Since the conclusion of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC)less than two years ago, great changes have taken place in China. China has maintained steady economic growth and made significant progress in important areas of reform despite of the continued impact of international financial crises. The nation is more united, the Party's working conducts have improved remarkably, and the people are satisfied. The international community speaks highly of these achievements.
How has China's new leadership brought about such changes? In which direction will it lead China? Many people in China and abroad hope to find answers to these questions by studying the new leadership's ideas and approach to governance.
Now answers can be found in Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, a book published jointly by the State Council Information Office, the Party Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, and the China International Publishing Group.
The book contains a compilation of 79 of Xi Jinping's speeches, arranged into 18 sub-headings. Some are complete texts; some are excerpts. Together they represent only a small part of all of Xi's talks and essays. They are filled with refreshingly vivid statements and novel ideas. Some 40 photos in the book yield a glimpse into various periods of Xi's life and reveal that he is an affable, generous, pragmatic and determined man. His biography in the appendix shows an impressive wealth of grassroots work experience and a happy family life. The book sheds light on the approach of China's new leadership to governance, and the ideas that sustain it.
1. Building consensus and boosting energy with dreams
The book includes seven of Xi's speeches on the Chinese Dream. In fact, almost every article in the book is related to the Chinese Dream – it is mentioned 115 times.
Xi Jinping proposed the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation when visiting "The Road to Rejuvenation" exhibition at the National Museum of China, shortly after the 18th CPC National Congress. The proposal has far-reaching significance.
Xi's speeches show that the Chinese Dream is shared by the whole nation. China is a vast country, with more than 1.3 billion people in 56 ethnic groups on the mainland, and it has yet to be reunited with Taiwan.
Moreover, due to profound changes in the country's economic and social structure and the evolution in the public mindset, people from different regions, social strata and fields of endeavor think very differently. Discord could undermine development, and therefore the search for consensus is a pressing need.
To find consensus, the most important thing is to identify our common goal. What is it?
Since the 1840s, generations of Chinese have successively striven towards and made sacrifices for one goal – the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This dream resonates in every Chinese heart, and this makes it our common aspiration. Once in the public domain, the Chinese Dream quickly captured the attention of the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese. It is a strong core around which the nation will gather.
The Chinese Dream is a driving force for national development. A rising nation is always full of dreams. The Chinese Dream, says Xi Jinping, in essence means prosperity for the country, rejuvenation of the nation, and happiness for the people. The Chinese Dream is the dream of the country, of the nation, and of every Chinese. All those who live in our great country at this great time will have the opportunity to enjoy a successful life, the opportunity to realize their dreams, and the opportunity to grow and progress together with the country.
The Chinese Dream brings together the interests of the nation and of individual citizens. Since the concept was first proposed, almost everyone in China has begun to outline for themselves their beautiful dreams of a better education, more stable employment, improved housing conditions, better health care, greater respect, career success, and self-actualization…
The Chinese Dream has filled 1.3 billion people with passion and vitality. Their efforts to pursue their dreams are a strong force propelling the country to grow and the nation to revive.
2. Follow the Chinese road with confidence
"I am fully confident that man can swim three thousand miles in his two hundred years of life." This is a line of poetry by Mao Zedong that Xi likes to quote. This book demonstrates Xi's strong confidence in socialism with Chinese characteristics, even more impressive than the self-confidence he displays as an individual.
He says that today the CPC, China, and the Chinese nation have every reason to be confident. He stresses that we should be fully confident in the path, the theory, and the system of Chinese socialism.
A large part of this book is devoted to upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. Xi has a famous saying that "only the wearer of the shoes knows if they fit, and only the people can best tell if the development path they have chosen for their country suits." He believes that unique cultural traditions, historical experience, and national conditions determine that the Chinese must take a development path that suits their own characteristics.
As a nation blessed with a vast land area of 9.6 million sq km, a rich culture accumulated over a long history, and 1.3 billion of great people, we should be poised to take our own path. Every Chinese should have confidence in this.