A food safety factory shutdown has Americans hunting for baby formula. Readying themselves for a covid-19 lockdown, Chinese in Beijing emptied store shelves. Emerging from lockdown, some in Shanghai are visiting well-provisioned markets. U.S.-China agricultural trade is booming, but many are still being left hungry. Food security, sustainability and safety remain issues.
Fantasy Islands: Chinese Dreams and Ecological Fears in an Age of Climate Change
University of California, Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies hosts a talk with Julie Sze
Speaker: Julie Sze, Professor and Director of American Studies, UC Davis
Sponsor: Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
The rise of China and its status as a leading global factory are altering the way people live and consume. At the same time, the world appears wary of the real costs involved. Uncovering the stories of sites in China, including the plan for a new eco-city called Dongtan on the island of Chongming, mega-suburbs, and the Shanghai World Expo, Julie Sze explores the flows, fears, and fantasies of Pacific Rim politics that shaped them. She charts how climate change discussions align with US fears of China's ascendancy and the related demise of the American Century, and she considers the motives of financial and political capital for eco-city and ecological development supported by elite power structures in the UK and China. Professor Sze shows how ineffectual these efforts are while challenging us to see what a true eco-city would be.