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By Jonathan Watts

While 1000000000 chinese language leap is a highway trip into the way forward for our species. touring from the mountains of Tibet to the deserts of internal Mongolia through the Silk street, tiger farms, melanoma villages, weather-modifying bases, and eco-cities, Watts chronicles the environmental influence of financial development with a chain of gripping tales from the rustic at the entrance line of worldwide improvement. He talks to nomads and philosophers, marketers and scientists, rural farmers and concrete shoppers, interpreting how everyone is attempting to adapt to at least one of the main brilliant bursts of swap in human historical past, then poses a query that would impact all of our lives: Can China discover a new approach ahead or is that this great state doomed to exaggerate the errors that experience already taken humanity to the threshold of catastrophe?

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Like all of northwest Yunnan, the setting was idyllic. In the old town, traditional wood buildings sloped up the hillside, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain towered in the distance, and the streets thronged with a colorful ethnic mix. The city was historically rich. Kublai Khan’s troops crossed the river here. The Red Army passed through on their Long March. For decades, the spectacular setting, Naxi-minority architecture, and canal-lined streets attracted artists, writers, and adventurers. 7 Lijiang was a center of Dongba shamanistic culture.

Down below, I saw perilously deep ravines including the churning waters at Tiger Leaping Gorge. This was the gateway to the Three Parallel Rivers National Park, where three of Asia’s great waterways—the Yangtze, Lancang (better known outside China as the Mekong), and the Nu (Salween)—run within fifty miles of each other. As they descend through mountains and foothills, these rivers had carved out spectacular canyons teeming with life. More than three-quarters of the area was carpeted with dense forest.

From 2003 to 2008, China stopped receiving aid from the World Food Programme and overtook the World Bank as the biggest investor in Africa. Its foreign-exchange reserves surpassed those of Japan as the largest in the world. The former basket-case nation completed the world’s highest railway, the most powerful hydroelectric dam, launched a first manned space mission, and sent a probe to the moon. 3 As a parent, I worried for my two daughters’ health when the air became so bad that their school would not let pupils out at break times.

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