By Oliver Dzuba
Chinese liberals and reformers are using Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” slogan against the Communist Party as a method of exposing growing problems within China.
A piece in Quartz describes the Chinese Dream as a “vessel for reformist aspirations”, highlighting Chinese citizens bravely holding their dreams written on paper for all of Sina Weibo to see. The dreams included:
“My Chinese Dream is that Xi Jinping protects my personal safety and reproductive rights.”
Freedom of assembly:
“My Chinese Dream is rights for petitioners.”
“My Chinese Dream is to have my home returned.”
The phrase “Chinese Dream” originated in an inauguration speech by Xi in November of last year, befuddling and inspiring many to analyze this broad and ambiguous term.
While the Communist Party and rhetoric go together like bread and butter, Xi’s slogan was unique because of how it functions on an aspirational, personal level. It’s a good idea in theory, but it seems Xi Jinping seems to have forgotten that most people dream for something better in life. From the perspective of Chinese liberals, things could certainly improve, and it seems they have succesfully skewed the meaning of the slogan to help air their grievances.
Stories like this only emphasise the divide that exists within the Chinese people and it is something Xi and co will have to address for both the sake of the party and the country.
Xi has been successful in starting a conversation about aspiration in China, now he needs to use his power to deliver the follow up. If the country’s leaders don’t know where to start the process of realizing the Chinese Dream, they can turn to their people for guidance.