Toward a clean, green China

By M.D. Nalapat
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, July 27, 2011
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In 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the People's Republic of China, while Britain's Indian empire was divided into many parts in the years preceding it in the 1940s. Chairman Mao later unified the Chinese mainland, and for the first time in more than a century, China became fully independent of outside control and could pursue its own course in domestic and foreign affairs. This is the most precious legacy of Chairman Mao.

In the late 1970s, Deng Xiaoping reversed the old policy and opened China to the rest of the world. Deng was confident that Chinese people had the resilience and quality needed to compete with others and win the battle of economic development.

Over the last three decades, as pointed out by General Secretary of theCommunist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Hu Jintao in his speech at the 90th anniversary of the CPC, the policy framework created by Deng led China to become the second-largest economy in the world. It is now on track to becoming the largest within a generation.

China's millennia-long culture was diluted by a century of conflict and chaos. As a result, many young Chinese were not fully immersed in their own traditions and culture. The past decade, however, has seen a renaissance of traditional culture infused with modern elements that have been adapted to Chinese ethos. Hu has gone beyond the material realm to recognize the spiritual core of the Chinese people and given it full expression in line with socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Many people in China saw the transmission of culture as one-way traffic, with China absorbing the culture of the economically advanced countries without offering anything in return (except excellent Chinese cuisine and manufactures). Now, the CPC leaders are looking deeper into Chinese history and tearing to shreds the last vestiges of prejudice against traditional Chinese culture.

Today, Chinese people are dropping their anchors in tradition even as they take on the international community on the economic and cultural fronts. Not so long ago, the global consensus seemed to be that ancient rituals such as tea ceremony could be seen only in Taiwan and hardly on the Chinese mainland.

Today, such ancient wisdom is proliferating across the whole of China. That the international community can be won over more with soft power has been emphasized by Hu, who has taken measures to spread the knowledge of China's "soft power" across the world.

Though Chinese leaders lay stress on traditional culture, they attach great importance to modern technologies, too.

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