Category: CHINESE WAY OF LIFE

The Ecological Civilization Debate in China

Modernization has been a dream of China’s for a century. After the Great Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government joined most developing countries in treating modernization as its goal. China’s achievements on this path, such as its fast GDP growth, have amazed the world. However, the price has been extremely high, including environmental problems, an increasing gap between the rich and the poor, and growing disenchantment with growth within the populace as a whole. Is there any alternative to the current form of modernization? “Constructive postmodern thinking proposes such an alternative.”81 Kang Ouyang, a leading Marxist scholar in China and vice president of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, has explored the positive and negative sides of modernization. For him the negative includes: treating economic growth as the ultimate goal; neglecting ecology, the value of tradition, and aesthetic wisdom as complements to scientific knowledge; rejection of the positive role that religion can play in human life; and overemphasis on individuality at the expense of community.

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Viewing Chinese foreign policy through the lens of the Chinese classics

CHRISTIAN MUELLER—In politics, words are deeds. The words used to describe political decisions indicate the mindset of what actors perceive as possible or impossible, desirable or undesirable. In 1899, China identified its course of action in terms of historical analogies, while the European powers largely ignored this rationale. Today, Europe would be ill-advised to ignore the role that narratives of Chinese history play in the official rhetoric and conceptualisation of politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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Bangladesh Railway: see if you can find the train

Each year in January Bangladesh hosts the three day Bishwa Ijtema festival. It is held at Tongi beside the river Turag a short way north of Dhaka. This is the worlds third largest gathering Muslim pilgrims with up to 5 million attending. To transport this number of people, the Bangladesh Government puts on for free special trains. The grossly overcrowded trains create a spectacular sight. However despite what has been written elsewhere, this is not the usual state of affairs on Bangladesh Railways. Regular trains are crowded and some passengers ride on the roof but nothing like the festival trains. The video shows trains taking pilgrims to the festival in the morning and returning back to the city at the end of the last day.

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Expert: Wildly successful Mao Era is airbrushed out of Western media and history books.

JEFF J. BROWN—In books #2 (China Rising, https://www.amazon.com/China-Rising-Capitalist-Socialist-Destinations/dp/0996487042/) and #3 (China Is Communist Dammit, https://www.amazon.com/China-Communist-Dammit-Dawn-Dynasty/dp/6027354380/) of The China Trilogy (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/05/19/the-china-trilogy/), I wrote extensively about the amazing success story of Mao Zedong and his government’s leadership, in freeing their people from foreign exploitation, while transforming the nation into an industrial, agricultural, military and technological powerhouse. This, in spite of Uncle Sam’s illegal and cruel blockade of the country, just like what it is still doing to other communist-socialist countries such as Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Eritrea and Venezuela today.

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