Xi Jinping's explanation of the Chinese people's dream

Updated: 2013-01-16 05:59

By Hao Tiechuan (HK Edition)

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The "Chinese dream" has become a hot topic among the mainland media recently, after a speech by General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping, when visiting the Road toward Rejuvenation exhibition at the National Museum in Beijing on Dec 29 last year.

Xi said: "Everybody has their own ideal, pursuit and dream. Today everybody is talking about the Chinese dream. I firmly believe that, by the time the CPC celebrates its 100th anniversary, we will no doubt have achieved the goal of completely building a well-off (xiaokang) society, and by the time the People's Republic celebrates its 100th anniversary, we will become a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious socialist modernized country on its way to the ultimate great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This is the greatest dream of the Chinese nation in modern history.

"The severity of misery the Chinese nation has suffered and the enormity of sacrifices it has made in modern times are scarcely matched in the world. After more than 170 years of continuous struggle since the Opium War, however, the Chinese people are finally in control of their own destiny and hard at work in the greatest development drive the world has ever seen. Today we are closer than ever to the goal of achieving the Chinese nation's great rejuvenation and are more confident than ever that we have what it takes to succeed. History tells us that our personal future and fate are closely linked to the country's and the nation's. We are fine only when the country and the nation are. Empty talk costs the country a great deal and only hard work will make the nation prosperous. We must unite all members of the Chinese nation and build it into a great country and nation."

Xi Jinping's heartfelt words deeply touched the Chinese people. Of the four (or five if ancient Rome is counted as well) early civilizations, China is the only one that has been evolving till this day and remained the most (some people maintain that China was the only) advanced country in the world through much of its 5,000 year history. The nation fell behind the Western world only after the Qing emperors shut the country off from the outside world during their 200-odd years of reign that resulted in China missing the Industrial Revolution. That is why "realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation" has been brought up with good reason and makes perfect sense.

Ever since its early days, the CPC has aspired to be at the vanguard of the Chinese nation and has been striving to serve the common interest of all social strata and ethnic groups as much as possible. Right now the utmost common interest of all social strata and ethnic groups is to build an all-round well-off society by the year 2020 and realizing modernization by 2049. It is the most inspiring and unifying slogan to motivate the whole nation in pursuit of broad consensus while putting personal differences aside.

But, what is the definition of an all-round well-off society by 2020? According to a study by Wang Xiaoguang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Governance, it has the following characteristics: 1) all provinces (municipalities and autonomous regions) will see their average income above the comparable international standard for the middle class by 2020 and 80 percent of all counties will see their income reaching the same level; 2) everyone has a residence to call home, because housing is the top determinant of "xiaokang"; 3) the middle class accounts for more than half of the population, or over 680 million people; while automobile ownership is also above 50 percent; and 4) everybody has access to basic public services and a functioning social security net is in place.

Now, how about modernizing the country by 2049? According to He Chuanqi, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, its characteristics are: 1) the per capita income of the nation will reach $40,000 a year; agriculture will account for about 4 percent of the economy while industries account for around 60 percent and some of the leading economic indicators will rank in the top 40 of the world; 2) the coverage of retirement, health and employment insurance will be 100 percent, while urbanization rate and informationization rate will reach 80 percent more or less; 3) all the major indicators of cultural life will rise above the average level of the world while the core indicator of cultural innovation should be among the top 20 of the world; 4) A democratic, free, equal and highly efficient modern political civilization where everyone lives in dignity is realized and its international competitiveness is among the top 20; 5) college education rate will exceed 80 percent, the average life expectancy above 80 years, the human development index among the world's top 40, free mobility for all, and quality of life up to the standard of leading developed countries.

This author believes these two researchers' studies are serious and worthy as our references.

The author is director of publicity, cultural and sports affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in HKSAR.

(HK Edition 01/16/2013 page4)