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Document Type

Article

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between the concept of an ‘ecological civilization’, as adopted in modern PRC, and Confucian values. Global warming, desertification, heavy metal contamination, smog, and water pollution represent some of the environmental issues that restrict the development of China, as well as other countries in the world economy, threatening people’s health and livelihood. The gravity of the situation was reflected in the Report of the 17th Chinese Communist Party (CPC) National Congress held in 2007, which called for the development of an “ecological civilization,” a policy further formalized at the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012. However, societal and cultural support is needed to ensure a deep and lasting evolution towards a sustainable eco-civilization. Confucianism provides considerable material for the establishment of such an ecological civilization. Confucius and Mencius stressed the importance the protecting natural resources and emphasized thriftiness. An analysis of Confucian relational theory and filial piety suggests that human beings should be concerned with nature and sustainable development, which in turn requires people to protect and conserve natural resources, maintaining their sustainable use. Recent Chinese commitments to sustainable development, combat desertification, reverse forest losses and slow soil degradation show a desire to positively transform human-environmental interactions.

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