Ex­perts in­ter­pret the Chi­nese Dream

Na­tional and in­ter­na­tional thinkers of­fer a range of out­looks at sem­i­nar

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG ZHENGHUA in Shang­hai wangzhenghua@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Of­fi­cials and schol­ars from around the world of­fered di­verse views of how the Chi­nese Dream con­cept cham­pi­oned by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping will ben­e­fit the coun­try and the world at the In­ter­na­tional Di­a­logue on the Chi­nese Dream sem­i­nar in Shang­hai on Satur­day. The Chi­nese Dream — put forth by Xi soon af­ter he as­cended to China’s top lead­er­ship po­si­tion in Novem­ber 2012 — calls for re­al­iz­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety, na­tional re­ju­ve­na­tion and peo­ple’s hap­pi­ness.

State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice Min­is­ter Cai Mingzhao told the sem­i­nar the call has res­onated among the peo­ple and be­come a pri­mary pub­lic dis­cus­sion point.

“The Chi­nese Dream has a strong ap­peal be­cause it re­flects the wishes of hun­dreds of mil­lions of Chi­nese for a beau­ti­ful fu­ture,” Cai said.

Its ap­peal draws from pub­lic con­fi­dence of its at­tain­abil­ity, as well as trust in, and sup­port of, the new cen­tral lead­er­ship.

Cai cited a sur­vey con­ducted in June by the Guang­dong Pro­vin­cial Sur­vey and Re­search Center that found most re­spon­dents en­dorsed the Chi­nese Dream and were op­ti­mistic about its re­al­iza­tion. Specif­i­cally, 89.4 per­cent be­lieved the Chi­nese Dream can be achieved, it showed.

“In the past year since the con­ven­ing of the 18th Com­mu­nist Party of China Na­tional Congress, the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, led by Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping, has bro­ken new ground, in­tro­duced new work­ing styles and made new progress in var­i­ous fields,” Cai said.

The top po­lit­i­cal body has adopted eight mea­sures to com­bat cor­rup­tion and launched “mass line” ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties for the Party

The Chi­nese Dream has a strong ap­peal be­cause it re­flects the wishes of hun­dreds of mil­lions of Chi­nese for a beau­ti­ful fu­ture.” CAI MINGZHAO STATE COUN­CIL IN­FOR­MA­TION OF­FICE MIN­IS­TER

to en­sure of­fi­cials are hon­est, the gov­ern­ment is clean and po­lit­i­cal af­fairs are han­dled with in­tegrity, he added.

Kuhn Foun­da­tion chair­man, com­men­ta­tor and writer Robert Lawrence Kuhn an­swered for­eign crit­ics’ charge that the Chi­nese Dream is vague and slo­ga­neer­ing in his keynote sem­i­nar speech.

He pro­posed a tax­on­omy of five di­men­sions from which to an­a­lyze the con­cept — na­tional, per­sonal, his­tor­i­cal, global and an­ti­thet­i­cal.

The “per­sonal Chi­nese Dream”, for in­stance, fo­cuses on the well-be­ing of in­di­vid­ual cit­i­zens and thus mod­i­fies tra­di­tional no­tions of the pri­macy of the col­lec­tive over the in­di­vid­ual.

“In other words, to ful­fill prop­erly the na­tional Chi­nese dream is to ful­fill prop­erly the per­sonal Chi­nese dream,” he said.

“Thus, the per­sonal Chi­nese Dream re­futes the for­eign stereo­type that China sac­ri­fices in­di­vid­u­als to serve the pur­poses of the col­lec­tive.”

The per­sonal dream, he ex­plained, can be di­vided into two sub­cat­e­gories: ma­te­rial or phys­i­cal well-be­ing, and men­tal or psy­cho­log­i­cal well­be­ing.

Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion se­nior re­search fel­low Ken­neth Lieberthal out­lined an “ex­traor­di­nar­ily com­pli­cated set of ob­sta­cles” for China’s lead­ers to achieve the Chi­nese Dream’s goals.

One chal­lenge is the most rapid de­mo­graphic tran­si­tion in peace­time his­tory, which will also be the first to pro­duce an el­derly pop­u­la­tion be­fore the coun­try be­comes rich in per-capita terms.

Another chal­lenge is stag­ger­ing re­source scarcity. One such ex­treme short­age is of us­able wa­ter in the North China Plain.

“I raise the above is­sues not to sug­gest that pes­simism is war­ranted but rather to in­di­cate the types of ob­jec­tive, ma­jor ob­sta­cles that must be han­dled in or­der to sat­isfy na­tional as­pi­ra­tions to achieve the Chi­nese Dream,” he said.

The Chi­nese po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is highly ca­pa­ble and prag­matic, and has man­aged many ma­jor chal­lenges in the past, he added.

The two-day sem­i­nar hosted by China’s State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice at­tracted ex­perts from more than 20 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States, Canada, Aus­tralia, Egypt, Ja­pan and In­dia.

It com­prised three par­al­lel roundtable dis­cus­sions on three topics: the Chi­nese Dream and Chi­nese path; the Chi­nese Dream and world pros­per­ity; and the Chi­nese Dream and peace­ful de­vel­op­ment.

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