WHILE many specifics remain unclear at this point, the new Chinese leadership has provided some broad guidelines to major components of the Chinese Dream. A partial list of these includes:
Fairer distribution of the benefits of economic development, including reducing urban-rural differences.
Building an ecological civilization, where greater attention will be paid to addressing major environmental issues.
Shifting the development model to one that is based more on domestic household consumption, innovation and efficiency, and less on exports and investment.
Creating the institutional capacity to provide the services and related requirements for dealing with a massive demographic transition to an elderly society over the coming two decades.
Reducing the government’s administrative interference in the economy so that by 2020 market forces will play a “decisive” role in the allocation of resources.
China’s leaders face an extraordinarily complicated set of obstacles in trying to achieve these and related goals that are central components of successfully pursuing the Chinese Dream. It will require extraordinary skill to manage the politics of turning this broad dream into operational programs that can successfully be implemented.
In short, the success of a more modern, well-educated, wealthy, internally and internationally connected Chinese population will depend on the wisdom, capabilities, and incorruptibility of Party cadres at all levels.
KENNETH LIEBERTHAL is a senior fellow of Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution.