However, according to Dambisa Moyo and her new book “Winner Take All”, China has shown no signs of similarities with European colonialism, such as religious conversion, use of military force, or handpicking the local political leadership. On the contrary, China seems highly uninterested in taking on sovereign responsibilities or political control. Indeed, China’s ‘No Strings Attached Policy’ confirms its disinterest of interfering in other countries domestic affairs. My colleague, Sina Blassnig, explores this angle more deeply in her article. Nonetheless, even if China is not engaged in a type of new colonialism, there is yet a reason why the rest of the world should worry – China’s recent quest for natural resources.
This article is based on a talk with Livia Macedo from MakeSense Shanghai on social enterprise in the world’s second biggest economy. As we count down the days to the World Resources Forum (October 21-23), our attention has been turning increasingly towards fascinating China where it will take place. Given the novelty of the Chinese social enterprise scene, I sat down with Livia Macedo, who is actively involved in the Shanghai hub of the social enterprise network called MakeSense, to talk about the prospects of Chinese social entrepreneurship. Livia, a former mentor of the Choice movement for social enterprise in her home country Brazil, has carried out a market research on social business in China as the national coordinator for edge, and at the same time she has been advocating social enterprise for Shanghai university students, locals and expats alike though the MakeSense gang.
On social enterprise emerging in China:
This has been the title of an article published in the Spring issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review. Recently, the BBC reported about social entrepreneurship being not only a growing trend in China, but also a philanthropic activity with bigger potential than traditional NGO actions. What’s more, China daily wrote about the increasing popularity of social enterprises.
“As my mother said, it’s important for a girl to have more than one suitor.”
Dambisa Moyo, economist and author of multiple New York Times Best-seller books, applies her mother’s maxim to Africa’s economic situation. For Moyo, the girl in the saying represents Africa. And amongst the many suitors clamouring for hand, is China. However, while China’s financial engagement in (sub-Saharan) Africa has strongly increased in the last few years, it has also become subject to widespread criticism, mostly by Western countries. For China, economic relations with Africa are of great significance.
This summer, the first of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors – the Ohi nuclear plant – reopened 14 months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Since the tsunami in March last year, Japan’s domestic anti-nuclear protests have increased significantly. Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power outside Japan’s parliament. Meanwhile, anti-nuclear groups have been growing louder on the use of renewable energy, such as wind power, solar power, and geothermal energy etc. It’s no surprise then that the Japanese government struggled over its decision of resuming the nuclear projects.
“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. “
The above is one of my favorite philosophical sayings, and it is from a legend of my hometown, Bruce Lee, a martial artist and modern philosopher.
Although China dominates in the race to be the leading global manufacturer of clean renewable energy, they are not necessarily doing the most for the environment. China, consistently pushing the clean energy market towards an economic future, was expected to be a leading developing country in negotiations at Rio+20. As they lap the United States and world economies in this race by training a skilled clean energy workforce and providing steep subsidies more and more manufacturing companies are heading overseas. The US simply cannot compete. If the US does not demonstrate a greater sense of urgency to contrive alternative clean energy policies coupled with investment initiatives, it will fall further behind economically.
From Davos to Beijing! After making their mark at the 2009 and 2011 World Resources Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a new team of ten Student Reporters will cover the 2012 World Resources Forum to be held in Beijing, China between 21st and 23rd October, 2012. The team is led by an international and transatlantic team of staff writers Aishwarya Nair and Mike McCullough from the University of Pennsylvania, and Claudio Ruch from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH). The application deadline is 10th June, 2012. You will be informed about your application after the 12th.
Pr. Yonglong Lu, professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences was invited at the debate on the 4th Workshop of monday about “The Rise of the Bio-economy: Chinese and European approaches”. His remarks were quite assertive – “China is not suitable for sustainibility criteria? I don’t think so”-or- “In fact, China is the first country to publish his national agenda 21”. And I was curious to know more about his point of view, so after the session, I interviewed him.
I believe in miracles. I witnessed economy miracle in 2011: China surpassed Japan and became second to the United States with prospectof being second to none. In the future I would like to witness an environmental miracle: China, the largest contaminator and generator of waste, showing the world the route to sustainable development. Thanks to Dr Zhu Dajian, my hope has emerged. The population of China has reached 1,3 billion, 22% of the world’s total.