This week I officially start at the Joint US-China Cooperation on Clean Energy (“JUCCCE”) as an intern. JUCCCE is a non-profit organization based in Beijing that is working towards accelerating the greening process in China through its various programs. One of the programs that I’m most involved in is its mayoral training program on energy smart cities.
Due to the central Chinese government’s “11th 5-year plan” that sets targets for the country to a 10% decrease in greenhouse emissions and a 20% increase in energy productivity by the end of 2010, it is actually up to the local government officials (i.e. mayors and deputy mayors) to implement the plan. Thus, JUCCCE’s mayoral training program targets the mayors and deputy mayors across China, providing knowledge (i.e. case studies) and services (i.e. local vendors) that the mayors need to implement such plan.
As an intern, I had the opportunity to sit in and observe a follow up meeting on this year’s mayoral training program and witness Chinese politics at work. I listened in as the most powerful groups of local decision-makers in China discussed their thoughts on the effectiveness of the program. It was during this meeting that I noticed the importance of knowing one’s place in this hierarchical society, as well as the increasing Chinese nationalism at play.
One of the most important lessons I learned was, “China does not like to be criticized”.
- Jenny Lin