Conflicting Outlooks? The Endurance of Popular Cosmology in Modern China and Its Impact on Illegal Wildlife Trade

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Abstract

Despite years of international criticism and domestic policy making, China still plays a key role in illegal wildlife trafficking. Although the country has begun a transition from the mindless exploitation of nature towards an envisioned Ecological Civilisation, basic tenets in traditional medicine and popular cosmology continue to have highly adverse ecological consequences, both at home and abroad. Evaluating recent trends in international wildlife trade, Chinese policy making, and popular cosmology in China, this article aims to throw light on why wildlife substances continue to play such important role in the modern society, as well as to reflect on the preconditions for broader value change. The article goes on to argue that in order to get a better understanding on how nature and wildlife are viewed in a Chinese context, one is compelled to reflect not only on the impact of popular cosmology but also of authoritarian governance on conservation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
Volume24
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)129-155
Number of pages27
ISSN1363-5247
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2020

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