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The Great Wall of China
To the northwest and north of Beijing, a huge, serrated wall zigzags it's way to the east and west along the undulating mountains. This is the Great Wall, which is said to be visible from the moon. This massive wall has not only been one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World, but it has also been inspiration for many artists, and writers. The building of the Great Wall is one of the biggest tragedy?s, but through this tragedy arose triumph with the wall, being so much to so many people. The Great Wall of China is much more than a wall, and was built for many reasons that are hidden to most.
Construction of the Great Wall started in the 7th century B.C. The wall states that under the Zhou Dynasty in the northern parts of the country each built their own walls for defense purposes. After the state of Qin unified China in 221 B.C., it joined the walls to hold off the invaders from the Xiongnu tribes in the north and extended them to more than 10,000 li or 5,000 kilometers. This is the origin of the name of the "10,000-li Great Wall". (Karls, Robert 10,000-li Great Wall)
To understand everything about the Great Wall it is necessary to know the many components of the wall, and their purposes. The Great Wall was renovated
from time to time after the Qin Dynasty. A major renovation started with the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368, and took 200 years to complete. The wall
we see today is almost exactly the result of this effort. With a total length of over 6,000 kilometers, it extends to the jiayu Pass in Gansu Province in the west and to the mouth of the Yalu River in Liaoning Province in the east. What lies north of Beijing is but a small section of it. (Karls)
The Badaling section of the Great Wall snaking along the mountains northwest of Beijing was built at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century. Being 7.8 meters high and 5.8 meters wide at the top on the average, it has battle forts at important points, including the corners. (Karls)
Located 10 kilometers south of the Badaling section of the Great Wall and built in an 18.5-kilometre-long valley, the pass has always been an important gateway northwest of Beijing. The name is believed to have its origin in the workers and slaves conscripted to build the Great Wall in ancient times. Cloud Terrace, built in 1345, was originally the base of a pagoda over looking the main road of the town of the pass. The arched gate of the terrace and the walls inside the arch are decorated with carvings. Of elephants, lions, birds, flower and heavenly kings as well as charms in six languages-Sanskrit, Tibetan, Phats pa (Mongolian), Uygur, West Xia and Han. (Karls)
The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, 70 kilometers northeast of Beijing, is linked to the Gubeikou section on the east and the Badaling section on the
west. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is crenellated for watching and shooting at the invading enemy. Some of the battle forts on the wall are as close
as 50 meters apart. It is one of the best sections of the Great Wall. (Karls)
Located in Miyun County northeast of Beijing, the Jinshanling division of the Great Wall, like the Simatai division, belongs to the Gubeikou section of the colossal defence barrier. The battlements in the Jinshanling division of the Great Wall are built along the ridge of a mountain, where the soldiers can resist the invading enemy by taking advantage of the high terrain. (Karls)
Located to the east of Jinshanling, the Simatai division of the Great Wall is 3,000 meters long and has 35 battle forts. The wall rises and falls with the precipitous mountain ridge, while the battle forts are located high up the hills.
From the Beakon Tower alarm was raised by means of smoke signals, at night by fire. Smoke was produced by burning a mixture of wolf dung, sulfur and saltpeter. Shots were fired at the same time. Thus an alarm could be relayed ... more
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Status Of Transition From Socialism
Vietnam is a country whose economy is evolving. Its rapidly changing economy is facing significant alterations in the process of transition. Vietnam is moving away from its current economy, which is a non-market socialist one, towards a market economy with a socialist orientation. Vietnam is one of the poorest countries in the world with a Gross Domestic Product of only $300. High levels of population along with the proper training will allow Vietnam to effectively use its number one resource, people. Australia plays a key role in assisting Vietnam's economic growth and development through their aid programs.
Economic reforms are changing Vietnam from an agricultural rich economy to a service industry one. Throughout the years, agriculture, as a percent of Gross national product, has decreased from year to year, while service and industrial are increasing. This steady decline is because of the changing situation with its economy. With this decrease, migration to cities and towns is usually normal, but not in this case, as Vietnam has stayed primarily rural. The main agricultural cash crops in Vietnam are rice, coffee, cashews, corn potatoes rubber, soybean and tea. Clothing, computers and electronics are a growing part of the economy as well. Tourism is the largest industry in the service sector.
In Vietnam land sales are not permitted. This is because of the communist rule, and the ownership of all land by the state. During the current economic reform to a market system of economy, household farms have replace the once popular collective farms. Land rights are guaranteed to the families for twenty years on farmland and fifty years for forestland. Though the farmers can still not own land they do have the right to use it, rent it, inherit it, and well as claim it as collateral.
The changing economy has caused the industrial and service sectors to steadily expand. With this increase, many are being dominated by state owned industries.
Along with the escalating change towards a market economy, competition within the private sector has also risen due to the fact that state owned enterprises are increasing as well. If these state owned enterprises were private then economic efficiency would be increased as well. This in turn would benefit the Vietnam economy and people. The government has instated rules so this can happen. They have also forced the state owned enterprises to be self- sufficient. They are now highly self-sufficient. They are self-run, determine what their production inputs and outputs are, and are responsible for the financing and accounting of their firm. Though they seem to be individual entities, the government still has a strong hold on them because the governments has complete ownership of the firm, even though there are shareholders.
With the institution of Doi Moi the economy of Vietnam has experienced a very strong growth. The past decade the Gross Domestic Product averaged 7.5%. Throughout the most recent years the growth has not been as severe but still positive. It was gaining strength as 2000 began but has been slowing down. There is still a positive growth but not as significant as in the mid 90s. See following chart for the Real GDP Growth in %.
Towards the end of the 90s many factors accounted for this slow down. Economics reforms were slowing as well. State owned enterprises and banks were becoming inefficient as well. This, along with a decrease in demand and consumption, a decrease in foreign and local investing, as well as a decrease in outputs all contributed to the slow down in economic growth. So, as this slow down became evident, changes needed were made in order to increase the GDP. In the year 2000, certain things happened which did in fact raise the growth in real GDP. The world economy was growing and manufacturing and commodity prices were improving as well. Along with a rapid growth in the industrial sector as well as the non-state sector Vietnam was able to recover from a slowing GDP growth quickly.
In order to accelerate the economic growth more and reduce the poverty, which seems to be plaguing the country, the Vietnam Government installed Doi Moi reforms. This process was accelerated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, formerly Vietnam's ... more
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