Forum: Dreams and Power


Chinese Dreams (Zhongguo meng 中国梦)

by Geremie R. Barmé

Xi Jinping summed up the ideals of the party-state (the Communist Party-led government of the People’s Republic) as what he called the ‘China Dream’. Speaking as the new President of China in March 2013, he discussed this catchall vision in the following way (the official Xinhua News Agency translation is followed by an interpretation free of Party-speak in square brackets).

Civilised Tourism

by Shih-Wen Chen

Chiang Mai — the setting of the 2012 Chinese blockbuster movie Lost in Thailand (Ren zai jiongtu zhi Tai jiong 人再囧途之泰囧) — has become a popular new destination for Chinese tourists. Despite welcoming the increase in tourist revenue, many Chiang Mai residents are appalled at the visitors’ littering, spitting and other rude behaviours. It is not an unusual story.

The Leadership Transition

by Gerry Groot

The most important political event in China in 2012 was the Eighteenth Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (Zhongguo gongchandang dishibaci quanguo daibiao dahui 中国共产党第十八次全国代表大会). Meeting from 8 to 14 November, it marked the official transition of leadership from Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to a younger and differently qualified ‘fifth generation’ headed by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. As China is a party-state in which party positions normally trump any other official ones, this meant that in March 2013, these party leaders would automatically take up equivalent positions in the government when the Twelfth National Peoples’ Congress (NPC) (Quanguo renmin daibiao dahui 全民人民代表大会) convened — making the Party Congress a far more significant event than the NPC, although the latter may be referred to as ‘China’s parliament’.