Danish Ambassador to China (Front L) and Chinese actor Liu Ye (R) have their pictures taken at the beginning of the race. [Photo by Lin Liyao/China.org.cn]
However, there could be a different way to live our lives.
On Apr. 22, about 120 participants, including several foreign ambassadors to China, Chinese actor Liu Ye, several representatives from Danish companies, and bike lovers from the China Bicycle Association, all took a bike ride together through Sanlitun area. The ride was named the "Climate Race" and was organized by Denmark Embassy in order to celebrate the 43rd International Earth Day and, with that, to promote green transportation and environmental protection.
Just like Mr. Friis Arne Petersen, the Danish Ambassador to China, stated, the bicycle has become an international symbol of low-carbon and sustainability nowadays.
The ambassador added that even though China is a big country in the East, and Denmark a small country in the West, "we have a lot of things in common. Denmark and China share a similar biking tradition."
In Denmark, according to the ambassador, people always bike. No matter whether they're young, retired, a student, a government official, or even a member of the royal family, anyone can bike and would like to ride a bike in their daily lives.
China is considered worldwide to be a big country for the production and use of bicycles. In 1995, the total bike production output throughout the country came to 44.72 million, while in 2011, the number increased to 83.45 million, China Bicycle Association reported.
But in contrast with the climbing production number, the domestic market seems to have declined over recent years, and a large number of bikes made in China are exported to other countries, such as Europe and America.
What's more, the combination of a worsening transportation environment, poor air quality, and inconvenient bicycling conditions, has cooled the passion of those former bike lovers and turned them into car fans. Then the increasing numbers of cars held by those runaways worsens the air quality and ecological environment, and a vicious circle appears.
Nowadays, with more and more people realizing the importance of saving energy, reducing emissions and strengthening environmental protection, green and low-carbon forms of transportation are drawing a lot of attention. People are again riding bicycles instead of driving cars when they go to work, or even when they take a trip. Maybe in a future not so far away, riding a bike will become a re-newed fashion for all Chinese citizens.
"Recreating a biking tradition in China similar to the one it had before, would be wonderful," said the ambassador, "I believe China can draw from Denmark's experiences to solve this challenge [energy demand and ecological protection] in a way that is acceptable and attractive for China."