A small flavour.
Soon after becoming Chinese President in November 2012 Xi Jinping spoke of his belief that “The Great Revival of the Chinese nation is the greatest Chinese dream”. Attempts to understand the concept of “Chinese dream”, inside and outside of China, have followed extensively since. This post reflects on the evolution of Chinese leaders’ political lexicon since Deng, and finds that Xi’s China dream is a lexical shift, but a policy continuum, allowing for greater aspirational convergence among China’s own poor and rich, and also in China’s foreign relations with developed as well as developing countries.Reformist leader Deng Xiaoping famously employed the slogan “opening and reform”. Enduring to now have become the commonly used phrase capturing China’s remarkable program of economic reforms since 1979. Lesser-known of Deng’s lexicon however, and directly sharing more in common with the essence of the contemporary Chinese dream, is his 1978 call for the “invigoration of China” (zhenxing zhonghua). In sum, the “invigoration of China” was arguably Deng’s national vision, while “opening and reform” served as the umbrella policy direction that would be used to move the nation toward that vision.