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Chinese Dream depicts blueprint for middle class

Updated: 2013-11-16 14:56
( Xinhua)

The "Chinese Dream" proposed by President Xi Jinping depicts a blueprint for an expanding middle class in China, which is crucial for China's economic transition and will boost the global economy, a leading expert on China studies said.

"Based on President Xi's communications both at home and abroad, we've already seen the major components of the concept Chinese Dream," Cheng Li, director of research and a senior fellow at the John Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Li said the just-concluded Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee on Tuesday was in line with the Chinese Dream.

The key meeting is remarkable both for its overall strategic vision for a comprehensive and well-coordinate reform plan and timetable, and its timely emphasis on market reforms at present, Li said.

"This can not only uplift public confidence through new economic opportunities and new sources for growth, but also undermine criticism and fear that economic reforms will not go far without other reforms," he said.

He saw another turning point in China's economic development from the meeting and believed the entire world will benefit from China's "2.0 version of reform and opening up."

Li, who wrote books about China's emerging middle class, said that the Chinese Dream is the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as a whole, which is similar to American dream or other kind of beautiful dreams around the world.

It is an opportunity to have upward social mobility and a middle-class lifestyle, said the scholar.

He said that he chose not to use the term "middle class" in his first book in the 1990s about the rise of middle class in Shanghai, a coastal city in eastern China, as the U.S. publishers didn't believe it exists.

However, the size of China's middle class is growing so rapidly that the group changed the global economic landscape in terms of their huge purchasing power, Li said.

Li said that the middle class will play a very important role in investment and consumption, helping China's economy move from an export-oriented growth model with cheap labor to an "innovation-driven, service-sector centered and consumption-led" pattern.

He said the Chinese government should deepen financial reform and give the middle class more opportunities to invest in small and medium-sized businesses and the service sector, really making the private sector one of the driving forces of China's economic development.

"In the past five years, the middle class in China did not have opportunity to invest their money, so you end up with the situation that all money goes to property, then you see the property bubble, overcapacity, local debt and shadow banking problems China now confronts," he said.

Li praised the new Chinese leadership for sending clear signals to crack down corruption and improve people's living standards and use the opening up policy to push domestic reforms.