Ever since China’s new President Xi Jinping coined the term “the Chinese Dream”, people both within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and outside have been asking for a definition of the expression.
In a visit to the “Road to Revival” exhibit at the National Museum in Beijing, Jinping delivered a speech, elaborating the phrase: “Everyone has their own ideals, pursuits and dreams.” He added: “The greatest Chinese dream, I think, is to achieve great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
Last week, Chinese Ambassador to Islamabad, Liu Jian, during a visit to the Strategic Studies Institute, provided glimpses into the new blueprint for China’s future development. Delving deeper into the concept, he related four important elements:
First, it highlighted the pursuit of “Chinese Dream”, based on Chinese reality and future vision. The dream of great rejuvenation of PRC is a dream of the whole nation, as well as of every individual. He reiterated that China must take the “Chinese way”, the way of socialism with Chinese characteristics, foster the “Chinese spirit” that features patriotism and unite the people as a form of “Chinese strength” to realise the dream.
Explaining the details about the idea, he stated that PRC has set up two goals:
One, by the year 2020, during the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Chinese Communist Party, it will complete the building up of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China’s GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents will double that of 2010.
Two, by the year 2049, during the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the PRC, it will build China into a modern or developed country. This is a clear-out commitment to improve people’s wellbeing.
Jian reverberated President Jinping’s thoughts that his people have an ardent love for life. “They wish to have better education, more stable jobs, more income, greater social security, better medical and healthcare, improved housing conditions and a better environment. They want their children to be blessed with sound growth, have good jobs and lead a more enjoyable life. To meet their desire for a happy life is China’s mission.”
Second, it endorsed the guiding principle of scientific development. This means that China’s growth model will continue to shift towards quality, towards putting people first and will be more balanced, coordinated and sustainable. This new model aims for greater social fairness and justice, and more equitable income distribution system so that all the people can share the fruits of development.
Third, it emphasised further deepening of reform and opening up. This time he echoed Premier Li Keqiang’s words: “Reform will remain the biggest bonus in China’s future development.” The priorities for economic reform include: to balance the role of government and market and let the market play a bigger role in allocating resources; to ensure that economic entities under all forms of ownership have equal access to factors of production in accordance with the law, compete on a level playing field and be protected by the law as equals; to continue adjusting the economic structure that boosts domestic demand and expands the domestic markets and to promote greater openness in the economy.
The priorities for political structure reform include: to improve the system of socialist consultative democracy, community-level democracy; to promote law-based governance of the country and to improve the checks and oversight over exercise of power.
Finally, reaffirming the commitment to peaceful development, Jian stressed that China will develop itself by securing a peaceful international environment and promote world peace through its own development. It will pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and uphold a win-win strategy through opening up and cooperation to benefit all.
China is committed to growing friendship and cooperation with other countries in order to work jointly to meet the global challenges, consolidate friendly relations, deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation and ensure that its development will bring more benefits specifically to its neighbours.
Every country has the right to follow its dreams. The Americans had their own dream; the Chinese dream is programmed for fruition. It is high time we, Pakistanis, too charted our own course to follow our dream.
The country is about to hold fresh elections. It is imperative that the new dispensation gives ample attention to addressing the ills facing the Pakistani society and give a chance to the country to fulfil its dreams befittingly and rise to its true potential.
The writer is a former group captain of PAF, who also served as air and naval attaché at Riyadh. Currently, he is a columnist, analyst and host of programme Defence and Diplomacy on PTV.