Wednesday, July 18, 2007 

Chinese youth as seen by Pan Yue

Contemporary Chinese youth, as seen by Pan Yue, deputy director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA):
"I don’t know if you will really listen to them or not, but here they are: your generation has grown up in a rich and varied environment, but has no roots or foundation. You have an excessive passion for the future, yet almost no interest in history. You have hardly any of the constraints of tradition, and you lack any real beliefs. To put it simply, idealism is rare in your generation. Pragmatism and individualism have won out. This is not really a question of individual problems, but of a wider social climate." (emphasis are mine)

I wonder what Chinese youth think about Pan Yue's comments above?

Me thinks the lack of any real beliefs might has to do with a not-so-free environment. Not enough free thinking, as my friend Isaac Mao often emphasizes whenever he tries to explain the challenges confronting China.

I also like Pan Yue's analysis on how irresponsible or bad practices in resource extraction by Chinese companies have an impact on inflation both in China as well as globally.
"Here is a classic example of what should be called environmental injustice: coal mine owners from Shanxi province indiscriminately extract coal and dig up the land, creating pollution. As a result they become extremely wealthy. Once they have polluted Shanxi, however, they do not stay there. Instead they move to Bejing where they buy luxury villas and push up house prices. They have also pushed up property prices in all the coastal regions of north China. If these areas then become polluted, they will no doubt move to the US, Canada or Australia and cause inflation there too."

Certainly an issue the world ought to give more thoughts on.

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