Theresa May’s party conference evocation of “The British Dream” might have left some British voters mystified. But in Xi Jinping’s China her words sounded strangely familiar.
The Communist party supremo has made the pursuit of the so-called “Chinese Dream” his chief political slogan since he took power nearly five years ago vowing to lead a historic revival of his country’s fortunes.
“Achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since the advent of modern times,” Xi declared as he debuted his nationalist catchphrase in November 2012.
Chinese internet users detected a distinct whiff of Xi in May’s cough-ridden address, in which the word “dream” appeared a total of 33 times. “It seems the ‘Chinese dream’ has global influence,” one micro-blogger joked on the sina.com.cn website.
Others suggested the Conservative party leader had been swotting up on the teachings of China’s Chairman Xi. “A plagiarist – shameless,” one netizen wrote beneath a story about May’s “Yingguo Meng” or “British Dream”.
Certainly, parts of May’s lecture could have been lifted directly from Xi’s turgid 515-page tome of speeches, The Governance of China.
“The historic mission of this party … is to renew [the Dream] in each new generation,” the Prime Minister told delegates at the Manchester Central convention complex on Wednesday. “To renew that dream is my purpose in politics. My reason for being. The thing that drives me on. And it has never wavered through good times and hard times.”
In 2012, Xi declared: “Everyone has an ideal, ambition and dream … the dream embodies the long-cherished hope of several generations … Looking ahead at the future, all Party members must bear in mind that we still have a long way to go and much hard work to do before we can turn our blueprint into reality.”
“Empty talk harms the country,” Xi added, in a line that might have been penned for May’s notoriously loose-tongued nemesis, Boris Johnson. “While hard work makes it flourish.”
Deng Yuwen, a Chinese political commentator, said he had immediately spotted Xi’s motif in May’s Manchester monologue.
“I think she wanted to make the point that as long as you work hard, you can eventually build a dignified life … One layer of the Chinese Dream promoted by Xi Jinping is to improve people’s lives.”
But there were great differences between the visions being presented by the Conservative and Communist party leaders.
“May emphasized the dream of individuals and families, while the Chinese dream involves the rejuvenation of Chinese nation and the Chinese people,” Deng said. “May was seeking to boost British morale. But her overall meaning is weak.”
Source : The Guardian