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Book Review


  Mountains and Rivers: Melancholy and Sadness by Zhu Youdi World Publishing Corporation · Post Wave Publishing House, January 2013 The massive 2008 Wenchuan earthquake prompted the Chinese to wonder whether earthquakes are predictable. While earthquakes represent one big problem facing humanity, scarce water resources is another. Water shortages have already triggered a series of environmental and geological problems. Recent years have brought more frequent droughts in southern China. Nearly 90 percent of Chinese coastal cities are facing water shortages to varying degrees.

  The water quality of rivers, lakes and urban systems is deteriorating, and geological disasters occur more frequently. Just how bad is the present-day environment? A former journalist with Xinhua News Agency and former director of Research Office of China’s State Council, Zhu Youdi recently published his new book Mountains and Rivers: Melancholy and Sadness, which elucidates such problems. Five years ago, Zhu published the book Looking Back, which discusses cultural heritage protection during the urbanization process. As a continuation of Looking Back, Mountains and Rivers:

  Melancholy and Sadness focuses on China’s ecological environment, especially the drastic changes to China’s landscape over the past 50 years, identifying problems with some projects.

  “The awakening of science”is the major theme of the book.

  “Engineering technology has seen massive improvements these days,” writes Zhu. “The problem lies in the self-control of human beings and irresistible desires to pursue maximum profits. People need to learn constraint, and consideration should be given to all concerned parties, such as the relationship between humans, the land, and forests. This is the core problem plaguing our ecological civilization in the post industrialization period.”

  China in the

  Shadows – Impending

  Social Crises

  by Wu Jinglian, Zheng Yongnian, and Henry Kissinger Jiangsu Literature and Art Publishing House, May 2013 China in the Shadows – Impending Social Crises follows current political situations and economic trends to predict future crises. The book clarifies concepts of China’s current reform as well as touching on topics such as “the China path,” “most dangerous neighbor in the world,” “upcoming crises in China,” and “China’s future hurdles.” Based on concepts of the financial revolution, core social values, and visions of future new order, the book appraises China’s reform and predicts new challenges the country will face, painting an image of the future shape of the world.

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