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A Cultural and Ecological Symphony: Unveiling China's Strides Towards a Glorious Future


Benjamin Hughes

March 28, 2024 - 07:48 am


Blossoming Visions: A Chinese Renaissance Fueled by the Essence of Land and Innovation

BEIJING, March 28, 2024 – The verdant whispers of rice paddies and the fiery voice of passionate flames are languages that Pablo Neruda, the illustrious Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate, once used to convey his profound admiration for China. His exploratory visits culminated in an anthology of timeless odes that captured the poetic spirit of the nation. In reverence of this same spirit, the China Millennium Monument's Beijing World Art Museum unfurls a visual symphony, "The Song of the Earth: Artistic Documentary for a Better China," a panoramic tribute featuring 100 transformative initiatives that symbolize the heartbeat of China in its quest towards a brighter future.

This exhibition serves as a testament to the evolving narrative of China, a nation intertwined in the elegant dance of cultural heritage and innovative leap forward. Gao Shiming, the exhibition's chief planner and esteemed president of the China Academy of Art, eloquently posits, “In this new epoch, our nation’s canvas is painted with the collective aspirations for a grander China, echoing through our very own Song of the Land."

The featured cases encapsulate multifaceted endeavors ranging from the revivification of rural territories to the safeguarding of cultural legacies, from nurturing the aged with compassionate communities to instilling contemporary aesthetic sensibilities in the youth. Consequently, the exhibition crystallizes the ethos of 'Better China' into an experiential mosaic that China eagerly offers to share globally.

Gao, in conversation with the Global Times, illuminated the environmental dimension as a catalyst and influential aspect of this progression, an experience China is keen to extend beyond its borders. This reflects the nation's ecological strides, urging countries in the Global South to vision their progress in concert with environmental consideration.

Drawing parallels with Charles Dickens' London, Gao reflects on historical industrial shifts and the subsequent disappearance of London's infamous fog, posing critical introspection on sustainable development for previously colonized nations. Gao asserts, "China’s journey towards ecological civility emboldens other southern nations to pursue true high-quality development. The philosophy underpinning 'Better China' and Chinese modernization are generational bequests, global offerings carved out of the Chinese experience."

The initiative delves into an assortment of societal and cultural studies conducted over the years, stringing together insights to chart innovative paths across cultural education, art, cultural tourism, and technological advancement. It endeavors to distill a developmental essence that resonates universally, enriching China and beyond.

In the following passages, a selection of narratives provides a window into the various ways the peoples of China are crafting their “Song of the Land.”

The Regeneration of Jujube Village

Nihegou village, perched within the austere beauty of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, stands reborn, reviving its century-aged jujube forest identity. The village's seclusion had heralded its decline, but a collaborative initiative in 2014 by China Agricultural University, the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, and the Rural Culture Renewal Volunteers Association, coupled with the preservation of traditional jujube culture, has imbued a new lease of life and added value to their famed red dates.

Sun Qingzhong, a China Agricultural University luminary, disclosed that harmonizing local idiosyncrasies with the ecology is the crux of achieving the Better China vision. Fortress-like infrastructures of the past have been supplanted by renovations that honor agricultural traditions, leveraging local resources and ecological stewardship.

Design enhancements such as jujube drying cliffs and trails have not only added to the locale’s charm but invigorated cultural pride among village folks. The addition of professional homestay teams and the establishment of a cultural tourism footprint has amplified the red dates' value, beckoning tourists and enticing the youth back to their roots to weave their own thread of contribution to the village’s tapestry.

Hangzhou's Stargazing Odyssey

Transitioning to the sophisticated urbanity of Hangzhou in East China’s Zhejiang Province, an array of space-themed intelligent art installations provokes a fusion of technology with humanistic and educational introspection on the cosmos. The unfolding project integrates intelligent robotics and space equipment with sensory capabilities, democratizing technological benefits for both city and countryside.

The initiative crafts a narrative that embodies technology-art harmony, empowering students to combine learning with tangible applications of intelligent devices, fostering expertise in algorithms, coding, and hardware production that infuse everyday life with the simplicity and grandeur of space science.

Wucheng's Kingdom of Migratory Birds

The quaint convergence point of the Ganjiang and Xiuhe Rivers with Poyang Lake in Wucheng township, Jiujiang city of East China’s Jiangxi Province, beckons as a sanctuary of global significance for migratory birds. The storied "Kingdom of Migratory Birds," with over two millennia of history, is now pioneering the Better China model, morphing into an epicenter for international bird-watching connoisseurs.

The blueprint of symbiotic existence with Mother Nature at its core has paved the way for this millennium-old locale to bloom as an eco-tourism nucleus, intertwining avian ecology with the township's historical and cultural charm. Beyond safeguarding its natural treasures, Wucheng has actively engaged in educational festivals and wetland conservation curricula.

Fan Jian, Wucheng's Migratory Bird Town office luminary, emphasized that the brand-building endeavor around the migratory bird town concept has cultivated agricultural tourism enterprises, substantially bolstering local economies and farmer livelihoods while fortifying the cultural and economic fabric of the town.

The China-Portugal Cultural Heritage Stewardship

The China-Portugal Joint Laboratory of Cultural Heritage Conservation Supported by the Belt and Road Initiative (JLBRI) stands out as a jewel among the Belt and Road Joint Laboratories, conceptualized in September 2020 with generous support from China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Operating out of Soochow University in East China’s Jiangsu Province, this collaborative beacon with Macao's City University and Portugal’s University of Évora is positioned as a national innovation fulcrum.

Wu Yongfa, JLBRI director, emphasizes the essentiality of cultural heritage conservation from national to global vistas. The modern Belt and Road Initiative draws inspiration from the ancient Han and Tang dynasties' trade and cultural exchanges, weaving a tapestry of technological and cultural reciprocity amongst participating nations.

The laboratory, espousing a 'sharing, responding, enabling and leading' credo, erects a research and industrial platform to nurture cultural heritage appreciation, preservation technology, and international educational pathways.

Positioned as a transcultural conduit, JLBRI narrates China’s stories, fosters cultural confidence, and ensures the safeguarding of rich cultural legacies, particularly along the Maritime Silk Road, thereby resonating with the essence of Macao's cultural heritage conservation efforts.

For further reading on these transformative endeavors that are composing the symphony of a Better China, visit Global Times.

SOURCE: Global Times