On a new site, letters to China from well-wishers and discontents

DearChina.org is a new site where people can cry out to the great Chinese "other" and ask it to be more sustainable. Its sentiment is admirable. "Not about criticism," according to the introductory blurb.

DearChina.org is a new site where people can cry out to the great Chinese "other" and ask it to be more sustainable. Its sentiment is admirable. "Not about criticism," according to the introductory blurb, "It's about recognizing the fact that China will play a major role in determining the possibility for a sustainable world."

The submissions, all 19 of which as I write are in English, are translated into Chinese and displayed side-to-side. Many are heart-felt and imbued with some sort of desperate positivity:

Dear China,
Don't do it. Don't be like us. We f****d up. Leap frog us. Renewable energy. Limited growth. What's going on? I heard you can't see the sun sometimes.
Sara

Some are ignorant and disrespectful:

Dear China,
We've bought billions of your great products. Now that we are finished using them, can you please provide an address so we can return them? Thank you.
Chad R

The second is the only post of 19 that has not been translated. Where the translation would be, it says in English "Translation in progress." I hope this means moderators haven't seen this post to delete it. I also hope the delay on this one isn't due to an urge to censor what Chinese not literate in English might read.

The site was created by Ci (Conscientious innovation). While I am a little uncomfortable with the "us" and "you" tone of the notes, the idea of getting messages across from regular people to other regular people in different language and national contexts is admirable. It will be interesting to see what people have to say to "China."

[h/t TreeHugger]

About the author

    Formerly a journalist and consultant in Beijing, Graham Webster is a graduate student studying East Asia at Harvard University. At Sinobyte, he follows the effects of technology on Chinese politics, the environment, and global affairs. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network, and is not an employee of CNET. Disclosure.

     

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