Most people would concede that the Chinese Dream (or is it ‘China Dream’?), Xi Jinping’s new slogan, isn’t the most clear of policies. Now even the leadership seems to be admitting that no one gets it. Xinhua reports that a leading think tank has been instructed to research the Chinese Dream.
With this reference to a great renewal of the Chinese nation dominating the zeitgeist, Liu Qibao, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the academy should conduct deep research on socialism with Chinese characteristics.
This would provide academic support for self-confidence in the Chinese path, theories and system, he said.
Researchers in different fields should focus on the requirement to realize the Chinese dream from various perspectives, he said.
Translated from Party-speak: we didn’t think anyone would ask us what the dream was, we just liked the sound of it.
Xi’s mistake was in picking a dynamic sounding but ill defined slogan as his landmark policy, a mistake his predecessors never made. No one wanted to learn more about Hu Jintao’s Scientific Development Concept because it sounded even more boring than the man himself. Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents were relatively simple to understand and didn’t depart significantly from Party orthodoxy. Xi’s wishy-washy, vaguely aspirational Chinese Dream lends itself to being appropriated by those who want real reform.