By W. Vishnu Gupta –
The present leader of China Xi Jinpin became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in November 2012. Soon after that Xi announced what would become the hallmark of his administration. “The Chinese Dream,” he said, is “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
He elaborated further; everyone has his or her own ideals and pursuits, in addition to this shared dream, “realizing the nation’s great rejuvenation is the greatest dream of the nation” Rejuvenating China, the Chinese dream will benefit the world with experiences for other regions and countries to follow and help establish win-win relationships among world players.
Chinese Dream stirs hopes and sets expectations for the Chinese in China. Internationally, particularly in developed western countries it provokes questions and elicits concerns. Sometimes these concerns borders around the warning of the dangers of self-fulfilling prophecies.
However, developing nations such as Sri Lanka must understand that the Chinese Dream differs from the American Dream. Xi Jinpin’s vision (Dream) expresses China’s collective aspirations –
International corporate strategist and investment banker Robert Khun explains that there are four parts to Chinese Dream.
1) Strong China (economically, politically, diplomatically, scientifically, militarily)
2) Civilized China (equity and fairness, rich culture, high morals)
3) Harmonious China (amity among social classes)
4) Beautiful China (healthy environment, low pollution).
In March 2013, Xi also emphasized that the Chinese Dream is a dream for peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit for all. Therefore, it is connected to the beautiful dreams of the people in other countries. The Chinese Dream will not only benefit the Chinese people, but also people of all countries in the world.
Xi proposed taxonomy of five dimensions from which to analyze the concept of Chinese Dream – national, personal, historical, global and antithetical.
It is obvious under global prospect; the Chinese Dream will change the global landscape which was shaped by Western countries over the past two centuries with the help of industrialization. The new global landscape proposed by Xi is different; it will be established through international rules, dialogue, mutual respect and experiences of both developed and emerging countries. Simply put “Do as we do” principle in the West versus the Chinese principle of “Let’s do it together”. It is interesting to note that on the eve of Xi Jinpin’s historical visit to Sri Lanka on September 16th 2014, he referred to the island nation as “splendid pearl” in the Indian Ocean. I doubt that Machiavellian politician understood the real meaning, obviously Xi Jinpin did not mean the glorious past of “Swarna Bhumi Lanka.”
Chinese Dream and One Belt One Road Initiative
Soon after becoming the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, Xi spearheaded a network of investments in grand scale to develop infrastructure to link China with rest of Asia and Europe. First to revive the old Silk Road that linked Asia with Europe. This initiative, popularly known as “One Belt, One Road” appears to be the initial instrument in achieving the Chinese Dream. Later in October 2013 Xi Jinpin proposed the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) initiative during a speech to the Indonesian Parliament. Maritime Silk Road is the maritime section of historic Silk Road that connects China to Southeast Asia, Indonesian archipelago, Indian subcontinent, Arabian peninsula, Somalia and all the way to Egypt and finally Europe.
It is clear from the China’s proposed Silk Road map that “Splendid Pearl” has a key geostrategic position to assume. If impetus of MSR is properly understood by the relevant political and administrative authorities of Sri Lanka; this unitary, sovereign island nation has the most advantageous and envious role to play in developing the Maritime Silk Road. This golden opportunity should not be squandered by the corrupt economic and political operatives of the country under different guises. However judging by the performance of the present government of co-habitation, it seems the government leaders; both President and Prime Minister have been very slow to capitalize from the opportunity offered by the Chinese with their MSR initiative.
Furthermore Xi Jinpin is different from most of the other leaders in similar positions, he “walks the talk” or As far as his strategic vision is concerned he has differentiated from others with “actions that speak louder than words”. He proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2013 and established it in October 2014. AIIB is a multilateral development bank and its objective is to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. Most countries affected by One Belt One Road and Maritime Silk Road including Sri Lanka have joined Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Ironically there has never been a single government leader who “walks the talk” in “Splendid Pearl”.
To be continued ..
chiv / May 22, 2018
The Chinese may “walk the talk” but are not known for their transparency. Also they always work with a hidden agenda which is self serving. They are well known for currency/market manipulation,arm twisting, laying debt traps, invading into other countries under the pretext of development, lack of empathy for their own citizen and non adherence to international norms and regulations. There is enough warning signals for Lanka to be concerned.In Chinese language the road may actually mean a dead end trap.It is wiser to read the small print before taking the plunge.I am sure many of you are familiar with “made in china”(quality).I will better leave that for another day.
chiv / May 22, 2018
Good to see an outsider like Mr .Gupta has become an expert in chinese language. Is it Mandarin or Mainland???
Jim softy / May 22, 2018
ChiV: Are you a native Vedda too. Every country is for them. Why do you expect anyone to promote you. I think gupta will be saying that China is bad accept the Indian way.
Ranjith Gunawaradana / May 22, 2018
There are thousands of Sri Lankan being to China most of them are invitees from PRC and CPC; they were belongs to major political parties and their leading cards, social group, cultural organization and various social starts of persons been visit China.
Very handful persons NOT been an invited to PRC and CPC, by the govt. of China, while brand as those as enemies of China. Since 1970 tees large number of politician enjoy and hospitality benefitted by People & govt. of China.
Therefor that may be only or two person in Sri Lankan been dropped by PRC? Well, that is how that PRC and CPC handle while punished their “friends” in deeds . In case of Lankan China has different treatment on different basis of persons depend on that third person sources of information.
In fact PRC and CPC was friendly to People of all Sri Lankan irrescapative of their Race, Religion, Cast but not that for the “Karawa’ and other classes China treat on equal basis.
China was economically support for Lankan by the during war of 30 years for Sri Lanka it was that PRC stand by for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy of unity of People of Island .
Last couples of years giant Chinese investment has played leading role of shape that sustainability of national economic development and its growth, it has remarkable achievement in sphere of Island Economy. leads to New era.
K.Pillai / May 22, 2018
At one time China was despised by…………..you know who! The hope was that China will bury itself. Against all odds (and to the delight of the third world), China has not only survived but has come out on top.
Did turning a blind eye to corruption help? This is a separate issue.
W Vishnu Gupta’s article here is a bit tilted. He points out the advantages of the “Silk Road” to Sri Lanka but not the inherent colonialist motive.
Vishnu talks about Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) established ‘to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region’ but not BRICS. In Asia, Asia-Pacific and in Africa, the perception is a Shylockian China.
The Vishnu end ~ “Ironically there has never been a single government leader who “walks the talk” in “Splendid Pearl”. This is a clear indication of what he will say in the next instalment.
Ruby / May 22, 2018
This is a timely discussion.;
“Both President and Prime Minister have been very slow to capitalize from the opportunity offered by the Chinese with their MSR initiative”
They were busy in trying to prove MR was wrong or to figure out a way to extract more commissions from Chinese. All these mega projects are viewed by our politicians as a method to make massive ill gotten wealth for themselves and their children. People are expendable for them.
SJ / May 22, 2018
There is an important historical aspect to China–Lanka relations that many commentators are blind to.
Interestingly the relationship was cemented under a much pro-Western regime, which out of sheer need reached out to China, which at the time was in need of rubber, whose supply was restricted during the Korean War under US pressure.
The UNP continued to be hostile to China, especially under Sir John K, although there was thought of diplomatic relations, which materialised soon under SWRDB.
China has retained one healthy feature of its socialist foreign policy, namely mutual respect irrespective of the size or strength of the countries involved.
Earlier we were told that the “String of Pearls” was a military strategy; but now people realize that it is an economic strategy. The West and India are kept guessing, because they tend to see China through their lenses.
India has imperialist dreams, but is clumsy in its foreign affairs and has all along relied on a strong patron to get there.
Capitalist China will be an imperialist power sooner or later, but there is much to do before that.
It handles the Third world in ways that the West just cannot, and is thus scoring. Until the day China’s passive approach fails to deliver the goods, China will be a seen as a friendly force and an alternative to the oppressive West by the Third World.
India has to learn a lesson or two from China in dealing with other countries.
Native Vedda / May 22, 2018
“There is an important historical aspect to China–Lanka relations that many commentators are blind to.”
True, the Chinese Admiral Zheng He caught Vira Alageshwara by his b***s and drag him all the way to China. You know why, as usual with any little islander Vira Alageshwara couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
soma / May 23, 2018
Can someone explain the Himalayan trade volume between China and USA? Is there any secret agenda which USA is unaware of?
Aren’t most of infrastructure develoment projects carried out by China in other countries open for competitive international bidding?.
There is an increasing level of Telecom infrastructure installment carried out in most developed countried by Huawei and ZTE, including India. Knowing fully well that it is a security reletated area where Chinese can siphon off valuable information flowing through it why do they allow it?
Construction of a road or a brdge is not rocket science. In Sri Lanka why can’t India do it? Is Sri Lanka strong enough to reject any competitive Indian bid?
I just can’t understand this blame game.
old codger / May 23, 2018
“Aren’t most of infrastructure develoment projects carried out by China in other countries open for competitive international bidding?.”
Nobody can match Chinese prices and value for money. What is more they provide the funding , and usually the manpower too. They don’t want to know why we need highways or airports, whereas the IMF will.
The Indians can build bridges and highways, but not as slickly as China. Really, we don’t need first world highways here, but who is listening?
ZTE is in trouble for trading with Iran. It had its supply of US-made parts cut off.
Native Vedda / May 23, 2018
“Can someone explain the Himalayan trade volume between China and USA? Is there any secret agenda which USA is unaware of?”
Please refer Mahawamsa chapter 26 for relevant information or Chandraperuma’s Gota’s bulls**t..
soma / May 24, 2018
I think there is a typo here. Chapter 26 deals with how Tamil terrorists throughout have been making their own people drowning in shit and predicts that that will remain unchanged for another 2500 years.
Native Vedda / May 24, 2018
Mahawamsa Chapter 26 deals with The Maricavatti-vihara.