China’s president Xi Jinping is following the Chinese dream, just like his predecessor Hu Jintao sought a harmonious society. China-veteran Janet Carmosky discovers a shade of green in this Chinese dream, she writes in Forbes.
One of the deep affinities between the US and China, I have always thought, is the passion with which both nations celebrate big, fast, and futuristic things. One of the differences is the streak of naturalism in American culture: preservation is weighed against development, and sometimes wins out; trips to Vegas might detour to include a hike in the Grand Canyon; dream homes are built for mountain views and vacations are planned around lakes and beaches.
While Chinese culture is not completely without naturalists and environmentalists – from Daoist Tang poet Li Bai to contemporary activists like Liang Congjie and Dai Ling – there’s no philosophy of reveling in the wilderness. Jack London, Theodore Roosevelt or Henry David Thoreau have no Chinese counterparts among the voices that shape the man-nature relationship. One would think, however, that the people of a country where the airbone carcinogen levels in certain major cities on certain days is numerous times the recommended limit, might be open to the idea that luxury can be simple. That fresh oxygen on the skin and in the lungs is worth the annoyance of even sweat, bugs, and maybe even (gasp!) lake water.
Janet Carmosky is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.
China Weekly Hangout
How successful can president Xi Jinping be in rooting out corruption, the China Weekly Hangout is going to ask on Thursday 31 October. How committed is the Xi/Li team to real change? You can read our announcement here, or register for the event here.
In October last year the China Weekly Hangout discussed the ability of China to innovate, with political scientist Greg Anderson and China consultant at-large Janet Carmosky. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.