I Have a Dream, A Chinese Dream


Life is full of dreams. They add meaning and inspire us to pursue a better future. A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers.

In China, as more people than ever before feel able to pursue their dreams, President Xi Jinping took office with a fresh slogan: the Chinese Dream. Realizing this dream for more than 1.3 billion people will go down in history as one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Inspired by this national Chinese Dream, more and more Chinese nationals have begun to chase their own dreams.

I have a dream, too. It is one that is deeply rooted in the Chinese Dream, a dream of an equal, peaceful and more prosperous world, and a dream that a great civilization will be renewed.

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I dream that one day this world will evolve into a more civilized oasis where all men — whatever their ethnicity — are created equal.

I dream that one day Chinese people or immigrants will be able to walk the streets of the West without being viewed as racial inferiors.

I dream that one day environmentally harmful heavy industry will no longer be transferred to China from the West, and that all people in China will be able to breathe the air as clean and fresh as that in the developed world.

I dream that one day the phrase “Made in China” will no longer be perceived as cheap and low-end, and the perennial landscape in which Western countries get the credit while Chinese workers do the dirty manufacturing work will change.

I dream that my old grandmother will live to see the day when senior citizens in emerging countries can have access to the same medical resources and receive the same level of medical care as those in the developed world.

I dream that one day every piece of land that inherently belongs to China will return to the embrace of its motherland.

I dream that the Chinese people will one day fully recover from the trauma of the “century of national humiliation,” when China was bullied at the hands of Western and Japanese invaders, and the Middle Kingdom will restore its former glory.

Not all people can see their dreams come true. But I hope my dream will, because it is a dream deeply rooted in the Chinese Dream; because in a globalized world, by rejuvenating China, the Chinese Dream benefits the entire world.

In these last 30 years or so, China has made dramatic progress. The world’s largest and most dynamic developing economy has shared the dividends of its amazing growth with the rest of the world. In the next decade, the world will witness more of the same.

By working together and supporting each other, the Chinese Dream will harmonize with the dreams of the rest of the world, creating a beautiful symphony of prosperity.

By strengthening unity and trust, China and the rest of the world can come together and fulfill the dream of enduring peace and shared prosperity.

That’s my dream.

Now, it’s time for action. We have work to do.

The author, Li Zhenyu, is The Diplomat’s contributing columnist and editor-in-chief of the business channel at the People’s Daily Online in China. This is a slightly edited version of a piece originally published in the People’s Daily Online, December 31, 2013 edition.

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