China’s National Park System

I am often critical of the USA, and with good reason, but, to be fair, there are some things that the U.S. gets right. The national parks system, for instance. Ever since Teddy Roosevelt established the system, it has provided millions of American’s the opportunity to get a good look at the world the way it was meant to be. Despite recent efforts by conservative politicians to chip away at the system, and being over-run by public demand, to the point that there are traffic jams within the parks at times, and the campgrounds are filled with modern conveniences that aren’t in tune with nature at all, the 423 American national parks are still something to be proud of.
But, China is topping us once again. I just read this article about how China is creating a national park system with over 10,000 national parks! Admittedly, there is a bit of cheating going on, or at least semantic juggling. They are setting up a national parks system to centralize the planning in what is already one of the most centrally planned countries on Earth, and renaming all of their currently existing nature reserves as national parks.
Still, 10,000 is a very impressive number, and they are not merely renaming, but in many cases seriously upgrading, because it will be great for their tourist industry, create several thousand new jobs (not so much, in terms of their overall population, but it will no doubt help out a bit in the regions these parks are in) and it will be great for the environment. Also, they’ll be able to say they have 20 times as many national parks as the U.S.
So, lots of advantages. Kudos to China for this program and I hope it works out well for them. We need more parks (with more trees), everywhere in the world.

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