Fantasy Islands: Chinese Dreams and Ecological Fears in an Age of Climate Crisis
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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. Fantasy Islands shows how ineffectual these efforts are while challenging us to see what a true eco-city would be.
they stem from, and what the best ways to solve them are immensely complicated questions that can end up replicating and amplifying geopolitical, cultural, and racial struggles and anxieties writ large. Within the United States, our greatest ecological desire is to fixate on China as the focal point of the vast majority of global pollution, and thus displace our own responsibility for global environmental damage. After all, for the past century, the United States was truly “number one,” to quote
to Shanghai: “Why do they charge a bridge fee? . . . Chongming has been subordinated for a long time. Phone calls were charged a long-distance service fee if you call central Shanghai. Many schools used to refuse Chongming students.”58 In this estimation, the bridge fee is another slap on the face for the island, representing Chongming’s continuing subordinated status to “supercilious” Shanghai. CONCLUSION The debate about the Chongming of the future is well represented by another odd
Adria L. Imada, Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2012). 33. Huang et al., “Construction of an Eco-Island.” 34. Andrew Kipnis, “Suzhi: A Keyword Approach,” China Quarterly 186 (2006): 295–313. 35. T. E. Woronov, “Governing China’s Children: Governmentality and ‘Education for Quality,’” Positions 17, no. 3 (2009): 567–589. 36. Andrew Kipnis, “Neoliberalism Reified: Suzhi Discourse and Tropes of Neoliberalism in the People’s Republic of
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Qiao), 106 Chinese traditional town (Zhu Jia Jiao), 106, 113–14, 125 Chongming eco-town, 113 Chongming Island: overview and statistics, 1, 58–59, 79–80, 165n1; betterment, 95–96; bird populations and conservation on, 60, 76–77, 180n12; Changjiang Tunnel-Bridge Expressway and, 12, 68–70, 69, 72, 78, 79, 80; cultural disourse and, 56, 60, 64, 67–68, 74–75, 77–79, 80, 180n11; dialects and, 4, 81, 165n4; eco-desire and, 18; eco-development on, 1, 12, 58, 63–64, 63–67, 64, 75–77, 91, 187n28;