Friday, December 31, 2010

Research Paper on Sports

Research Paper on Sports

Sporting events are an ever-growing hobby or form of entertainment. Millions and millions of people around the world watch some sporting event in a weeks time. With these sports you get a bunch of hard working athletes, but no sport would be the same without the game time announcers. These people are the speakers, the ones who vocalize and analyze the game. These announcers can vary entirely or slightly from sport to sport. We chose four of the main sports in the United States today and analyzed how the announcers relate to their audience, their general race and age, and the characteristics of the language and emotions that take place during a game.

We chose a diverse set of sports to cover all ends of the spectrum, including golf, baseball, football, and basketball. Our main focus is on the professional level of sports, but it could highly pertain to other levels of sports also.

It is quite evident from the actions and language of the announcers that they are focusing on a certain audience. They definitely make an effort to make themselves attractive to the target audience of their specific sport. As you move from sport to sport the fans can change quite dramatically.

Golf attracts a very non-diverse audience. Golf has received the reputation of being an upper to middle class, white, male-centered sport. It is quite clear that golf focuses on this type of audience not only when observing the actual sport, but when watching commercials and seeing whom the sponsors are of this sport. Most commercials are centered on white middle class families and involve a lot of ritzy material objects, especially cars, for which commercials include Porsche, BMW “the ultimate driving machine”, Cadillac, and Bergstrum-Hummer of Madison.

These are cars commonly associated with upper-class society. A lot of the announcements are focused on males, including golfing commercials for Titleist Golf Balls, and Chivas liquor, which show all males and no females. Because of the slower pace of the sport, you tend to get these middle to upper aged men. This is why the announcers speak in a way that the audience can relate to, usually having low slang content in their vocabulary and low enthusiasm when speaking during the game.


Although baseball fans come from every walk of life, the fans who attend the games and follow their teams are usually middle-aged males. This is shown through the use of a more traditional ‘lingo.’ Unlike basketball, where phrases can become dated (i.e. “he put the nail in the coffin”) and can change from time to time, as would be expected with a younger crowd, baseball lingo has stayed basically the same. When listening to a game one rarely hears a term that is the equivalent to the basketball “on fire.” The closest thing to a baseball ‘lingo’ is when announcers use the position numbers of players rather than their names or jersey numbers. For example if an announcer says “four, six, two double play” he means that the second baseman threw the ball to the shortstop that made an out, and then threw the ball to the first baseman that also made an out. This use of position numbers is more of a part of the vocabulary of baseball rather than a trendy phrase like those used in more fast-paced sports such as football or basketball. The slow relaxed pace of baseball probably draws the older crowd and discourages younger ages that crave action and excitement. This can be seen in the way that baseball uses a more traditional, stable vocabulary as opposed to the trendy phrases of sports that have more action.

In most sports, it is quite obvious to whom the announcers are speaking to. It seems that in football, the audience is a wide variety of people. In the stands, you normally see a mixture of white and black people, generally men, which are in their thirties or forties. The announcers use this information to curve the way that they speak to the audience. They use regular terms that both white and black people would commonly use, and do not seem to favor either race or dialect. They also make sure to speak so that people of all intellectual levels would understand.

Although people of higher class are watching as well, the announcers seem to talk so as to include anyone of any class. By doing this, they use a syntax of quick phrases which consist of everyday vocabulary. One aspect that did stick out was the way the dialect was directed more to men. The announcers are all men, the athletes are all men, and the majority of the crowd was made up of males. Knowing this information, the announcers tend to talk of male oriented subjects and the dialect is that of an average white, middle class man.

Like football, a basketball audience can vary in age and race quite heavily. Because of the high energy and action, the target audience is mostly young adults.

Basketball is a high-energy sport. The audience often is highly energetic, along with the players who have to be constantly moving and working hard. There is rarely any downtime, so the announcers have to maintain high energy themselves. They have to be ready for anything and talking constantly. The target audience is also focused on young adults because of the high content of modern basketball lingo spoken and the jokes that are cracked. There is often not time for jokes during the game, but one can get a better idea of their humor during timeouts and halftime. If one were to watch a basketball game, they would find all types of people, anywhere from 5 years old to 80 years old and any type of skin color. There would possibly be more high school and college students if the tickets were more affordable. That is probably another reason why one tends to see an audience old enough to have established a descent career.

Although the announcers do tend to focus on a specific target audience, this doesn’t say much about the actual race and age of the announcers themselves. There are trends that are usually followed when observing the announcers of these varying sports. Sometimes the announcers will match the athletes and audience such as matching characteristics in age and race. Whatever the relationship is between the announcers, the players and the audience, there tends to be announcers of similar character in a given sport from year to year.

When it comes to golf, both age and race are very similar among the announcers and spectators, along with many of the actual golfers. The spectators are mainly made up of white middle-aged fans, much like the announcers who are mostly older white males also; some of who are retired golfers. A majority of the players also tend to be white and middle-aged; however, the diversity of golf is increasing as the years go by. It seems there is a common dialect between all people involved in the sport, which could be the result of a similar class and physical environment. Interviewers are primarily white and also speak the standardized GE. The overall tone is very quiet and relaxed; the background music is soothing as opposed to loud, and on-lookers are quiet until a hole is made when they cheer loudly and then resume silence. Overall, the announcers, players, interviewers, and spectators are quite similar in age, race, class, and dialect.

Although baseball is moderately diverse, whites seem to dominate athlete and fan populations. Announcers also follow this pattern with the majority being older white males. This may be because of the relaxed, slow paced nature of the sport, which in turn causes a relaxed, laid-back announcement of the game. Perhaps if baseball were as action-packed as basketball the announcers would be composed of a younger population. The short bursts of entertainment in baseball are few and far between, so unlike basketball there are often gaps where nothing is going on during the break between innings. Announcers use this time to talk casually about current issues or historical events.

Football is a tough sport to distinguish the differences between the announcers. The announcers talk in almost a neutral dialect. It was quite difficult to determine if the announcer was black or white because both used a common set of vocabulary and kept their conversation to the action of the game. The majority of announcers were older men who were white, but there were also some black announcers. It seemed to depend on the location of the game. Their dialect seemed to most resemble that of a middle class man, using smaller, direct words to get straight to the point. This seems to match the audience, and it would be most beneficial for the managers in charge to hire announcers that the audience could relate to. The athletes are also matched to the announcers. Although the announcers are generally older than the athletes, they are made up of a mixture of white men and black men, and have the same type of background since the announcers are generally retired football players.

Race can be diverse in basketball, but the percentages of certain races definitely outnumber others. Basketball is a predominantly African American sport. Caucasian players, whether from the United States or some other country, are the second most populated race in the sport. There are other races, including Chinese that take part in basketball. Since basketball is mostly black and white, this could be a very probable reason why the audience is mostly black and white also. As for the announcers, they tend to follow the trend of basketball players because most of the time you find black and white announcers. A majority of the announcers I would say are middle aged African Americans. This is so because many of the announcers are retired basketball players. You do find older white announcers, who themselves are usually retired basketball players. Men are not the only people who announce the basketball games; women also take part in this career. However, it is a lot lower percentage. One thing that is very common between all announcers, no matter their gender, age, or race, is that they all have a lot of previous basketball experience, both playing and watching.

When one distinguishes the actual language used by the announcers and the emotions put into the game, they really can start to see the characteristics of the announcers and the sport come through. Among the four different sports, there are different words and speech types that are used directly to relate to a specific sport. The emotions of the announcers vary greatly also, depending on how high energy the sport actually is.

Since the ambience of golf tends to be more reserved than other sports, it’s obvious that the tone and dialogue of the commentators match this mood. They speak in general English (GE), and in a restricted manner, assuming that the audience knows what they are talking about. To outsiders, such terms as “money list” are very confusing. Overall, there are no distinctions in language phonetics that can be made from commentator to a player or even commercials for that matter. The lexicon and language continue to be the same throughout the sport. The only miniscule difference is between the regional variation of players and the sportscasters from which we can hear differences in Southern accents vs. Midwest or West coast dialect. This lack of variation could be the result of little cultural diversity. While some may misinterpret this as a hint at the education of the current and retired golfers since many, including Tiger Woods, attended Harvard and other prestigious, higher education institutions. On the other hand, some never even went to college and therefore we can assume that given their environment, most of the morphology was learned, as is the case for Vijay Sigher, who is a Fijian of Indian descent. At this point, Golf is becoming more and more diverse, though the announcers have yet to catch up and match this variance.

The language of baseball more closely resembles golf as opposed to football or basketball. This is because of two major reasons, enthusiasm and vocabulary. Baseball announcer’s voices tend to be more monotone than football or basketball announcers’, most likely because of the relaxed game pace. Big events happen only a few times a game, and when they do the excitement of the announcer usually is still less than that of a basketball announcer. Most of the time a baseball announcer will get mildly excited, and raise his voice for a short period of time. The baseball announcer also has more of a “birds eye view” of the field, whereas in football and basketball the announcer is right in the action. This allows football and basketball announcers to have a more energetic delivery than their counterparts in the baseball world. The second difference is the vocabulary used. The vocabulary of baseball requires a small amount of background knowledge of the game to fully understand the announcer. There are a few short-hand terms that announcers will use when explaining situations in the game, or giving background information. For example, when explaining situations in the game an announcer will use position numbers (as explained above), and when giving background information, an announcer may explain that a pitcher has an ERA of .XXX or a batter has a batting average of .XXX. To gain a complete understanding of the announcer’s message one would have to know what ERA, batting average, and position numbers are. Like golf, baseball uses a more third person objective view rather than a view that captures the excitement of the game. Baseball uses a more standard vocabulary, rather than the ever-changing phrases used in non-stop-action sports that capture a more youthful audience.

In football, the dialect of the announcers fits the audience. The announcers do not use “ritzy” dialects or speak as if they are in a higher class than the people they are talking too. They are very enthusiastic and use the energy of the crowd, and the hustle of the players to hype up the audience who is watching the game on television or listening to them on the radio. One will normally hear an announcer yell, “Are you ready for some football?!” before a game to hype up the crowd. Then during the game they will yell “First down! He could go all the way!” The announcers all seem to have deep, manly voices, which depict the men on the field. Throughout the nation, it seems that all of the announcers are the same. In some areas it is more likely to find a black announcer or a white announcer, but either way one can see that the typical dialect of a football announcer does not change even when the location does.

The announcers in basketball have a similar distinct speech. Whether African American English or General English is being spoken, they still have the basketball announcer qualities. First of all, they all speak quite clear. They never mumble or talk quietly. Their voices are never monotone, but full of emotion. During the games, they are extremely into the game and one can tell if something good or bad just happened by the fluctuation of their voice tone. If something amazing happens or if it is a close game, their voices will rise and their tone gives way to a feeling of excitement. You will often hear phrases like “I can’t believe it!” It is very evident they know the sport like the back of their hand. They definitely use elaborated speech because they are speaking to a wide audience and can’t make any assumptions to what the audience knows or not. There are also certain words that are spoken when talking about basketball that are frequently used by the announcers.

This can be thought of as basketball “lingo”. For example, if a player attempts a shot and is blocked by his/her defender you may here, “Not in his house!” Another example of basketball lingo is when a player is consistently making shot after shot in which it is said that, “He is on fire!” In addition to this “lingo” that places basketball announcers apart from announcers of other sports; their emotions play a large part in their speech. It is interesting that basketball fans often have a favorite announcer or one that they get annoyed by. An announcer’s personality will come out in their announcing abilities, which will often cause for some people to like one announcer and not the next. Components of a basketball game are the athletes, coaching staff, audience, and the announcers. So obviously they are an important component of the basketball season.

Sports announcers are a huge part of the character of sports entertainment. As you can tell, depending on the sport, the announcers can be quite similar or different.

For example, the style of basketball and football announcers is very much alike, whereas golf and basketball announcers vary greatly in their style. When it comes to target audiences, basketball and football have a wide range of spectators compared to baseball and golf, which have a much less diverse audience. The diversity of the audience and athletes is generally reflected in the announcers. The announcer’s emotions are more highly expressed and their tone more often fluctuates as you move up the spectrum from golf to baseball to football to basketball. Each and every sports, whether any of the four previously discussed or any other existing sport, has its own components making up a unique character belonging to that specific athletic event.

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Research Paper on South Africa

Research Paper on South Africa

The purpose of this research paper is to provide information on the country of South Africa. For a teenager living in the United States of America, little about South Africa is common knowledge. As a matter of fact, before I started this research paper, the only thing I knew about South Africa was the fact that it is located in Africa. This term paper should sum up everything significant about South Africa from before the first British settlers to the end of apartheid, a system of legalized racial separation.

South Africa is located on the very south tip of the African continent. It is the southern-most country in Africa, thus the name South Africa. The coordinates of South Africa are 29 degrees south, 24 degrees east. (The World Factbook, pg 2)

South Africa is believed to be one of the first areas occupied by human life. For about 100,000 years the area has been believed to have been occupied by numerous groups of hunters and gatherers. These groups of hunters and gatherers, known as bush-men, had no established government. They simply had to adapt to there harsh environment, and look out for there offspring. Eventually the bush-men began pastoral farming, and along came the domestication of sheep and cattle. About a thousand years ago the first political systems arose. Chief dominated polytheistic communities would be the way to live. A chief’s power depended upon his ability to dominate his people. Females were depended upon for production and youth were workers and soldiers. Domesticated cattle were used to trade and buy goods, and were also used to obtain a wife. The trading of cattle or goods for marriage was called a lobola. Another important trading commodity came with the use of metallurgy.(Davenport, page 3) Metal tools were a useful and valuable thing. This sort of civilization, known as the Khoikhoi clans, continued until the colonization of South Africa in the 1600’s.


Until the 1600’s, most encounters Europeans had with South African natives, were very violent. But, no organized effort to seize the territory had been made. Eventually the Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English, all saw The Cape of Good Hope, as excellent grounds for a port. Its true value, of course, was as a half way point between Europe and the eastern empires. Traveling ships would then be able to provide care for sick sailors and load up on supplies. The European attraction to the Cap of Good Hope meant bad news for its Khoikhoi inhabitants. It was, of course, a well known belief that those with darker skin were lower forms of life. And that meant slavery for many inhabitants. European settlers also brought in slaves from other regions of Africa, and even Asia. Unlike slaves in the American colonies, these slaves would never be offered freedom for service in the military, or for converting to Christianity. Slave woman were not even permitted to be married. They were, of course, allowed sexual visitations from their white owners though. When the British took possession of the Cape during the French revolutionary war in 1807, a somewhat successful attempt to free the slaves was made. The British government was in a state of change. The belief that colored people should be slaves grew less and less popular. The Khoikhoi were given the “charter of liberties” in 1828.(Davenport, Page 6) This meant that slaves would be freed after a four year apprenticeship. This was not popular with local business owners, because they would have to pay for labor. So although most slaves were technically freed, racial oppression and segregation continued. South Africa would be subject to British rule with little opposition until the Boer Wars (1899-1903), a conflict between the descendants of Dutch settlers (Boers) and the British. In the first third of the war the Boer forces managed to fight off the main British force. In 1900 the city of Pretoria fell to the British. After the fall, the Boers resorted to Guerrilla tactics and dragged the war on for another 2 years. The war came to an end when the British offered peace agreements in 1902 ( the treaty of Vereeniging). During the war forces from both sides raided African villages for food and supplies. When Africans resisted, Martial Law was declared and many were slaughtered. After the war ended the British desired to keep peace with the Boers. So, in time, The Union of South Africa was formed, a completely white-run system government. In which Boers who served the King of England would be leaders along with British nobles. The African people were, of course, regarded as inferior. Apartheid kept everyone from interracial relations of any kind. And Black people had no voting rights, or any say in how their country would be run. This angered Native South Africans, and eventually led to the start of an organization known as the African National Congress. The ANC would spark several riots and protests in the next 70 years. It wasn’t until 1989 that Nelson Mendella, a former ANC leader, was released from prison after a 27 year sentence. His only crime was speaking out publicly against a hateful law that was crippling the nation. Soon after Nelson Mendella was released, all South African political parties agreed to draw up a constitution, which led to a Government of National Unity. The first democratic election for South Africa was held in 1994, in which Nelson Mendella was elected president. (World News Digest, page 3)

South Africa currently has a population of 43,647,658 people.(World Factbook, page 6) In 1996, the population was about 40.5 billion. That is a pretty steady increase for the country. Unfortunately, many South African people have a lower life expectancy due to AIDS and HIV. The population of South Africa consists of 75.2 percent black people, 13.6 percent white people, 8.6 percent colored people, and 2.6 percent Indian people. The capital of South Africa is Pretoria, named after Andries Pretorius, a hero of the Boer Republic. Although it is not the capital, Cape Town is the center of legislation. The most populated city, which many confuse to be the capital, is Johannesburg. South African is known as affectionately known as the Rainbow Nation, because of its many different cultures, languages, religions, and ethnic groups. Although South Africa is a mesh-pot of cultures, there is still hatred left over from the days of apartheid. Many white people living in South Africa still regard black people as lesser beings. This is a world wide problem that still exists in out very own United States. People living in South Africa tend to dress in accordance with their own cultures. White people will dress much like Americans, T-shirt and Jeans. Very few, but some black people also dress this way.

Most black people of South Africa will dress wearing a Caftan, a blanket like robe that covers most of the body. The official languages of South Africa are English and Afrikaans. Africkaans is a variation of the Dutch language. However, the official languages are for white people. The black people speak Bantu, of which there many variations including, Xhosa, Sesotho, and Zulu. Asian citizens are likely to speak a language of India. About two thirds of the South African people are protestant Christians. Very few descendants of the bush-men (Khoikhoi) still practice their polytheistic beliefs of old. Those who still live in a Zulu tribe, still have to pay a lebola to the father of the girl he wants to marry. The chief of a Zulu tribe can have up to eleven wives. Most people in South Africa receive at least an 8th grade education. Both males and females can read at age 15. Unlike American schools, South African children are forced to wear uniforms.

The Government of South Africa is that of a republic. Although until 1994, it was one ruled by the white minority. Black citizens were not permitted to vote. When the white minority was overthrown, a true democratic election was held, in which Nelson Mendella became the president. In the election of 1999 Thabo Mbeki became the president/ chief of state.(Davenport, page 8) Under him is President Jacob Zuma. In 1989, President P. W. Botha was succeeded by F. W. de Klerk. When Botha stepped down, it sparked huge changes in the South African government. President de Klerk agreed to release Nelson Mendella, who had been imprisoned for speaking out against apartheid. The legislative branch consists of a bicameral Parliament with a National Assembly, and the National Council of Provinces. Each of the Nine Provincial legislatures has special powers to protect local customs and traditions. The judicial branch consists of 4 courts; the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeals, the High Court, and the Magistrate Court. (World Factbook, page 7)

If an uneducated person were to attack South Africa, thinking that they had no defense, that person would be in for a surprise. The South African National Defense Force has at least 11.5 million troops available. With almost 500 thousand new recruits each year. With 1.79 billion dollars being spent per year, they are pretty well beefed up on their defenses. Now as far as attacking other countries, South Africa is only interested in defending its land, and keeping the peace. They have no nuclear capabilities, or weapons of mass distruction of at all.

Since 1990, the South African economy has been significantly transformed, particularly following the transition to democracy in 1994. Economic growth has been recovered, capital inflows resumed and business and consumer confidence increased.

Exports and imports have both grown substantially. South Africa's trade relations have also diversified, including rapid growth in exports to sub-Saharan Africa and significant expansion into Asian and American markets. The South African stock exchange ranks among the top ten in the world. South Africa, like most developing nations, is susceptible to trends in the economies of its major trading partners.

The East Asian crisis of 1998 led to deep declines in economic activity in several emerging economies, continuing into 1999. Financial market volatility led to a slowdown in South Africa's growth, but its impact was muted by prudent fiscal and monetary policy responses and sound financial institutions. A strong economic recovery is now underway and economic growth of more than 3 percent a year is projected.

South Africa and the United States of America have always been on good terms. We have set an obvious example for them in our democratic government, which is very closely emulated by them today. We fully support them in seeking a democracy which is color blind. During World War 2 they were a valuable ally, not so much because of man power, but because of the location. The Cape of Good Hope has always been a valuable port. The South African army was not that massive, but they did wield the ability to fly. Since Nelson Mendella became President in 1994, South Africa has become a more and more pleasant place to visit. The interesting South African culture combined with the beautiful landscape, have made it a somewhat desirable tourist attraction. However, some bitterness still remains from the times when apartheid was applied. Some of the white people still think that black people exist to serve them. And many of the black citizens still hold a grudge for the way them and their ancestors were treated.

Some of the most interesting things about South Africa involve the significant changes in government that occurred within the last decade. For the most part, segregation between black people and white people in the United States is over. But in South Africa legalized segregation only ended a little more than a decade ago.

South Africa is slowly becoming more and more like the United States. One thing the United States should be concerned with is the transshipment of the illegal drugs heroin and marijuana in South Africa. South Africa is the Worlds largest market for illicit methaqualone (pg. 12, World Fact Book). Also, South Africa still has minor disputes with bordering countries such as Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Swaziland desires to regain territory that was once part of Swaziland a long time ago. And the trade between South Africa and Zimbabwe is so closely intertwined that what happens to one country directly effects the other. The South African Military Exists only to keep the peace, and to defend the homeland, not to brutalize neighboring countries. As long as the future leaders of South Africa emulate the political disposition and attitude set forth by Nelson Mendella, the nation should prosper.

“We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity. We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, nonsexist, non-racialism, and democracy. We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass-democratic, religious, women, youth, business, traditional-and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion.”
~ Nelson Mendella. (Union building speech, paragraph 6)

South Africa is thought by many uneducated Americans to be unimportant or even non-existent. The truth is that South Africa has gone through many of the same things that our great nation has; colonization by European countries, war, slavery, and rule by an unfair government.

Through all of that, the spirit of the South African people has risen above and given them a chance to be free. Truly, in this puzzle of Earth, South Africa has proven itself to be a significant piece, and a beautiful nation.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Research Paper on Plants

Research Paper on Plants

Upon considering nutrition the primary factor to take into consideration is the metabolic strategy of the organism in question. Fungi are heterotrophic, obtaining both carbon and energy from organic compounds; they are chemo-organotrophs.

Plants are autotrophic, they obtain their carbon from atmospheric CO2 and their energy from light; they are photolithotrophs. The nutritional requirement of the organism is thus dictated by its nutritional strategies, this essay will concern itself with the comparison of molecules absorbed, mechanisms, regulation and organs of absorption.

Plants can synthesize their organic molecular compounds out of inorganic nutrients, the processes of energy transduction and carbon fixation occur in the chloroplasts in the reaction of photosynthesis. Plant leaves have many physiological adaptations to ensure maximal rates of photosynthesis, however there are many other nutrients required by plants and it is the acquisition of mineral nutrients via root absorption that will be focused upon.


Fungi entail an organic carbon source, but they also have a requirement for inorganic ions. The essential elements required by plants and fungi are very similar, both plants and fungi need macronutrients, N, P, K, Mg, Ca, S, but plants also require Fe as a macronutrient, whereas fungi require it as a micronutrient. The micronutrients commonly required are Cu, Zn, Mn, Mo, and plants also require B and Ni.

Plants must obtain all of their minerals from the soil, and they are taken up as inorganic ions as they re found in the soil, the plant cannot chemically breakdown molecules. Fungi utilise both organic and inorganic sources to obtain mineral ions. Fungi absorb nutrients through the plasma lemma as low molecular weight compounds, and as bioorganic chemicals usually exist as insoluble macromolecular complexes, the fungi secrete exocellular enzymes to break them down into their soluble monomeric units.

In plants ion uptake occurs in regions of the root younger than the suberization of the exodermis, usually at the root tip. Similarly both enzyme secretion and nutrient uptake in fungi occur at the nascent tip where the wall is thin and deformable. The mechanisms for uptake utilize various transporters in the plasma membrane, in plants cations are driven through uniports by the electrochemical gradient, and anions are taken up by secondary active transport through H+ cotransporters. In fungi both facilitated and passive diffusion and active transport mechanisms are used to take up nutrients, they also have the mechanisms of insoluble sinks, immobile binding sites and metabolic sinks for accumulation of nutrients in hyphae without active transport and siderophores for the uptake of iron.

In plants and fungi when the region local to the organ of uptake is depleted of nutrients, the roots and hyphae respectively extend into a fresh area; this overcomes the limitations of diffusion rates (and bulk flow in soil) to a stationary cell.

Fungi, unlike plants, can regulate their metabolism, via catabolite repression, whereby fungi utilise the nutrient source that is in the greatest abundance and switch off unnecessary metabolism.

Fungi also breakdown older regions and the products are absorbed by the new regions, plants can have senescing regions but it is not a continual process.

The nutrient acquisition of both types of organisms is improved when they are in a symbiotic association and form mycorrhizae, the plants supplying the organic nutrients and the fungi improving the absorption of mineral ions and water.

There are aspects of fungal and plant nutrition that are very similar, when considering mineral ions, however it is the lack of photosynthetic ability in fungi that mean the two organisms are also very different.

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Research Paper on Teenage Pregnancy

Research Paper on Teenage Pregnancy

In today’s society teenage pregnancy is growing. Though the percentile has lowered some in the past ten years, it is still a huge problem today.

There are many disadvantages to being a teenage mother and being the child of one. Being the parent at such a young age takes away many opportunities for you. You now can't go and explore the possibilities of your future. You are now forced to explore the opportunities of the future of your child. They now become number one in your life. They must be the first thing you think about when you wake up, and the last thing you think about before you go to sleep. There's no more going out with your friends and you can forget about the club or team you were or want to be on. Most teenagers, when they find out they are going to become parents drop out of school.

That is one of the biggest problems when becoming a teenage parent. At the time it seems like the right thing to do. You figure this will give you more time with your child, and more opportunity to get a job and support a child.


Many times the parents of these teenagers support them and encourage them to stay in school, but that doesn't always help. What these teenagers need to realize is that it's their education that will lead them to get better jobs to help support there child. Because the government see's this, they have made laws in many states saying that teenagers must finish high school while being pregnant in order to receive any kind of government assistance. The other parent must also be involved in the child’s life proving that the child will somewhat have a stable life.

The child also plays a major role in this. They are the ones who must live with the parent’s decision to get pregnant at such an early age. This child must live with what will most likely be a low income family. They probably won't get the same kind of things that most kids, if born to a couple at a normal age, might receive. It is most likely that this child will not have both parents in their life. When teenage girls get pregnant, more than half the time the father will break up with the girl and leave her with the responsibility. In reverse the mother can give birth, but then leave the father to take care of them and live with the responsibility.

With these huge problems in the child’s life, they might have the tendency to grow up with mental problems. There's the possibility of learning disabilities, or maybe even more serious conditions that might lead to hospilization. Because the parent made the wrong decision to have sex and give birth when they weren't ready, these children must live with the consequences.

There are many possibilities if a teenager were to get pregnant. They could give it up for adoption, have an abortion, or grow up and take on the responsibility in having a child. They can also look into community programs or other resources that may help in making a decision. The best decision though would be to not have sex, and if you are, to act responsibly so you won't have to face the decisions and responsibilities that someone at that age aren't and shouldn't be ready to handle.

Today it is getting better, but it's still not at its best. The day we can say that things have gotten better is the day that that every child is cared for and in a happy home. Sadly enough that day may never come.

So as you can probably tell from reading this I wouldn’t want to get myself in this situation and I think teen pregnancy is really bad. But, I sympathize for any teenage girl who has to worry about a baby for the rest of her life.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Research Paper on Time Management

Research Paper on Time Management

Our daily lives consist of schedules and planning. Trying to fit everything into a 24-hour period can be nerve racking. Using your time efficiently to achieve your life’s goals begin with good planning. Successful management of projects and tasks are based on choices you make. We need to learn how to manage the time we have not only for work but for your family as well. If you are able to manage your time, your day-to-day life will be much more easy. Building a schedule helps you to plan your daily activities. Steps to achieve efficient time management are described to help you affect the control of your time. Knowing what you have to do and where you have to be in advance can make the day less stressful and more productive.

To get more done in less time, that is the secret of successful people. We present these three rules from Donald Wetmore (2000) to increase your productivity. First, set aside a time each morning to make a list of all the items you want to accomplish that day.

As you write these items down you will begin to get a clearer picture of what you need to work on and begin to start scheduling the time necessary to complete them.

Next you prioritize your items. Choose the most important item and number this one. Choose the second most important item and label it two, and so on. Complete your first item, in spite of interruptions throughout the day. Then go on to the next item. This way you will always complete the most important item every day. When we prioritize we focus on the most important items instead of skipping around and doing the least important, therefore, easier ones. Then you follow these steps every day. As you create a new to-do list everyday, you re-prioritize items from the day before. You will feel in control of your day and improve your productivity.(162)


One of the keys to managing your time is working smart. If you have an organized plan for a project, you can manage your time wisely. Start by writing down all your projects in any order on a piece of paper. It is important to list as many of your projects as you can think of so you can best apply a priority list. After your list is compiled, group all similar tasks together.

It is important to prioritize the tasks in a logical sequence. This step is very critical in time management because if you start to work on a task, but you need other information, you will have to stop what you are working on and complete the other task first. This will slow down the process and waste time. A priority list will allow you to work on the projects in the most logical order, saving the maximum amount of time.

It is very important to set goals that are achievable. Many times, goals are set too high on initial projects, and after failing to achieve them it is hard to motivate yourself and those around you. When the goals are set at proper stages of a project and they are achieved, everyone involved feels good about his or her involvement. Goals in some cases create an adrenalin boost to a project with a feeling of accomplishment.

The opposite is true if the goals are set too aggressively and are not met. People involved in the project may tend to give up on tasks, feeling they are already failing or are going to fail. Goals should be one of the last steps of a project so they can be well thought out. After gathering all the information available and input from everyone involved, goals can be set at realistic levels.

Be firm with yourself and make the commitment of blocking some time to complete your studies. Control your distractions by limiting their effect on you. If you need to be alone to focus on your studies then close the door to keep people from interrupting you. If you are interrupted, give the person a time limit; of course you would want to keep this time limit to yourself as you do not want to alienate your family or your co-workers. Use your voice-mail to take your calls, and do not check your e-mails until your studies are done. If you prefer the hustle and bustle of a busy environment then choose a more active setting. You can get together with other students and study. Carter, Bishop, and Kravits suggests that you need to choose the environment that will make the most of your abilities to study.(55)

In many cases, you will have to rely on others to complete work in a timely manner. It is just as important to organize others that will affect the project as it is to be organized yourself. Give others as much notice as possible with what your needs are with the project, and set up times with them to update you on their progress. In doing so, you will be able to monitor their progress so they do not affect your time line. Make sure they are very clear on every detail of each step, as well as the importance of being on schedule.

Critical steps may require a backup plan to ensure the tasks will be completed in an organized and timely manner. Talk through the expectations to clear up any issues prior to moving on to your next task. Remember that if they are not clear on what is required, you have to waste more time revisiting the issues left unattended.

In our busy life other issues come up and we have to deal with them first. When an unexpected event comes up and we have to cancel a previous commitment, we now have to find time to reschedule. Many times when something like this comes up, it is hard to find the time to reschedule. If you have a schedule of your day-to-day activities, you should always have a time open in case you have to reschedule an appointment. This also gives you time to yourself when that time you set aside is not used.

Putting time aside for various events that might occur can take some stress off of you too. You would not have to stress because you would have the time there already.

Without putting aside some free time, people tend to stress out because they do not know when they would be able to fit things in. Being able to have time management skills lets you have an understanding of time, and how to use it wisely.

In order to organize your time, you must set goals in your life. Goals are certain values that you have. Values are principles or qualities that someone considers important.

For example, your religious beliefs, friends you have, relatives, authority figures, and the media. People must choose their own values and then examine them closely. Are they right for you? How will they affect your own life? Are they your choice or someone else’s? After you determine which values are right for you, you then set timeframes for your goals to be completed. Times should be broken up into short-term and long-term goals.

Breakdown long-term goals into stages. Determine which parts of your goal needs to be accomplished in a day, in a week, or longer and prioritize them. Next a “Personal Mission Statement” should be conceived. This statement should tell you about your character, what you want to achieve in life, and the principles by which you live. A good example of this would be the Constitution of the United States. There are five basic life settings by which we all base our goals on. Personal Goals are mostly associated with our personal appearance, character, and conduct with others. Our family goals consist of our marital status, how many children we would like to have, and relationships. Financial goals involve the balancing of money amongst various bills, and preparing for the future.

Education goals pertain pretty much to the type of schooling you wish to pursue, and how far you want to go in your learning. Lifestyle goals play a part in the location of your home, who lives with you, and what you will do with your leisure time. Pick goals that allow you to live how you choose to, not what somebody else wants.

Procrastination is defined as the gap between intention and action (52), so states Timothy A. Pychyl, PhD, director of the procrastination research group at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Walker (2003). There are many reasons for putting off things until the last possible moment. Fear of failure that you will not complete the task successfully, fear of change, unwillingness to start an unpleasant task. The fear of being successful is a fear you do not associate with procrastination. If you become successful then you have added responsibilities and choices. You will not do anything if you are afraid of doing the wrong thing. You need to conquer procrastination by recognizing it and not giving in to it. Start your task right away, the quicker you do it, the sooner it is finished. If you feel overwhelmed then break your project into smaller tasks. Concentrate on each task and complete it, do not worry about the end result. Set your priorities and get motivated to finish these tasks. You will start to develop good work habits and procrastination will not be a problem any longer.

When you set a priority, you identify what’s important at any given time. Look at your five life areas to determine which areas have priority over others. You do not have to include all areas. They could consist of only a few. For example, family could be a higher priority than your leisure time. By setting your priorities, you get closer to accomplishing your goals. There are two basic types of approaches to time management.

One is a factual and linear person. They organize activities around a specific timeframe. The other is a theoretical and holistic person. They focus on the whole picture while time passes them by. Other ways that help to plan your time would be to schedule your week.

Take ten to fifteen minutes before you start your day to plan your daily activities. This will save you a lot of time in the long run. Write events and important appointments down on a calendar in the home. Use a scheduling book and carry it with you at all times.

Sometimes saying “No” when you are working is difficult. Especially if you are the workaholic type or just plain run out of time because you did not plan your day. From time to time there may not be somebody around that can complete your assigned task because it needs your expertise. It is a good practice to say “No” every now and then.

You can benefit from this by having more time to yourself, delegating your authority to others, takes stress off of you, and other people may gain experience from the way you manage your time.

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Essay on Irony in The Scarlet Letter

Essay on Irony in The Scarlet Letter

Born into a strict, old Puritan family, Nathaniel Hawthorne grew up in seclusion. Sin and punishment were largely the themes of Hawthorne's writing and were most likely influenced from his early years. These themes were sparked from possible guilt he may have felt for the role his ancestors played in the persecution of Quakers and in the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692, where his grandfather was a presiding judge. In 1850 Hawthorne created the most recognized work of his career. In the novel The Scarlet Letter there are many examples of verbal, situational, and dramatic irony. (96)

The first type of irony is verbal irony, in which the speaker says one thing but means another, or says something without realizing its significance. The first example of verbal irony takes place when Hester stands on the scaffold and Dimmesdale makes a plea for her to voice her fellow sinner. Dimmesdale informs her that her silence would only "add hypocrisy to sin." This is particularly ironic because Dimmesdale does not yet know the life of hypocrisy he will live as a result of the sin. The second example of verbal irony is when Pearl asks her mother, "Why does Dimmesdale cover his heart?" This is ironic because Pearl makes the connection about what he is doing but does not grasp that Dimmesdale actually covers a scarlet letter upon his chest. The final example of verbal irony is when Hester and Pearl walk in the forest. Pearl warns her mother to "Come away, or yonder the Black Man will catch you!" Pearl does not realize that the Black Man is actually Chillingworth and that he is evil. Since she does not quite grasp the full meaning of what she is saying, it is considered to be ironic. (197)


The second type of irony in the novel is situational irony where something unexpected occurs. The first example of situational irony is when the Puritans, upon arrival at the New World, made a portion of the "virgin soil as a cemetery", and the other "as a prison." They came from the Old World to create a new one, a "city on a hill" where everything was to be perfect. If this were true there would be no need for a prison, especially as the first thing built. Another example of situational irony is that the children play games imitating behaviors that their parents are opposed to. They play games such as "scourging Quakers", pretending to be witches, and "taking the scalps of Indians." The Puritans allow their children to play such games that represented the opposite of what they want them to grow up and become. The final example of situational irony is that Hester gave her money to charity. She bestows "all her superfluous means" in it. This is particularly ironic because Hester is actually seen by the town as a charity case and one would not expect for her to be helping the needy. (196)

The final type of irony in the story is dramatic irony in which the reader knows something that certain characters do not. The first example is when Hester tries to convince the governor to let her keep Pearl. She insists that the reverend speak for her saying, "You know me better." This is ironic because the others think she says this because he is her Reverend. However, the reader knows that he is actually the equal in her sin and really does know her better. The second example of dramatic irony is when Dimmesdale becomes sick and moves in with Chillingworth for him to be his physician or leech. However, Chillingworth is actually making his condition worse. He constantly reminds Dimmesdale of the consequences of sin and tortures him.

Chillingworth's face becomes something "ugly and evil" as he subtly reminds Dimmesdale of his equal guilt in Hester's sin. This is ironic because we know that he is actually Hester's husband but Dimmesdale does not. The final example of dramatic irony is the townspeople's opinion of Chillingworth. They think he is an "eminent doctor of physic from a German University." The townspeople generally praise him and look up to him. This is ironic because the reader knows that he is actually not worthy of praise. Chillingworth conveys the worst sin of the book; he plots revenge on Hester and Dimmesdale. (229)

The Scarlet Letter is bursting with examples of verbal, situational, and dramatic irony in use to create a thought provoking moment for the reader. The use of irony in the story reflects the ironic nature of Hawthorne and his feelings towards the themes in the novel. His obsession with sin, guilt, and punishment may be the result of something morbid from his own life or merely the seclusion he grew up in after his Puritan ancestors. Nevertheless, The Scarlet Letter is one of the most ironic and read books in American literature. (92)

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Research Paper on China

Research Paper on China

The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) has become the biggest challenge to China's economic development and military modernisation at the turn of the new millennium. To the Chinese political and military leaders RMA is not only a new military theory, it also promises a new type of war of mass destruction. The Chinese leadership has genuine reasons to be worried. The countries most vigorously advancing RMA and most capable of bringing the theory into reality are all China's potential opponents. The US is particularly using RMA to consolidate its military superiority in the decades to come. [1] Worse still, for a long time to come the PLA will have very limited capabilities to deal with the war of mass destruction brought about by RMA, nor will it be able to achieve breakthroughs in military technology necessary for applying RMA in its own defence modernisation. It is likely that China may be left further behind, as RMA helps the superpower achieve a new qualitative leap in its power projection in the new century. Exactly because of the gravity of the issue to China's long term national security the Chinese military has shown enormous enthusiasm learning, absorbing and applying RMA in its own catching up efforts. If China can successfully translate the RMA concepts into its strategic guideline, weapons program and force restructuring, given time the PLA will take on a new look and the whole Asia-Pacific region will feel the consequences.



Embracing the Revolution in Military Affairs
The Chinese military research learned the concept of RMA quite early when they noticed that the Soviet military circles started to discuss revolution in military technological affairs in the 1970s. At the time the US defence analysts also caught up with this Soviet term which made nervous. They thought that the USSR was sending out signals that it had obtained some superiority over the US due to its scientific and technological breakthroughs. Only later did the US discover that the Soviet research on revolution in military technological affairs was actually aimed at studying the innovations in US military thinking, which were stimulated by the great leap forward in hi-tech discoveries. The systematic study of the linkage between technology and military affairs in both superpowers resulted in a foresighted prediction that revolution in information technology would fundamentally transform the way the war was pursued. [2]

RMA has been brought to prominence only recently by the military actions in the 1990s, such as the Dessert Storm and the Kosovo War, which revealed the new dimensions of battle-field combat. However, as the first group of eager learners, the Chinese seriously studied the discussion of RMA in the US and USSR. Since the 1980s they have published a large number of articles on RMA, anticipating that something revolutionary may soon happen in military science and armed conflict. Immediately after the official adoption of Deng's “people's war under modern conditions” in the early 1980s, the CMC launched a nationwide campaign to study how the PLA would fight in the turn of the century. In 1987 a strategist in the PLA Academy of Military Science stated that a qualitative change in military science was in the making. This change was stimulated by the development of hi-tech conventional armory, such as laser and fixed energy weapons systems, whose effect was increasingly approaching that of nuclear weaponry. [3] In a keynote speech to the PLA's first all-services conference on the future war in 1986, General Zhang Zhen, the second in ranking in the PLA in the 1990s, said he believed that if the PLA could not foresee the developmental trend of military science, it would be further left behind. [4] Since the mid- 1990s the concept of RMA has attracted enormous interest in the rank of file of the PLA, which witnessed the prototype application of RMA ideas by the US in real wars. In a sense China is fortunate to have been exposed to such international events and technological revolution at a time when its leadership is under minimal ideological constraint. This unprecedented level of political relaxation has permitted PLA researchers to take a realistic approach to the study of new wars. Now it has actually become a vogue for PLA soldiers to talk about RMA. Andrew Marshall, Stephen Blank, Martin Libiki, and others have been quoted frequently.

Such a PLA zeal to learn RMA has surprised many western analysts. "Surprised" in a way that RMA is an invention by the advanced military powers but is now embraced so eagerly by China whose technological foundation can hardly sustain any real PLA attempts to put RMA into practice, let alone its traditional propensity against the West's ideological penetration. This has told a lot of the PLA today which is much more open and pragmatic. As pointed out by Michael Pillsbury, the PLA's elaboration of the RMA has shaken up western notions about the backwardness of the PLA's strategic planning. Indeed, the very fact that RMA is studied in China is an indication of the PLA's advance; besides the Chinese, only Americans and Russian wrote on the subject in the early 1990s. [5]

RMA and the Three Schools of Thought in the PLA
Within the PLA, however, it is quite clear that many influential PLA generals entertain reservations about RMA, as they insist that the concept is far away from the PLA's reality. Currently there are three schools of thoughts in the PLA, each debating with the other two over what should be the best strategic guidelines for China's future military modernisation. The first school of thought is that of "people's war", supporting either the Maoist original version or the Dengist revision. The people of this school of thought are remaining Long Marchers who still exert influence in the PLA and their close associates in active service. They believe that given the present backwardness of the country's military technology, the PLA has no choice but depend on people's power and its current equipment to frustrate any enemy's invasion. [6] The number of people in this school of thought is the smallest among the three. Yet their argument cannot be entirely dismissed: the US defeat in Vietnam and the Soviet disgrace in Afghanistan showed that the form of people's war is not without its logic in the defence of a continental country. The US is fearful of casualties. Therefore, the usefulness of people's war has not been exhausted against a land war threat of the superpower even in the hi-tech era. Certainly, the influence of Long Marchers is continuously dwindling because even people in this school have realised that what China may face in a future war is not an invasion on its land mass but either lightening air and missile surgical strikes or sustained air and missile bombardment, as seen in Kosovo in 1999.

At the present the majority of PLA generals still belong to the school of hi-tech warfare. Led by powerful military leaders such as Admiral Liu Huaqing, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), (retired in 1997), these senior officers man the key PLA positions and run its daily affairs. This school of thought concludes that China has not yet entered information age and so it has not had a solid technological foundation for practising RMA. Their view is similar to the prediction of US analysts that RMA can happen in China only after the second decade of the next century. [7] In addition to timing, this school also differs the school of RMA in that the latter takes a more integrated view on the features of information warfare (IW). More importantly, people in this school do not envisage an urgent need for a fundamental overhaul of China's armed forces in the foreseeable future. They agree to some restructuring of the PLA, giving more emphasis on the development of the specialised services, such as the air force and navy. [8] Yet they dismiss the idea of establishing digital army divisions and constructing digitalised battle-field as relevant to China's military modernisation. For instance, they believe it is too early to think of preparation for replacing the current C3I system linking the CMC, seven military regions and a number of war zones with a new integrated five-dimensional C3I system (Land, sea, air, space, and electronic space) that removes the current functional divisions of command between geographical locations and different services. In other wards this school of thought stresses only individual aspects of IW, although it acknowledges the changing patterns, modes and processes of hi-tech wars. [9] China's current national defence strategy bears the name of this school of thought whose specific features are discussed in the later section.

In contrast, the RMA school of thought theoretically tends to aggregate all the features of IW and analyses these features in a forward leaning manner. The number of true believers of RMA in the PLA is small and clearly many of them are simply copying the minds of their US colleagues without a real grasp of the nature of the concept. These enthusiastic supporters of RMA are those war planners in the headquarters of PLA specialised services and the academic staff in PLA education and research institutions. It is they who have spearheaded the study of advanced western military ideas and convinced PLA top brass that times have changed. They are young, well read, visionary, and anxious to create a new PLA that is more professional than revolutionary. They favour China's modernisation but reject its wholesale westernisation. They entertain strong nationalist feelings but oppose closed-doorism. More interestingly, they see communism as irrelevant to China's goal of self-strengthening but accept the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as the vehicle for the realisation of that national goal. Painfully conscious of their country's present state of military backwardness, they seem to harbor a suppressed ambition which may explode in hawkish rhetorics concerning China's sovereignty disputes. [10] Looking into the future they will wield increasingly more influence within the PLA and even over national politics as a whole. Partly this is because they are strategically positioned in PLA headquarters at various levels with a promising upward career ahead. In PLA tertiary institutions they are teaching the future PLA leaders and forging useful personal networks with them. More importantly, their views on RAM are based on their understanding of technological development in the new century and this has won them firm support of the Chinese leader Jiang Zemin who, as a foresighted technocrat himself, is very enthusiastic about RMA. This has been the fundamental reason for RMA to become so popular in the PLA, as those RMA advocates get better chances of promotion with Jiang's blessing. It is safe to predict that when these people are in senior commanding posts in the new millennium the future development of the PLA will be guided more visibly by the ideas of RMA.

The significance of the debate among the three schools of thoughts is that before technocrats took over the leadership in the CCP and military, technology was only one of the changing variables in the formulation of national defence strategy. The generalists-dominated leadership had a natural tendency of belittling the role of technology, as reflected by Mao who eyed nuclear bombs as paper tigers. Now the technocrats have a real grasp of the technological revolution and consciously direct the military decision-making process based on the current and future technological innovations. This has eventually resulted in the Party's new political line of transforming the PLA from a quantitative to qualitative military, formally discarding a long PLA tradition that identified strength with large numbers of infantry soldiers. As one senior PLA theorist commented: It is inevitable that a military has to evolve from drawing physical strength from numbers (tineng) to relying on technological hardware (jineng) to becoming eventually a military of intelligence (zhineng). [11]

However, what should be mentioned here is that it is a mistake to believe that the three schools of thought have created deep cleavages in the PLA. The PLA has a general consensus that information age has arrived, and the technological breakthroughs in the world have profoundly altered the way of fighting. All PLA personnel agree that China needs to catch up with this change. At the same time they take useful elements of each school to fit in the changed time. The idea of people's war is regarded as still valid in some circumstances, e.g. in a territorial conventional war against an invading enemy. The hi-tech strategy school of thought is designed to deal with limited regional hi-tech wars, the main type of action China is preparing for. In a war as such the PLA will rely on its hi-tech capable elite units, especially the specialised services to carry out war plans. At the moment this is probably all the PLA can do with its limited amount of hi-tech hardware. In the future when China has achieved solid technological foundation and the PLA has overcome its current equipment vacuum, it will be better able to implement the ideas of RMA, utilising advanced military satellites, miniatured super computers and long-range precision weapons to digitalise its armed forces. So the RMA school of thought is for now rather a philosophical blueprint than a practical roadmap for China's defence. It is only growth in China's comprehensive national strength that can make RMA a real guide for the PLA's war preparation and thus unify the thinking of its high command.

Understanding and Sinifying RMA
For the time being the PLA has worked hard to understand the effects of RMA on the military establishments. In 1998 the PLA National Defence University convened a major workshop on RMA. The participants tried to work out a definition of RMA. They agreed that RMA was made up of five revolutions: military thinking of the officers, military technology, military equipment, strategic theory and force structure. They also agreed that the core of RMA was fast development of information technology which spearheads RMA. [12] In a way the workship has played an important role to systemise the PLA's effort of learning RMA. Indeed, the PLA's effort in this regard has caught attention of an American professor at the Armed Forces Staff College who commented: "the Chinese defence analysts appear to be at the cutting edge of the implications of information war for traditional institutions such as the military." [13] What exactly has the PLA learned from RMA? Major General Chen Youyuan, director of the Officers Training Bureau in the General Staff Department, summarises the key features of the RMA, as understood by the PLA.

According to him, RMA is profoundly altering the world military in the following areas:
* RMA is changing the components of the armed forces, especially for the campaign formation between different services;
* RMA is introducing new combat means;
* RMA is generating much larger combat space;
* RMA is creating new modes of operations;
* RMA is inventing new methods of combat engagement.

All this in turn propels the military to make theoretical breakthroughs so as to accommodate these new developments in technology and combat operations. In his view the PLA has, together with other major military powers, entered an existing era of new military thinking, new military ideas and new military concepts. Thus whoever fails to follow RMA will be beaten in the further. [14]

In studying RMA PLA thinkers have indeed come up with a number of new ideas that they want to incorporate into their planning for the long term modernisation of the Chinese armed forces. Among other things the following are some of their findings:

* Strike from long distance. New sophisticated terminal guidance systems and precision weapons have made possible for the beyond vision attack. This will minimise human engagement and greatly reduce casualties. PLA researchers have noticed the US's new concepts of combat such as "disengagement and indirect assault", and "concentrated firepower but dispersed manpower". They accept the claims by US military experts that in the distant future tank battles, aircraft "dog-fight" and exchange of fires by warships' big guns will become history. [15]

*Small-sized battle formation without compromising the strength and outcome. Crack force structure and simple-layer C3I systems are more suitable for IW which is more characterised by combat between hardware/software than between men. Digitalised and precision ammunition have multiplied the fire power of campaign units. Therefore, a small hi-tech force can overpower an army ten times more numerous. Digitalisation is particular a key indicator of a military of the future. It provides a high level of battle-field transparency to the side which has the means of multi-dimensional intellegence acquisition.

* Linkage between superiority in information and victory of an operation. Information technology has not only become an indispensable means for better command and communication, it has also constituted an effective weapon to be used to kill the enemies directly. Combat between opposing militaries is first of all between their capabilities to gather, process, analyse information. So combat engagement begins long before solders shoot at each other and it may have become physically invisible. That is to say attacks at the enemy's defence nerve centres can be achieved without using aircraft, warships and missiles. They can be carried out simply through computer virus and software bombs to paralyse its C3I systems. Superiority in information technology amounts to superiority in combat operation. [16]

On the other hand, the Chinese are not only learning RMA. They are trying to sinify it according to their own tradition, current practice and future needs. In other words they are injecting Chinese characteristics into RMA. [17] By the definition of Professor Zhu Guangya, China's top defence scientist, RMA is the product of socio-economic and technological development. It is the organic and timely combination of advanced weapons systems, new military theoretical guideline and suitable force structure. This combination can generate qualitative change in the employment of military power. [18] The key to sinifying RMA is the PLA's understanding that it will be doomed to failure if the inferior military mechanically copys the RMA-induced new force structure and combat patterns of the advanced opponent. It should have its own RMA ideas and practice that suits its situation as a strategically defensive force with inferior weaponry. In other words to many PLA strategists RMA should not simply be a technological priviledge emdowed only to a superpower. [19]

The Chinese believe that RMA is still in its formative years with its initial phase extended to 2030. [20] Therefore, it is difficult to see its full potential in releasing powerful energy embodied in the combination of the new technology and force structure. To the PLA, however, it is easier to talk about catching up than really to do it. One precondition for the success of catching up is to have a correct understanding of what RMA means, especially, of what it means to the Chinese military modernisation. Even with a proper understanding achieved, the Chinese leadership still confronts a tremendous task in research on how to apply the understanding in the policy making process. Political consensus does not mean automatic removal of the bureaucratic barriers, existing vested interests and budgetary limitations in restructuring force components, re-sequencing weapons R & D and equipping priorities, and re-formulating specific war plans.

In order to meet the challenge of RMA the Chinese armed forces have worked out a number of principles of learning RMA. First, the PLA is instructed by the CCP leadership to further emancipate the minds of its officers and men and constantly upgrade its war-fighting theories. Major General Chen Youyuan argued that although RMA is driven by the revolution in military technology, new technology itself will not automatically produce theoretical guideline for the PLA's war preparation. Without new combat theory technology cannot win the war by itself. Moreover, new theory will not be invented without a fundamental change in the mentality of PLA senior officers. [21] In fact, RMA is seen not only bringing pressure to bear on the PLA, but also opening up new opportunities for it: RMA provides a best stimulant for the PLA to shake off its historical burdens rooted in the revolutionary ideology and old military strategies.

Secondly, the PLA makes it an urgent task to broaden it horizon and follow closely the major military powers regarding their new theories and practice. The PLA now believes that the recent limited hi-tech wars have provided good cases of study for China to understand the logic, operation features and combat patterns of its potential adversaries. These should serve as the useful reference for the PLA to work out counter-measures. At the same time the PLA should use these cases as a guide to develop its own combat theories and principles.

Thirdly, the PLA believes it should study IW carefully in order to learn its merits and, simultaneously, find its points of weakness. This is crucial for the PLA which will for a long time rely inferior weapons to fight powerful enemies. One important learning mission the PLA has set up for its research institutions is to study thoroughly the Kosovo war. They have analysed how the NATO air attack was hampered by the bad weather and difficult terrain; why the Yugoslavia's integrated air defence system could not shoot down a significant number of invading aircraft and why the NATO forces failed to inflict a high level of casaulites onto Yugoslavis; and what lessons the PLA could draw from this one-sided warfare which may just mirror a similar situation in which the PLA had to struggle to survive in the future. In the final analysis, to most PLA generals RMA is no longer a theoretical concept but a type of warfare China has few countermeasures to handle. Yet this predicament even further highlights the need for the PLA to study the ideas related with RMA.

The Nexus of RMA and Humanitarian Military Intervention
For China it is theoretically not too late to catch up with this crucial developmental trend but time is running short. If the Kosovo war proves anything, it is the West's trigger happy interventionism in world affairs. This new interventionsim is dependent on its superior weaponry which makes it possible for RMA concepts to be implemented, as indicated by the unprecedented zero combat casualty. [22] The Kosovo War can be a watershed event in contemporary world history. In a way it was just the first in a long list of similar cases where such intervention may be repeated again and again. Indeed, global interventionism is an inevitable brainchild of the end of history metality. It takes a whole decade to be in form and may become a historical trend in the future. As a philosophical notion it is crystallised in Tony Blair's thesis of the Third Way that gives major powers natural rights to intervene in other countries' internal affairs, if there is a humanitarian disaster there. [23]

To the Chinese the connection between political intervention and military intervention is dangerous for its national security. The RMA has become the actual mechanism to put this theoretical concept into practice in the real world politics. The logic is quite clear in this connection: if the West has set an ultimate political goal for the mankind based on the realisation of democracy, it cannot achieve this goal without a level of military intervention because many countries do not accept this goal automatically. Economic intervention in the form of sanctions is not powerful enough for the endeavour. The West believes that to some countries only through military intervention can the goal of democratisation be accomplished.

Humanitarian military intervention is a particular content of this political objective: restricting dictators' freedom of military choices and deploying peace-making and peace-keeping forces on the ground of war-torn countries. This political employment of the arms requires a different type of warfare: long-range and pinpoint attack at the enemy's military targets, total control of the air, and suffocation of the opponent's military capabilities, and so on. The key to success of RMA type of intervetion is to minimise the western personnel casualties and losses of civilian lives of the opposite side. If the civilian losses are heavy, then the just nature of the humanitarian interventionism becomes difficult to justify. RMA makes it possible to achieve a human rights objective without waging an all-out war on the ground and thus makes it possible to wage an interventionist warfare relatively easily on the part of the West. In other words because in the past there was not a proper type of warfare against the authoritarian regimes, all the West could do was either conducting a massive war or just watching helplessly.

Therefore, international interventionism is based on technological superiority and military dominance in hardware. Politically speaking the larger the gap in the balance of power, the easier is the process of an interventionist war. However, it is risky to indulge in a mentality of using the RMA type of warfare to resolve human rights problems. Such a mentality causes tensions to regional security, as trigger-happy interventionist actions are not based on the fully developed RMA superority that can be employed politically to achieve the desired effects, as seen from the Kosova war. A lot of people get killed in such an intervention. "Everything is under control" is just a wishful thinking.

China and most regional countries are opposed to the concept that human rights is above national sovereignty and they believe that the Third Way can be disruptive for the regional security order. So they responded to the Kosovo War with criticisms: it was viewed as the testing ground for the Third Way thesis to be translated into power play by the West. Then international relations will be defined and served by might. [24] Indeed, China's reaction to the Kosovo War had much to do with the leadership's concern over China's own ethnic tensions. Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan all have potential to experience what happened in Yugoslavia and invoke outside interference. Anti-China forces in the three places all enjoy external support. Stability in Tibet is maintained largely by force. Taiwan's future with China is particularly uncertain. China does not want to fight a war with western powers in these areas. Therefore, outside involvement of the Kosovo type there would be a nightmare for the Chinese people.

The reality is that the superpower has political obligation to assist Taiwan under the TRA and it has actually worked out concrete military contingency plans to intervene in case of an armed conflict in the Strait. [25] In recent years the US arms sales have a distinctive purpose of intervention: to keep Taiwan's military technology more advanced than the PLA's in order to prevent Taiwan from yielding to the PRC's pressure. This trend has been deepened with the humanitarianist zeal. The new challenge to China's military security posed by the US in a possible Taiwan war is that the intervention is to be more operationalised. For instance, if the US coordinates the combat activities of the Taiwanese armed force through its advanced C4ISR systems in the Pacific, the PLA will suffer greater human and material losses. If Taiwan is admitted into the TMD network, China's missiles will have to be further improved to achieve the same level of effect. More dangerously for the PLA is the possibility of the US imposing various direct military measures to restrict China's likely actions in the Strait. These may include blackout of the PLA's C3IRS networks, and disruption of its commupter systems. When the conflict escalates, the US may blockade the movement of the Chinese warships in the international waters. It may also impose no-fly zone in the Taiwan Strait to prevent China from launching air raids on Taiwan's military facilitates. The US may even select some PLA command and controls hubs as the targets for surgical strikes. Watching how the Chinese ambassy was bombed, this could not be excluded altogether. These are the worst case scenarios but the pressure is real. The use of force and the prospect of being attacked have both loomed large in the second half of the 1990s.

Injecting RMA into the Hi-tech Defence Strategy
The PLA's embracing of RMA has provided a timely guideline for it to improve its new national defence strategy, both in theory and in practice. This is a major attempt to sinify RMA according to its own defence requirements. Now PLA generals have been convinced more than ever before that winning a hi-tech war relies on hardware superiority, sound tactics and a suitable force structure. They have also realised that Deng's "people's war under modern conditions" fomented confusion regarding the basic direction of the PLA's development. Conceptually, it has become self-contradictory, conflating two very different strategies of relying on population power (luring the enemy into the heartland and engaging it in a protracted people's war) on the one hand and on firepower (modern conditions, namely withholding the enemy in key war directions by the professional armed forces) on the other. The doctrine of active defence, the concrete form of Deng's strategy, which was designed at the beginning of the 1980s to withhold a Soviet land attack through positional warfare, seemed to have been out of step with the evolution of international affairs. [26] Then the strategy of fighting a limited regional war, formulated in the second half of the 1980s in dealing with China's border disputes, was regarded as providing no long term guide for the PLA to address its security concerns and practical needs for weapons systems. That is to say that China as a major world power cannot base its military modernisation simply on considerations of the potential conflicts in the South China Sea or along its borders with Asian states. [27]

So for some time at the turn of the 1990s, China was experiencing a vacuum in national defence strategy. Fortunately for the PLA, the Gulf War erupted and supplied the Chinese a concrete image of what the future war would be like, and more importantly, what the future war the PLA had to fight. Jiang Zemin summarised his grasp of the future military affairs during his inspection tour to the PLA National University of Science and Technology in 1991 that any future war would be a war of hi-tech, a war of multi-dimensions, a war of electronics, and a war of missiles. The PLA had to be ready for such a reality. [28] Since then Jiang has worked very hard to build a consensus within the top civilian and military leadership on China's national defence strategy in the information age. In 1992 the CMC approved such a new strategy, tentatively defined as fighting a future war under hi-tech conditions, which, while remidying the traditional doctrinal defects, laid the groundwork for force restructuring, general training and formulation of updated "war game" plans to countermeasure China's potential threats.

What is the relationship between Deng Xiaoping's doctrine of fighting a people's war under modern conditions and the post-Deng strategy of fighting a future war under hi-tech conditions? The latter has clearly evolved from the former but brought it much closer to the political and security reality of the information age. Both envisage active defence to hold an enemy's invasion at bay rather than luring it into the heartland. Both prefer advanced military hardware to manpower and call for building a high-quality standing army. Both highlight the need of launching combined military operations in contemporary warfare, emphasising the decisive role of the specialised services, especialy the air force.

Yet drawing on the crucial elements of RMA theory, the hi-tech strategy differs Deng's strategy in several important respects. First, the former calls for establishing a linkage between active defence and forward defence, which may mean power projection beyond the country's land borders. This is a radical departure from Deng's active defence, which was confined basically to territorial defence in a form of positional warfare around major cities. Deng's defence is "active" only compared to Mao's passive people's war. Forward defence is the key to the new strategy, as it recognises that in a hi-tech war the enemy can strike from a long distance, a key content of RMA. For instance, the PLA repeatedly quotes the example that the advancement of military technology in the 1970s, as seen from the development of long range precision weapons, allowed NATO to attack the Soviet second and third echelon formations from afar, thus denying its initiative of launching a large scale conventional war. Previously NATO could only plan for a war of attrition against the preponderant Soviet ground force. The PLA has noticed that with RMA unfolding the defining line dividing the front and rear has become more and more academic. This has forced the PLA to enlarge greatly its strategic depth, which, according to PLA war planners, should not be restricted to within Chinese borders. For example, air and missile defence should be stretched even beyond the enemy's first line air base. [29] To the PLA expanding defence depth may not prevent the enemy's long range attack, like what happened in Kosovo. Yet if the enemy can be effectively engaged in the outer defence line of the country, the PLA may at least pose greater threat to the enemy, secure precious early warning moments and thus reduce the personnel and material losses on the defensive side. Moreover, in geo-political terms this forward defence can take the form of forward deployment in areas subject to overlapping territorial disputes. As an expression of sovereignty claims, this entails the permanent stationing of PLA units in, and regular military exercises around, these areas. In some extreme cases, this even entails a demonstration of war brinkmanship to protect China's vital national interests such as its sovereignty integrity.

Secondly, the hi-tech defence strategy is largely an offensive oriented strategy reflecting the PLA's shifting emphasis towards the “active” versus the “defensive” side of war preparation. In a way this is a reverse of Deng's doctrine. the PLA was quick to learn immediately after the Gulf War that hi-tech wars will not be fought along fixed defence lines. The line between battleground frontier and its depth will become very thin. Trench warfare will be rare to see. According to this change, some PLA strategists argue that China's post-Cold War military guideline should be changed from Deng's yifang weizhu fangfan jiehe, or "defence as overall posture, offence as the supplement", to linghuo fanying gong fang jiehe, or "adroit response based on a combination of offensive and defensive capabilities". Offence is now understood as capturing the nature of information warfare: the evolving hi-tech hardware is highly biased toward a fast offensive strike because technological innovation has increasingly blurred the boundaries between offensive and defensive weaponry. Indeed, RMA is about how to maximise the offensive effects. Digitalised battle-field, electronic soft kill, and pinpoint elimination of the enemy's key targets all indicate that it is the offensive side that can seize the first initiative of the war and has the best chance of success. The offensive posture and pre-emptive strike are especially crucial for a weak military at the beginning of a hi-tech war. [30]

In practice the post-Cold war uncertainties have required the PLA to enhance rapid reaction capabilities to cope with new sets of events, expected or unexpected. Under some circumstances active defence can mean pre-emptive offensive campaigns to neutralise an imminent threat. [31] PLA strategists argue that a country's need to protect its territorial integrity dictates a forward posture. Take Taiwan as an example. Here the Chinese are politically and diplomatically reactive to the efforts of the independence movement in the Island. Militarily, however, the PLA has to develop the capability powerful enough to deter any such attempt by the Taiwan authorities. If this fails, it has to launch an offensive operation. Inevitably the PLA has to formulate its detailed invasion plans based on available offensive weaponry. More importantly, this propensity to employ military forces is closely linked to the concept of military deterrence at various levels of possible armed conflict. A strategy of deterrence against foreign invasion differs from that of safeguarding national sovereignty. Generally, a defensive oriented military strategy cannot make the latter credible. This is especially true when the political forces for splitism have the support of a hi-tech military. [32]

Third, as RMA envisages changing forms of action in the not too distant future, China's post-Deng defence strategy also leaves large space for adjustment in absorbing new technologically induced innovations in military modernisation. Politically, the strategy is forward-leaning as well. Its hi-tech focus aims mainly at defence against strategic concerns, namely the major military powers. At the same time the strategy is flexible in principle, catering to different scenarios, from major hi-tech wars to small-scale border conflicts. This is the response of China's armed forces to the country's changing security environment in the post-Cold War era. Militarily, China's post-Deng defence strategy is not just a change in doctrine. It is forward-looking, as it is geared to preparation for action in the new century. Therefore, it prescribes concrete measures for weapons programs, force organisation, campaign tactics, and research priorities, which do not aim at equipping the PLA in the next few years but at the frontiers of hi-tech breakthroughs some decades from now. [33]

What is the significance of this new military thinking ahead of the present time? To RMA advocates establishing a right direction of development may be more important than immediate availability of advanced hardware for the PLA's future. They point out that the importance of RMA does not lie in how to develop hi-tech equipment but in how to utilise it. Without a sound strategic theoretical framework, even if the PLA acquires sophisticated weaponry in the new century, it cannot not be used scientifically to realise its full potential. They illustrate one example to prove their point: in the 1930s France and Germeny had similar number of tanks. While tanks were scattered in French army, they were concentrated in the elite army divisions in Germany, making them unstoppable in ground battles. The different deployment methods produced vastly different effects in the war, giving birth to a new revolution in military affairs. [34] This examples has convinced the PLA that national defence strategy, weapons development and force strucutre are the trinity of one entity to make the armed forces powerful. Without either its modernisation will be led atray.

Putting RMA Ideas into Practice
Although the Chinese leadership has no illusions of how far the country is away from realising its RMA dream, it does not give up trying. Indeed, it has made small steps in following the direction of RMA in its drive of defence modernisation. At the moment what the PLA can do is not much but it believes it is important to lay a solid foundation, both in theoretical and material terms, for the day when the country is finally capable of translating its RMA blueprint into reality. Below are few initiatives of what the Chinese are doing in putting RMA ideas into practice.

Asymmetry Warfare: the Missile Threat
The PLA sees missile attack a very useful weapon of asymmetary warfare with which a weak military deals with a strong one. The efforts to increase conventional missiles of China's Strategic Missile Force (SMF) has thus been a top priority in the PLA's preparation for a RMA type of war. Maintaining a relatively high level of missile threat is regarded as the only feasible means to compensate China's inferior offensive capabilities. As the PLA's other punches by the navy and air force are weak and short, employment of conventional missiles becomes one of its few deterrents against a major power. [35] For instance, at the initial stage of a war across the Taiwan Strait, the PLA will unlikely engage the opponent in an airial dog of war or a naval sea battle. This may not just be due to the PLA's shortage of the fourth generation aircraft and modern warships. Launching pinpoint missiles is less threatening politically and strategically than direct personnel engagement. At the same time it reduces the human losses for the PLA, it creates a higher level of psephological effect. Moreover, missile launches are more manageable, as they can be stopped promptly. This is advantageous for the mainland in that it can scale down the escalation of war and save China from direct confrontation with the superpower. Yet concentrated use of missiles can paralyse the carefully selected military targets of the enemy.. [36]

Accordingly, the SMF has in the past few years made serious efforts to formulate a new set of guidelines and concepts for future missile warfare. This includes research on improving the terminal accuracy and on countering the tactics and style of a potential enemy's attack. The importance of these efforts is elaborated in a research report of the PLA National Defence University:

The PLA's conventional missiles will be used exclusively against the enemy's key military targets which the weapons of other services cannot reach. These targets include the communications hubs, weapons delivery platforms, and most practically the aircraft carrier battle groups. Since these systems are under heavy protection, the demand for the conventional missiles is thus very high. Moreover, how to use these missiles is a matter of military art involving the optimum timing and smart selection of targets. [37]

Secondly, the use of conventional missile units of the SMF has been highlighted by the PLA's emphasis on united warfare. Traditionally, however, the SMF has largely confined its war doctrines and training programs to itself, given the nature of nuclear weapons and warfare. United campaigns involving the SMF with other services have never been a priority in the PLA's war preparation. Technological improvement of conventional missiles has made the SMF a useful tactical offensive force and thus made it possible for it to join other services in likely war scenarios. For instance, the missile attack against enemy's C4IRS centres and airfields is seen to be conducive to the air force's efforts to achieve air superiority. Since training for united campaigns is currently prioritized for the joint exercises of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, the SMF has been ordered by the CMC to formulate protocols for its participation. In effect the officers from the SMF are required to join the headquarters of united campaigns in each war zone, a departure from past practice. Now the SMF's coordination in such war efforts is seen as crucial to whether a war can be won.

The missile firing by the conventional missile units of the SMF in the March 1996 military demonstration against Taiwan, codenamed "Strait 96 Number One", was the first known case of the SMF's active participation in a large united campaign exercise at the level of army groups with a participation of 60,000 soldiers, including those of the Air Force, the Navy and the SMF. The early timing of missile firing in relations to other services in the exercise seems to indicate that ballistic missiles would be used in the initial stage of a conflict in preparation for air strikes and amphibious landings. Moreover, during the exercise the missiles were fired from at least two widely dispersed units. This may be a deliberate design by the SMF to test its command, control and communication effectiveness. [38]

Parallel to the PLA's efforts to enhnace its missile attack capabilities is China's own TMD program. To China TMD is a grave threat to its military security in that it is a weapons system that may potentially neutralise part of China's strategic deterrence. The TMD system is regarded as an integral component of the RMA type of war of mass destruction. Politically, TMD is, like SDI, a symbol of the extension of Cold War. It signals a redefined power relationship in the Far East. An effective TMD cannot leave any geographic holes in its network. [39]

Psychologically, TMD further worsens the traditional security dilemma. A workable TMD certainly widens the gap of military balance in favour of the US-led alliances. When one side in the race is losing its strategic deterrent capabilities, it will easily get into panic. Its impulsive reaction will be to increase its arsenal of attack missiles in a hope that even if some of its missiles are neutralised by the enemy's TMD shield, at least a decent number of missiles can still penetrate through the network. Thus the TMD initiative serves as a trigger to uplift the arms race in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

TMD stimulates the PLA missile development in several aspects. Firstly, it requires the PLA to increase its missile stock substantially in order for it to launch a saturate attack. One important step in this regard is the quickened pace of developing cruise missiles that are better capable of penetrating the enemy's missile defence. Secondly, it galvanises the PLA to lift general level of missile technology so as to evade the TMD interception. This requires a number of key technologies: enhanced electronic warfare capability, e.g. installation of sophisticated guidance systems such as IR/laser imaging guidance and active/passive guidance systems, and ECCM and on board jammers; stealthy features; advanced solid fuelled motors and composite ramjet engines. [40] Thirdly, TMD forces the PLA to increase the speed of its missiles and develop more supersonic missiles in order to outpace the interceptors. From the military point of view the PLA is in fact not too much concerned about a TMD network because at the current technological level, it is a lot more expensive and demanding to develop a workable missile defence system than simply to add the number of missiles. PLA analysts put the ratio to be 5 to 1 and come to some a conclusion that China is capable of sweeping any missile defence systems in the Far East with its concentrated launches. [41] This is especially true in a situation in the Taiwan Strait. The short geographic distance can give the armed forces in Taiwan only a few minutes of early warning time against incoming cruise missiles, causing people to ask a serious question of whether TMD is reliable. The decision of the Korean government not to join the US-Japan TMD R&D presents a practical example of this tyranny of distance for missile defence.

Setting the national goal for hi-tech research
RMA has become a driving force for the development of science and technology for China. The Chinese leadership rightly concludes that without sound technological foundation there is no point of talking about RMA. China's hi-tech base is currentlt quite thin. Only in limited technological areas has China reached world level, such as its space industries. The market reform has created opportunities for gradually strengthening this weak foundation, as China's rapid economic growth makes the research for hi-tech weapons more affordable than before. However, the Chinese recognise the fact that it is too early to seriously contemplate the narrowing of technological gap with the West. This is the reason why China feels vulnerable with the RMA type of warfare. On the other hand, China's technocrats-turned leadership has made it a state policy to enter the hi-tech race with the major powers, although the policy does not put gun above butter. [42] They have not failed to notice that the US technological race with the USSR helped it to achieve a superior position in the post-Cold War world economic competition. The new understanding is that defence related hi-tech has always led scientific and technological revolutions. The applications of military information technology can be wide-ranging and profitable.

Since the beginning of the Cold Peace era, China has confronted new challenges to its military and economic security, now seen as built upon a scientific and technological competitive edge. Therefore, the civilian and military leaders share the same policy objective in placing hi-tech development as the top national priority. This determination has been further hardened by NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia in May 1999 and has won wide public support. In concrete steps, it has been decided that in the next few decades concentrated national efforts will be made in boosting China's defence technology as quickly as possible. As a result R & D and weapons programs have increasingly focused towards research of military space network, fixed-energy and laser equipment, electronic weapons and super computer. Logically, this demands a continuing and sizeable increase in military budget, for hi-tech driven military modernisation is bound to be expensive. Indeed, more funds will be allocated in the R & D of hi-tech weapons, including new generation of nuclear and convention missiles, aircraft and naval vessels.

Making military research closer to new war scenarios
One logical outcome of China's embracing of RMA is a major resequencing of the PLA's theoretical and applicable research priorities. In the past PLA researchers were inclined to study the PLA's war history. For instance, a large proportion of the research projects in the PLA Academy of Military Science were devoted to continuous evaluations of the PLA's successful campaigns between 1927 and 1953. In 1993 Jiang Zemin instructed the PLA research bodies to shift their research focus from the past to the present. More concretely, he decided that over 60 per cent of research projects had to serve the PLA's immediate needs (e.g. restructuring and weapons programs), practical war plans (e.g. specific force redeployment and employment against specific enemies), and likely military operations in the future (e.g. detailed theatre campaign objectives and protocols). He emphasised the importance of research on the way in which men and weapons are related in the information age, especially in a situation where the PLA has to used low-tech hardware against some particular hi-tech opponents. [43]

Consequently, the PLA's research on major practical issues (zhongda xianshi wenti) and its theoretical exploration of the RMA have been combined together under the post-Deng hi-tech military strategy. In recent years the CMC has ordered the PLA to employ advanced means to improve its research on RMA. One important effort is to use computer simulation systems to reconstruct major hi-tech operations of the major powers in their recent limited wars. One specific research project is to study how to employ asymmetry warfare against an overwhelmingly powerful enemy, such as concentrated use of conventional missiles against the aircraft battle groups. To make research and training closer to hi-tech warfare, textbooks in the military institutions have been completely rewritten in the last few years and since 1993 a comprehensive training reform has been carried out to drill soldiers not only to learn hi-tech wars but also to learn how to fight specific hi-tech enemies.

Initiating qualitative force restructuring
There is no doubt that by now both Chinese civilian and military leaders have firmly accepted the central theme of RMA that in the information age victory of a war is predominantly dependent on the quality of technology rather than quantity of men in uniform. With this consensus the PLA has speeded up its efforts to build a qualitative military by initiating large scales of force reductions. The Army was ordered to let go 500,000 men in 1997. Already its size is the smallest since the founding of the PRC but further cuts are likely to follow beyond this round. Sooner rather than later its total strength will drop below two million. Meanwhile the specialised services continue to enjoy priority for modernisation. Enormous efforts have been made to strengthen the second strike nuclear deterrence capability, create offensive air power and develop a blue water navy. [44]

Concrete restructuring progress has been made to match the PLA with the world trend of RMA, although the progress is slow, to the point of annoying party leader Jiang Zemin. So far the most visible change in the top command structure is the establishment of a General Equipment Department (GED) immediately under the CMC in 1998, with the same ranking with the GSD. This department has taken over the functions of weapons R & D, testing, acquisition, allocation and related matters formerly assumed by the various top agencies in the PLA headquarters. For instance, it incorporated the Department of Equipment in the GSD, administrative and operational missions of the State Commission on Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (COSTIND) under the State Council, including all military R & D projectsand procurement agencies in the General Logistical Department.

The significance of the creation of this GED can be seen from the following two angles. Firstly, it constitutes an effective measure to substantiate the hi-tech defence strategy. Without a sufficient amount of sophisticated hi-tech weaponry, the strategy will remain an empty shell. The new GED reflects the determination of the CMC to concentrate all resources it can to advance the weapons R & D and to quicken the process of equipping combat units with the best hardware. Secondly, the department is also a concrete step to translate the theory of RMA into practical application. For isntance, the GED will facilitate the weapons R & D and acquisition in accordance with the requirements of united warfare. One precondition for this is to rectify the current state of affairs in weapons development by different services, which can be summarized as uncoordinated with an effect of weakening united campaign capabilities of the PLA. The GED will have power to oversee weapons programs of all services in order to make them serve the purpose of united warfare.

Another indicator has been the renewed discussion of abolishing the seven military regions in the recent months. The PLA high command invited debate among top brass in the early 1980s about whether to replace all military regions with strategic front armies. For instance, the Shenyang Military Region would be restructured into the Northeast Front Army. The difference between the two was that the former was at once a level of administrative agency and operational command. This made the leadership structure unwieldy. Instructions from the CMC had to go through several layers to reach the units they should go to. In comparison the Northeast Front Army were merely a level of operational command. It was directly placed under the CMC administratively. Another advantage of the reform was to uproot the too intimate connection between PLA regional command and local government. However, the debate did not bring any concrete results due to the resistance of military regions. Later on the CMC abolished the attempted reform simply saying that the conditions were not ripe. [45]

Since 1997 a new round of discussion of the same theme has been carried out among PLA leading agencies. This time the "conditions" may seem to have been ripe to many PLA analysts. One senior PLA researcher has this to say: "The revolution in information technology changes with each passing day the battleground structure, operation modes and concepts of time and space, which dictates overhaul of the traditional "centralized" and "tier-by-tier" administrative/command structure. It has also been proposed that the current seven military regions be substituted by five strategic war zones. There are several merits in this reform. We have already mentioned the simplified command structure between the central military authority and the basic campaign units (group armies or divisions). Political need is even more pressing. However, the motivation is also rooted in the need to initiate a thorough overhaul of PLA command structure in order to suit it better in IW. For instance, the war zone concept will guide the integration of all services in joint operations under a united command. It is very interesting to watch the outcome of this reform. [46]

Implementing new campaign tactics
Closely linked to the PLA's adaptation of a RMA related national defence strategy is a new effort to implement new campaign tactics deprived from the study of the likely forms of future wars. Lieut. General Hu Changfa, deputy president of the PLA National Defence University made the following summary at an all-armed-forces conference on campaign theory in late 1996:

The changes in the international strategic environment and the wide application of hi-tech in the military realm have posed an enormous challenge to the PLA. Now we are facing new forms of warfare, new opponents in future wars, new campaign tactics and new patterns of engagement in campaigns. How to win the next war under hi-tech conditions is our primary task of study. [47]

To tackle this task the PLA has first identified the new forms of its most likely forms of engagement in a hi-tech campaign. According to General Hu, there are two basic forms. The first is mobile operations and the second is united operations. [48] Mobile operation dictates a fundamental revision of the PLA's operational doctrine centred on the positional warfare and promotes a kind of non-line defence warfare. The PLA has realized that line defence belongs to the era of rifles, guns and tanks, the short range engagement. Non-line defence represents future, requiring long-range mobility and stifling attacks at the enemy's rear with precision missiles and electronic bombardment. Inevitably the campaign operations have to be supported by satellite guidance and multi-dimensional strike capabilities. [49]

Therefore the essence of mobile operation is offensive oriented operation (gongshi zuozhan) which will be the main form of the PLA campaign engagement with its opponents. [50] To PLA theoreticians, mobile operation is seen as key component of a campaign in information age. Hi-tech limited wars are characterized by non-fixed campaign battle fields, fast change in operation formats, and little distinction between the front line and the defence depth. Only through mobile operations will the PLA take the initiative of the war. Mobile operations are also required by China's strategic landscape. In the future campaigns the PLA may be confronted with the mission of operating in multiple strategic directions and over a vast space of war zones. It has to move very rapidly in order to establish regional superiority in terms of manpower and hardware.

Another dimension of the PLA's new campaign tactics is joint operation. Joint operation is now seen as reflecting the nature of IW. This is a major departure from the PLA's long time emphasis on combined operation, which was regarded as its basic campaign typology designed to be centred around the ground force combat. "Combined" refers to employment of different arms of services (junzhong) within the Army: units of tank, artillery, anti-chemical warfare, engineering, telecommunications, and others are brought together executing a ground campaign. Specialized services such as the navy, the air force and the missile force were, however, are given only a minor role. This campaign form is in agreement with the level of China's overall military technology: the specialized services are left far behind in hardware development. After all the Chinese armed forces grew from the Ground Force and are dominated by it. Now the PLA high command believes that time has come for the rectification of the flaws both in campaign theory and typology. The special services have made progress in both theoretical guidance and hardware upgrading, making them more capable of supporting joint operations. In IW the status of specialized services has at least risen to parallel the ground force. More importantly, fighting with potential opponents requires a more crucial participation of the specialized services. According to Lieut. General Hu, in China's future strategic war direction landing operation of some scales will be the PLA's primary task. Landing operation has to be united operation which makes the basic form of theatre campaign under hi-tech conditions. [51]

There is no doubt that RMA has inspired the PLA to formulate its long term modernisation guideline according to a new set of rules of the game. To the PLA RMA is the world standard and development trend for a powerful military that it cannot afford to ignore. Indeed, it is the very fact that China has little capability to cope with the RMA type of war that stimulates the PLA to study RMA and to apply, where it can, its principles in practice. To the Chinese leadership the danger of RMA as applied against China does not lie in its effect of mass destruction in military terms but its political consequence in distabilising the country's social stability and government. This is where the CCP is very much worried and has taken measures of self-protection. In the next few decades PLA watchers will see continuing reforms within the Chinese armed forces along the line of RMA. The PLA's C3I systems will gradually be streamlined and digitalised. Its force size will be significantly trimmed and force components restructured to allow more space for new specialised arms of services to emerge. Military R&D programs will give great emphasis to the development of new concept weapons. National defence strategy, campaign tactices and combat principles of different services will be under constant review to guide the PLA to follow the latest innovations of the major military powers. In short the PLA will gradually become more open, flexible and forward leaning. As a result, it will become more professional and hi-tech oriented.

To the PLA rectifying doctrinal defects is more important than immediate possession of modern combat hardware in its long-term modernisation. Embracing RMA and trying to put it into practice may have set the PLA in the right direction. However, adopting a correct strategic guideline does not guarentee the PLA to succeed in transforming itself eventually into a world class fighting force. People may question: yes, the Chinese can copy American thoughts but whether they can also materialize RMA is not at all obvious. [52] If the Soviet failure in its technological race with the US tells us anything, it is that the closed socio-political system may stifle the imagination of the scientists and doom the long-term potential of the nation. Therefore, the biggest challenge to China's search of a major power status may not be the current backwardness of its technology but the rigidness of its governing process.

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