Three visits bring American scholar closer to Lishui

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated : Sep 7, 2020 L M S

John B. Cobb, Jr., a 95-year-old member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, published an article in the People's Daily on Sept 2, stating that the "ecological civilization" and a "beautiful China" were not empty slogans in China and that they were becoming a reality step by step.

The move by cities in China to transform into an ecological civilization is part of a national program to, among other things, pursue the path of sustainable development and protect the environment.

Some prominent thinkers and environmentalists say China has committed itself resolutely to a sustainable development path and has taken the lead in global ecological civilization efforts.

In his article, Cobb made particular reference to Lishui city in East China's Zhejiang province, which he said was an exemplar of good ecology practice in China.

As an American scholar, why does Cobb know Lishui and China so well? The story begins in 1937 when he visited China for the first time.

Cobb has visited China seven times since that year. As a pioneer thinker in the Western world to put forward the concept of a "green GDP" and he has always believed that the hope for a global ecological civilization lay in China.

In 2017, Liandu district in Lishui invited Cobb to be consultant for the district government's establishment of an ecological civilization and he established the province's first workstation for an overseas academician.


An article about Cobb and his top reputation in China is published in The New York Times in 2018. [Photo/lsnews.com.cn]

In 2018, a team of academics led by Cobb came to Liandu again to participate in an international seminar on the practice of the "Two Mountains" theory, which states that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.

During this visit, Cobb visited many well-known scenic spots in Lishui and praised  the pristine natural environment of Lishui as "China's first ecological city".

Officials said that was why he paid his third visit to the city in 2019.

"For many years, I have been saying in the international community that the hope for an ecological civilization lies in China," he said during a seminar themed on the future and ecology in Lishui in 2019.

"Now I would like to say that the hope of China's ecological civilization lies in Lishui," he added.