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Chicago Council on Global Affairs: China's Environmental Crises


Event Date:

October 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM EDT
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The Chinese government and people, confronted with colossal environmental challenges, are turning to...

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Multiple Authors
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Image by Jon Sawyer. China, 2013.

Religion, the subject of official repression throughout much of China's Communist era, is now experiencing rapid growth. More surprising still, Chinese government officials are invoking Confucianism, Daoism and other cultural traditions as part of the "ecological civilization" required to meet the country's huge environmental challenges.

On Wednesday, October 29, Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer moderates a discussion between Ian Johnson, Beijing correspondent for the The New York Times and Liu Jianqiang, Beijing editor for chinadialogue, that delves into religion's unlikely role in meeting China's environmental crises. A Question and Answer session follows the conversation at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Johnson is a Beijing-based journalist associated with Loyola University Chicago, who specializes in civil society, culture and religion. While at the Wall Street Journal, he won the Pulitzer Prize, the Overseas Press Club's Hal Boyle Award and the Society of Professional Journalists' Foreign Correspondence award among other honors, for his coverage of the suppression of the Falun Gong movement and the rise of civil society in China. Johnson left the newspaper in 2010 to pursue magazine and book writing on cultural and social affairs. He is currently a Beijing-correspondent for The New York Times and contributes regularly to other publications.

Liu is an investigative journalist born in the era of China's Cultural Revolution who has reported extensively on China's environmental movement and Tibet. Liu is Beijing editor for chinadialogue and a visiting scholar at the University of California-Berkeley. Canadian filmmaker Gary Marcuse first featured Liu in his documentary, Waking the Green Tiger, and Liu's conversion to Buddhism is featured in Marcuse's latest documentary, Sacred Mountain, which is supported by the Pulitzer Center.

The Pulitzer Center has commissioned multiple reporting projects in China: Some address specific issues such as air and soil pollution and the impact of deforestation and urbanization; others look at the increasing relevance of religion in meeting those challenges. During a symposium on Tuesday, October 28, at the University of Chicago, journalists and academic specialists assessed the significance of this important trend. The University of Chicago is a Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium partner.

Wednesday, October 29
7:30 AM
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
332 S. Michigan Avenue
Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60604

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