Skip to content

What is the Chinese dream and what it has in common with the American dream

The Chinese Dream is a concept promoted by Chairman Xi Jinping since his ascension in 2012 – something that is often assimilated to the American Dream.

But what are the points in common between them, and what the differences?
First of all, “Chinese dream” is not a concept born out of Xi Jinping: it was already present in Chinese literature almost a thousand years ago.
The Chinese dream is a collective wish felt by the Chinese people to bring China back to its previous greatness – a patriotic feeling that can be noticed, through in history, in several countries worldwide, especially those with an ancient and powerful past but a less prestigious present, like Italians do referring to Italy’s past feats as the home country of the Roman Empire. So it is worth noting that what Xi Jinping calls the Chinese Dream may be as well found in citizens of other nations.
In Xi Jinping’s own view, the Chinese Dream is equal to the rejuvenation of the nation: something that can be achieved through the Two Centenaries objectives:
– in 2021 will be the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party, with the objective to achieve a moderately prosperous society in all respects;
– in 2049 will be the centenary of the People’s Republic of China, with the objective to make China a strong, prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious country.
When speaking about the Chinese dream, he often mentions the need for China to pursue development to prevent itself from falling behind other nations (as in the Century of Humiliation), and considers this as a collective dream of the Chinese population for many generations: you need to work hard and smart for a better tomorrow, for both yourself and your children.
Also, when comparing with other nations, he expresses that China must forge its own path – and that is through the socialism with Chinese characteristics. Among the points to keep in mind for the party members, he expresses the importance of maintaining integrity and hard working, focusing on fighting the corruption and serving the people first and foremost.
The hope of the Chinese leader to achieve this dream is placed on the middle class, that he hopes to see flourishing and growing to several hundreds of millions in the future years. Indeed, they will be both the ones to lead the country to achieve it as well as those who will enjoy its advantages the most.
While the American Dream is coming from a fairly different country and culture, it has indeed some points in common with the Chinese Dream, especially regarding the improvement of one’s own life as well as the life for the future generations.
While the American Dream is individualist, as it focuses more on giving each individual full potential to pursue happiness and opportunities according to his or her ability and achievements, and focus for this reason on an upward direction on social mobility, the Chinese Dream is a collectivist one, focusing instead on achieving a common goal in order to help each’s own dream to be realized as well. As Xi Jinping put it:
The Chinese Dream is the dream of the country and the nation, but also of every ordinary Chinese. one can do well only when one’s country and nation do well.
The consequence is pretty clear: for Chinese to thrive, China must thrive first.
This concept is at the foundation of most Chinese people: they are part of the country, and their country is part of them. There is no chance for one to take advantage of the other, or both will suffer in the end.

Leave a Reply