietnam from involvement in Cambodia. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Sino-Vietnamese border was finalized. Although unable to deter Vietnam from Cambodia, China succeeded in demonstrating that its Cold War communist adversary, the Soviet Union, was unable to protect its Vietnamese ally; the Sino-Vietnamese War is known as the Third Indochina War, in order to distinguish it from the First Indochina War, the Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War.
In Vietnam, the conflict is known as the War against Chinese expansionism.. In China, the war is referred to as the Defensive Counterattack against Vietnam. Just as the First Indochina War—which emerged from the complex situation following World War II—and the Vietnam War both exploded from the unresolved aftermath of political relations, the Third Indochina War again followed the unresolved problems of the earlier wars; the major allied victors of World War II, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, all agreed that the area belonged to the French. As the French did not have the means to retake Indochina, the major powers agreed that the British would take control and troops would occupy the south while Nationalist Chinese forces would move in from the north. Nationalist Chinese troops entered the country to disarm Japanese troops north of the 16th parallel on 14 September 1945; the parallel divided Indochina into Chinese and British controlled zones. The British landed in the south rearming the small body of interned French forces as well as parts of the surrendered Japanese forces to aid in retaking southern Vietnam, as there were not enough British troops available.
On the urging of the Soviet Union, Ho Chi Minh attempted to negotiate with the French, who were reestablishing their control across the area, although still under British control until hostilities had ceased. Once hostilities had ended the British handed over the territory to the French. In January 1946, the Viet Minh won elections across northern Vietnam. On 6 March 1946, Ho signed an agreement allowing French forces to replace Nationalist Chinese forces, in exchange for French recognition of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a "free" republic within the French Union, with the specifics of such recognition to be determined by future negotiation. British forces departed on 26 March 1946; the French landed in Hanoi by March 1946 and in November of that year they ousted the Viet Minh from the city. Soon thereafter, the Viet Minh began a guerrilla war against the French Union forces, beginning the first Indochina War. Vietnam first became a French colony when France invaded in 1858. By the 1880s, the French had expanded their sphere of influence in Southeast Asia to include all of Vietnam, by 1893 both Laos and Cambodia had become French colonies as well.
Rebellions against French colonial power were common up to World War I. The European war heightened revolutionary sentiment in Southeast Asia, the independence-minded population rallied around revolutionaries such as Hồ Chí Minh and others, including royalists. Prior to their attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese occupied French Indochina, but left civil administration to the Vichy French administration. On 9 March 1945, fearing that the Vichy French were about to switch sides to support the Allies, the Japanese overthrew the Vichy administration and forces taking control of Indochina and establishing their own puppet administration, the Empire of Vietnam; the Japanese surrender in August 1945 created a power vacuum in Indochina, as the various political factions scrambled for control. The events leading to the First Indochina War are subject to historical dispute; when the Việt Minh hastily sought to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the remaining French acquiesced while waiting for the return of French forces to the region.
The Kuomintang supported French restoration, but Viet Minh efforts towards independence were helped by Chinese communists under the Soviet Union's power. The Soviet Union at first indirectly supported Vietnamese communists, but directly supported Hồ Chí Minh; the Soviets nonetheless remained less supportive than China until after the Sino-Soviet split, during the time of Leonid Brezhnev when the Soviet Union became communist Vietnam's key ally. The war itself involved numerous events. Two major conferences were held to bring about a resolution. On July 20, 1954, the Geneva Conference resulted in a political settlement to reunite the country, signed with support from China and Western European powers. While the Soviet Union played a constructive role in the agreement, it again was not as involved as China; the U. S. did not sign the agreement
Geography of Taiwan
Taiwan known as Formosa, is an island in East Asia. It has an area of 36,104 km2; the East China Sea lies to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait directly to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest. The island makes up 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China, known as "Taiwan". Taiwan is a tilted fault block, characterized by the contrast between the eastern two-thirds, consisting of five rugged mountain ranges parallel to the east coast, the flat to rolling plains of the western third, where the majority of Taiwan's population reside. There are several peaks over 3,500 m, the highest being Yu Shan at 3,952 metres, making Taiwan the world's fourth-highest island; the tectonic boundary that formed these ranges is still active, the island experiences many earthquakes, a few of them destructive. There are many active submarine volcanoes in the Taiwan Straits; the climate ranges from tropical in the south to subtropical in the north, is governed by the East Asian Monsoon.
The island is struck by an average of four typhoons in each year. The eastern mountains are forested and home to a diverse range of wildlife, while land use in the western and northern lowlands is intensive; the total area of the island is 36,104 km2, making it intermediate in size between Belgium and the Netherlands. It has a coastline of 1,139 km; the ROC claims a territorial sea of 12 nmi. The main island of the archipelago is the island of Taiwan, 394 km long, 144 km wide and has an area of 35,887 km2; the shape of the main island is similar to a sweet potato oriented in a south-to-north direction, therefore Taiwanese the Min Nan speakers call themselves "children of the Sweet Potato". The northernmost point of the island is Cape Fugui in New Taipei's Shimen District; the central point of the island is in Nantou County. The southernmost point on the island is Cape Eluanbi in Pingtung County; the island of Taiwan is separated from the southeast coast of China by the Taiwan Strait, which ranges from 220 km at its widest point to 130 km at its narrowest.
Part of the continental shelf, the Strait is no more than 100 m deep, has become a land bridge during glacial periods. To the south, the island of Taiwan is separated from the Philippine island of Luzon by the 250 km -wide Luzon Strait; the South China Sea lies to the southwest, the East China Sea to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east. Smaller islands of the archipelago include the Penghu islands in the Taiwan Strait 50 km west of the main island, with an area of 127 km2, the tiny islet of Xiaoliuqiu off the southwest coast, Orchid Island and Green Island to the southeast, separated from the northernmost islands of the Philippines by the Bashi Channel; the islands of Kinmen and Matsu near the coast of Fujian across the Taiwan Strait have a total area of 180 km2. The island of Taiwan was formed 4 to 5 million years ago at a complex convergent boundary between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. In a boundary running the length of the island and continuing southwards in the Luzon Volcanic Arc, the Eurasian Plate is sliding under the Philippine Sea Plate.
Most of the island comprises a huge fault block tilted to the west. The western part of the island, much of the central range, consists of sedimentary deposits scraped from the descending edge of the Eurasian Plate. In the northeast of the island, continuing eastwards in the Ryukyu Volcanic Arc, the Philippine Sea Plate slides under the Eurasian Plate; the tectonic boundary remains active, Taiwan experiences 15,000 to 18,000 earthquakes each year, of which 800 to 1,000 are noticed by people. The most catastrophic recent earthquake was the magnitude-7.3 Chi-Chi earthquake, which occurred in the center of Taiwan on 21 September 1999, killing more than 2,400 people. On 4 March 2010 at about 01:20 UTC, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit southwestern Taiwan in the mountainous area of Kaohsiung County. Another major earthquake occurred on 6 February 2016, with a magnitude of 6.4. Tainan was damaged the most, with 117 deaths, most of them caused by the collapse of a 17-story apartment building; the terrain in Taiwan is divided into two parts: the flat to rolling plains in the west, where 90% of the population lives, the rugged forest-covered mountains in the eastern two-thirds.
The eastern part of the island is dominated by five mountain ranges, each running from north-northeast to south-southwest parallel to the east coast of the island. As a group, they extend 330 km from north to south and average about 80 kilometres from east to west, they include more than two hundred peaks with elevations of over 3,000 m. The Central Mountain Range extends from Su'ao in the northeast to Eluanbi at the southern tip of the island, forming a ridge of high mountains and serving as the island's principal watershed; the mountains are predominantly composed of hard rock formations resistant to weathering and erosion, although heavy rainfall has scarred the sides with gorges and sharp valleys. The relative relief of the terrain is extensive, and
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
American Institute in Taiwan
The American Institute in Taiwan is a government-linked non-profit organization established under the auspices of the United States government to serve its interests in Taiwan. Staffed by employees of the United States Department of State and local workers, AIT is a de facto embassy providing services provided by a United States diplomatic mission; the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China in 1979 required acknowledgment of the One-China policy and termination of diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. The AIT now serves to assist and protect US interests in Taiwan in a quasi-official manner, processes visas and provides consular services to American expatriates. Following the swift passage of the 2018 Taiwan Travel Act by the United States, it now serves as a high-level representative bureau on behalf of United States in Taiwan. AIT is a non-profit corporation incorporated in the District of Columbia on 16 January 1979 after the US established full diplomatic relations with the PRC on January 1, 1979.
Following the authorization of the Taiwan Relations Act, the Department of State, through a semi-official contract with AIT, provides guidance and some funding in its operations. Like other U. S. missions abroad, AIT is staffed by employees of the Department of State and other agencies of the United States, as well as by locally hired staff. Prior to a 2002 amendment to the Foreign Service Act, United States government employees were required to resign from government service for their period of assignment to AIT. According to Section 12 of the Taiwan Relations Act, agreements conducted by AIT have to be reported to Congress, just as other international agreements concluded by United States and governments with which it has diplomatic relations. Thus, while relations between the US and Taiwan through AIT are conducted on an informal basis, the US government still treats the relationship within the same confines as with other states with formal diplomatic relations. AIT has a small headquarters office in Arlington County, Virginia with its largest office located in Taipei, Taiwan.
The organization has a small branch office in Taiwan's southern port city of Kaohsiung. These three offices are referred to as AIT/Taipei and AIT/Kaohsiung, respectively; the location of AIT/Taipei in Da'an District was the former site of U. S. Military Advisory Group headquarters before 1979; the new AIT office complex at No. 100 Jin Hu Road, Neihu District, was scheduled to be completed in 2015. For the purposes of remuneration and benefits, directors of AIT hold the same rank as ambassador and, in Taiwan, are accorded diplomatic privileges in their capacity as directors. Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office represents the Republic of China in the United States. From 1953 to 1979, the United States Ambassador to China was based in Taipei. A new $250 million compound for the American Institute in Taiwan was unveiled in June 2018, accompanied by a "low-key" American delegation and several mid-level diplomats. Charles T. Cross 1979 – 1981 James R. Lilley 1981 – 1984 Harry E. T. Thayer 1984 – 1986 David Dean 1987 – 1989 Thomas S. Brooks 1990 – 1993 B. Lynn Pascoe 1993 – 1996 Darryl Norman Johnson 1996 – 1999 Raymond Burghardt 1999 – 2001 Douglas H. Paal 2002 – 2006 Stephen Young 2006 – 2009 William A. Stanton 2009 – 2012 Christopher J. Marut 2012 – 2015 Kin W. Moy 2015 – 2018 Brent Christensen 2018 – Thomas S. Brooks 1981 – 1983 Jerome C.
Ogden 1983 – 1986 Scott S. Hallford 1986 – 1991 James A. Larocco 1991 – 1993 Christopher J. LaFleur 1993 – 1997 Stephen Young 1998 – 2001 Pamela J. H. Slutz 2001 – 2003 David J. Keegan 2003 – 2006 Robert S. Wang 2006 – 2009 Eric H. Madison 2009 – 2012 Brent Christensen 2012 – 2015 Robert W. Forden 2015 – 2018.06.20 Raymond Greene 2018.06.21 – present William D. McClure 1981 – 1986 Raymond Sander 1987 – 1997 William Brekke 1997 – 2000 Terry Cooke 2000 – 2003 Gregory Loose 2003 – 2006 Gregory Wong 2006 – 2010 Helen Hwang 2010– Scott Pozil 2011 – 2013 Amy Chang 2010 – 2013 Steve Green 2009 – 2011 Gregory Harris 2011–See AIT Commercial Section David Dean 1979 – 1986 David N. Laux 1986 – 1990 Natale H. Bellocchi 1990 – 1995 James C. Wood, Jr. 1996 – 1997 Richard C. Bush 1997 – 2002 Therese Shaheen 2002 – 2004 William A. Brown 2004 – 2006 Raymond Burghardt 2006 – October 2016 James F. Moriarty October 2016 – present De facto embassy Taiwan–United States relations Foreign relations of Taiwan Foreign relations of the United States Foreign policy of the United States Political status of Taiwan Media related to American Institute in Taiwan at Wikimedia Commons Official website Official website
The Pratas Islands known as the Dongsha Islands and Tungsha Islands, are three atolls in the north of the South China Sea. They consist of one island, two coral reefs and two banks, are located about 170 nautical miles southeast of Hong Kong; the Republic of China has declared part of them the Dongsha Atoll National Park. The People's Republic of China claims them as part of China. Pratas Island is the only area above sea level, it has an area of about 240 hectares, including 64 hectares of lagoon, is the largest of the South China Sea Islands. It is the location of the Dongsha Airport; the Pratas atoll is circular, with Pratas Island at the west of the atoll, two large submerged coral reefs around the edge of most of the rest of the atoll. The North Vereker Bank and South Vereker Bank are adjacent to each other about 40 nautical miles to the northwest of the Pratas atoll at 21°N 116°E. North Vereker Bank rises to 11 metres below sea level, South Vereker Bank to 57 metres below sea level. There are numerous oil wells to the west of the banks.
The English name of the islands derives from the Portuguese Ilhas das Pratas, given to the atoll in the 16th century owing to its round shape. Dongsha is the pinyin romanization of the Chinese name Dōngshā Qúndǎo, meaning "Eastern Sandy Archipelago"; the name distinguishes it from the western archipelago, better known as the Paracel Islands. The East Indiaman Earl Talbot was wrecked on the Pratas Islands on or about 22 October 1800 with the loss of all aboard. At the time the islands were known to British sailors as the "Perates"; the British screw sloop HMS Reynard wrecked in 1851 while going to the aid of another wrecked vessel. In 1859-1861 there was a correspondence between the British Colonial Office and the Hong Kong colonial authorities about building a lighthouse on the main island on the atoll. Despite an offer by a British businessman in Xiamen to build it, it was decided that the cost was too great and the matter lapsed, it is clear from the correspondence that no one supposed the atoll to be a part of any known jurisdiction, which might have required negotiations to be conducted to ensure that construction would be legal.
One consequence of this initiative was that in 1858 the Royal Navy survey ship HMS Saracen completed the first detailed survey of the atoll, resulting in the Plan of the Pratas Reef and Island, J. Richards and others, April 1858 being published by the British Admiralty. On the resulting chart three positions are proposed for a lighthouse, on Pratas Island, on the north-east corner and on the southern edge near where HMS Reynard had stranded. In the north-east corner of the lagoon the chart notes "Anchorage for junks" indicating regular use by fishing and other small vessels taking shelter; the chart's rubric noted that the available safe draft for vessels entering was only 15 feet, so restricted to only small vessels. In 1908-1909 a Japanese businessman named Nishizawa Yoshizi established a guano collecting station, destroyed the Dawang Joss House, dug up graves and poured the bone ashes of Chinese fishermen into the sea there, renamed the atoll "Nishizawa Island", but after a diplomatic confrontation, Chinese sovereignty was re-established, Nishizawa withdrew, after being compensated by the Guangdong provincial government, after paying compensation for the destruction of a Chinese fishermen's shrine.
Japanese naval personnel occupied Pratas Island during World War II. The Japanese Navy used the island as a weather station and listening outpost until 29 May 1945 when a landing party consisting of Australian commandos and US naval personnel from the submarine USS Bluegill raised the US flag, declared the island a United States territory, named it Bluegill Island; the landing party destroyed a radio tower, weather station and ammunition dumps, several buildings. No lives were lost during this raid as all of the island's occupants fled just days prior to Bluegill's raid; the islands were restored to the Republic of China's Guangdong Province. While underway in the South China Sea on 18 July 1965, the USS Frank Knox ran aground on Pratas Reef, was only freed on 24 August after a difficult salvage effort; the islands have been uninhabited. After World War II, the islands and the sea around them were mandated by United Nations. In the Journal of Science there is a nine-page article entitled "The Natural History of Pratas Island in the China Sea" by Dr. Cuthbert Collingwood, the naturalist on board HMS Serpent.
It describes what was observed bird life, during a visit of two days while the survey ship lay at anchor. Collingwood explored the island on 30 April 1866; the islands are administered by the Republic of China with the postal code 817. In 2007, the Taiwanese government designated the Pratas atoll as the Dongsha Atoll National Park, the first marine national park in Taiwan; the Pratas Islands are located 850 kilometres southwest of Taipei and 340 kilometres southeast of Hong Kong in the northern part of the South China Sea called the Pratas Terrace. Pratas Island is 0.865 km wide. The island is made up of coral atolls and reef flats. Brush and bushes cover some of the island - the rest is white sand. Flora and fauna on and around Pratas Island includes: Silver silk tree Strawberry tung tree Coconut tree Little terns Tu
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh