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What is the Chinese dream?

  • Published at 11:56 pm January 10th, 2019
The party maintains absolute control / <b>REUTERS</b>
The party maintains absolute control / REUTERS

China is rising fast, and the world must take note

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many countries saw a dream, a dream to be the next alternative to the United States, and became a part of that race. But it was the People’s Republic of China which emerged as the perfect contender for that seat.

However, can the global community see its hidden agenda, which is popularly known as the Chinese dream? It is a term used collectively for the desire of the Chinese community to retain the number one position in the world, and the political dream of Xi Jinping, which he has expressed several times at different stages.  

The people of the free and liberal democratic world may feel happy and relieved thinking that the spectre of Nazism and fascism is not haunting the world, but there is a reason for them to worry, because another version of it has arrived in the world under the dream of the mighty paramount leader of China, Xi, who has been re-elected as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. 

As the centres of political power are transforming day by day, the need for safeguarding democratic values, basic human rights, and freedom of expression has become a prime necessity. What we are witnessing is the rise of a new global power. 

Unlike the other nations which are merely struggling for the share of power or vying for influence, China has a unique goal.

What the world needs to understand is that the whole concept of the Chinese dream is comprised of ideas -- social, cultural, political or economical -- which are against the spirit of humanity and a peaceful world order. China’s motives can be seen indirectly in its actions, like detaining Uighur Muslims, suppressing Tibetans, investing in Africa and South America, challenging the sovereignty of small countries, and disturbing the peace in South Asia. 

With the dominance of Xi in central command, the threat seems to be expanding day by day, because he has silenced nearly every dissenting voice inside the party. The thoughts of Xi are now included in the constitution of party, along with those of Mao and Deng Xiaoping.

All of this gives a clear warning, which is that the second most dominant power in the world is now in the hands of one person. 

A strong authoritarian government could be lethal for human civilization.

Some background

The new Chinese dream is rooted in the past. It has been inspired by the thoughts and ideologies of leaders of the CPC. In Xi’s view, “to realize the great renewal of the Chinese nation is the greatest dream for the Chinese nation in modern history.” 

Renewal in this context means the transition from regional power to superpower. The status which Chinese society wants to reach is what makes the concept of the Chinese dream (Zhongguo Meng). In reality, it is the dream of the CPC by which it is trying to consolidate its losing power. Communist Party leaders are acutely aware that they are losing their grip on Chinese society, due to industrialization and urbanization of epoch-making proportions. 

The Chinese Dream, which aims at making China the centre of global affairs once again, evolved just after the transformation of China into a people’s republic founded on the ideals of communism. For that, Mao sowed the seeds of collective nationalism in Chinese society, which demanded collective labour from all persons, so that the interests of the nation could be promoted first, like that of the Soviet Union. 

Here, he developed the ways in which the efforts of people can be directed, and developed a personality cult of supreme leader. This formed the basis for the “unchallenged persona of the leader,” which is now being enjoyed by Xi. 

Mao is seen as a great leader, philosopher, and a writer in China today. The reason behind this is the Chinese government, which exerts very strict control over its media. Strict control and pre-planned propaganda form the second feature of this dream. 

It is the third feature of the dream. that in the name of rebuilding the nation, efforts are directed in a certain direction, which has been dictated by the CPC. After Mao, the new leader and father of “New China” Deng Xiaoping added new colours to it. 

During the attack on students at Tiananmen Square, he has shown the world that if anything comes before the concept of this dream, it will be shattered as soon as possible. Another characteristic of this dream is of “living space,” because the activities of China are on the borders, and maritime routes are indicative of this very fact. 

In recent years, border disputes have reached a peak, and that too with an aggressive approach. The last feature is most disturbing, because it is related to the persecution of minorities in the name of religion and race. Since the inception of communist rule, a distinct feature of the government has been absolute tyranny, with persecution of minorities like Tibetans, Uighur Muslims, Mongols, and others.

The road ahead

With the predictions of superpower status for China in a few years, it is now the duty of the global community to stop the avalanche which could destroy the values upon which human civilization was developed. 

As long as this tyrannical rule continues, any hope to curtail the boundaries of this dream will be childish. A new wave of democracy, brotherhood, and liberty must be brought to China by the countries who claim to be the upholders of democratic values. 

International pressure with steady effort from the Chinese people is the key to opening the door of world peace -- a peace with is threatened by this dream. 

Pratik Kumar is a law student who writes from Lucknow, India.