A simple outdoor toilet in Shunyi district, Beijing, Oct 3, 1995.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The “Three-Year Action Plan for the Improvement of Rural Living Environment” was passed On Nov 20, 2017, at the first meeting of the 19th Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform. The conference chaired by President Xi Jinping marked a beginning of China’s “toilet revolution” at the national level.

Fast forward to 1932, when China was facing a tough challenge both domestic and foreign, Shanghai’s Oriental Magazine published a notice inviting people from all walks of life to contribute to their Chinese New Year’s Dreams event. More than 140 people including the renowned scholars Lu Xun, Lin Yutang, and Hu Shi had published 244 articles envisioning China’s future.