China Dream: How the US Will Help Make China Richer, Greener

Written by David Michaelis

The China Dream calls for an environmentally progressive China. China can be richer — and greener. But it needs help. Here’s where the help is coming from. — The China Dream, akin to the American Dream but with its own set of goals and hopes, is in its first stages of development. A Green Dream is what many hope to see in the growth of China’s bustling economy. Meanwhile, China’s consumer class is known for voracious taste in the latest in fashion. Chinese buyers resemble their American counterparts’ practice of obtaining the latest brands and designer products — at great cost.

Here’s my question. Is it possible to turn Chinese middle-class consumerist hunger into a tool that will lead to a greener China?

Lijiang Town

Lijiang Town, Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

With the China Dream comes an inherent danger. That’s the risk of fast urban development, obscene car sales and an ill-equipped environmental policy. No wonder China-watchers are wary.

Meanwhile, Americans watch China in wonder — and suspicion — as its middle class explodes at an exponential rate.

To face the crisis of global warming, the China and American Dreams, respectively, need reconciliation. And it isn’t a zero sum game. That said, in order to achieve a dual goal of a consumer-driven yet still environmentally-sound China, China will need some help.

A lot of help. Enter American nanotech …

A Green Future

NanoH2O, Inc., an American company, is a manufacturer of reverse-osmosis membranes, membranes that are capable of cutting the cost of energy for seawater desalination facilities. The firm plans to build a plant on the Yangtze River delta to tap China’s industrial water needs.

The Los Angeles-based company will spend $45 million on the plant in Lijiang, 250 kilometers — that’s 155 miles —  west of Shanghai, execs say.

“The market opportunity for desalination technology, specifically reverse-osmosis membranes, is quite substantial particularly in China and more across Asia as well,” said execs in a release. “We anticipate China will see a 20 percent year-over-year growth in demand for membrane technology over the next 10 years.”

Meanwhile, Chinese leaders met this week to look at the importance of “boosting domestic consumption, improving everyday lives, giving the government a greater role in social support, and facilitating urbanization.”

The new leadership, in a statement, said it believes that “China must change its mode of economic development more quickly” to a mode based more on domestic consumption. This is opposed to an economy that relies just upon state-driven investment and exports.

A Closer Look:  China Dream Project

The China Dream project seeks to re-imagine prosperity and reshape consumerism in China. The goal is to catalyze a new inspirational lifestyle that is innately sustainable for the emergent middle class in China. Shaping the new China Dream — or “Harmonious Happy Dream,” directly translated — is led by Peggy Liu, founder of Juccce.

Liu initiated a nationwide educational campaign that attempts to discard “sustainability” as an elitist concept.

Bejing Skyline

Bejing skyline. Photo credit: Wikimedia

And so, Liu is bringing Americans to China in order to share and teach new mayors of larger cities how to manage their new public spaces. There is a strong need to “give an incentive to the Chinese citizen to protect the environment through changing consumer behavior.”

In this video Peggy Liu tells the story of the vision. The project will be presented in Australia at CI 2013, a gathering for Creative Innovation 2013 Asia Pacific.

By working together, China and the United States will ideally be able to solve problems related to China’s fast-paced growth. Together the two countries feasibly will lead an international energy policy, one that promotes international economic prosperity while still securing environmental resources for future generations.

Both countries have huge carbon footprints. If the United States and China do not collaborate on environmental strategies, the future for all the world is as bleak as Beijing’s skyline …

The sky of Bejing is actually full of amazing wildlife! Check out this interesting video about Beijing’s wildlife.

For, I’m David Michaelis.

Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at