China: The National People’s Congress ended on the 17th with a press conference by Premier Li Keqiang. Before the closing, however, President Xi Jinping delivered his first address to the Congress. The central theme was The Chinese Dream.
Eight of the 17 paragraphs of the text were devoted to, or carried forward the application of, the dream. One of them reiterated the guidance Xi gave to the People’s Liberation Army delegates on the 11th: obey the party, win wars and behave well.
Xi introduced the dream immediately after four paragraphs of thanks and preamble. The concluding, sentence of the second paragraph of the introduction is significant.
“Today, our people’s republic is standing on the East of the world with a spirited posture.”
Comment: The point is that Xi did not describe China’s posture as rising, but as standing. The period of rising has ended.
After the fourth paragraph of introduction, Xi began the discussion and for the Chinese dream.
“To actualize the goal of the struggle to build a well-off society in an all-around manner; to build an affluent, strong, democratic, civil and harmonious modern socialist country, and to actualize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, is to make the country affluent and strong, the nation prosperous, and the people happy. This deeply embodies the ideals of the Chinese people today, and deeply reflects our ancestors’ glorious tradition of persistent struggle in pursuit of progress.”
“Faced with the vast and mighty trends of the times, faced with the people’s ardent expectation for a better life, we cannot be self-satisfied of slacken in the slightest; we must continue to persevere and move forward bravely, continue to push forward the endeavor of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and continue to work hard to actualized the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
Xi’s remarks about Taiwan stressed working together and pushing for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. He called the Chinese on Taiwan “compatriots across the strait.”
Concerning foreign policy, he stressed continuity in devotion to peace and friendly cooperation with every country in th4e world. He said China will carry out our due international obligations and duties.
In the second last paragraph, Xi addressed Party values and the issues of corruption, formalism, hedonism and extravagance. He urged the cadres to combat all negative and corrupt phenomena.
In the closing paragraph, Xi restated the importance of all rallying around the Communist Party to realize great aims, “and continuously make new and greater contributions to mankind.”
Comment: With this address, the dream is the national theme. China’s posture is erect. Realization of the dream will take a long time because China is still in the initial stages of socialism but achievement of Chinese national rejuvenation is a contribution to mankind, according to Xi.
Phi Beta Iota: We are right where we were after WWII ended, and after the Berlin Wall came down. What is different this time around is that our own mis-guided leaders have allowed the country to be bankrupted in conventional terms (America the Beautiful is still there, just buried by corruption and debt and a hollow economy). There is no finer time for the USA and China to do a Vulcan mind-meld at the national intelligence level — a form of Track Two diplomacy focused on the substance of the ten threats to humanity, the twelve core policies, and the eight democraphics, while developing new methods of multinational information-sharing and sense-making.