Chinese Dream becomes mosque, university and prison dream

Propaganda for President Xi's Chinese Dream has appeared in some unlikely places

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 July, 2013, 7:54pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 July, 2013, 8:26pm

The Chinese Dream has made recent appearances in a variety of unexpected places, including mosques, university campuses and even prisons.

Originally mentioned by President Xi Jinping in November last year, the Chinese Dream is rhetoric promoted by the government as an alternative to the American Dream. It recently made its way into the western region of Xinjiang, where Uygur minorities have been observing Ramadan since Tuesday.

World Uygur Congress spokesman Dilxadi Rexiti said on Thursday that Xinjiang authorities have been hounding Ramadan-celebrating Uygurs and interrupting their prayers with talk of the Chinese Dream.

“Every mosque has at least six to seven government officials stationed outside it, monitoring all activities inside,” Rexiti said in an interview with Radio Free Asia. “The mosques have to abide by all rules and provisions set forth by the Chinese government, and mosque visitors have received notification that during prayer hours, they are expected to pray to the Chinese Dream.”

The Chinese Dream is also making its way to schools, where it will be promoted by special “Chinese Dream themed activities,” a statement by Ministry of Education Vice Minister Liu Limin said. 

“[Schools must] advance Chinese Dream education,” Liu said. “Especially through the teaching of politics, morals, language, history, geography and other disciplines … [This will] give students a comprehensive understanding of the meaning of the Chinese Dream.”

Xiamen University of Fujian province seems to be taking this mission one step further, backing what it calls on its website a “comparative research study project into the systematic structure and operational levels of the Chinese Dream.” According to the website, the project will highlight both the “international [and] Chinese characteristics” of the Chinese dream. It won funding of 200 thousand yuan and will be carried out by professor Hong Yongmiao, dean of Xiamen’s School of Economics.

The Post contacted Xiamen University’s School of Economics for comment on the research project, only to be told by office staff that Professor Hong “said the research has yet to be conducted”. After further inquiries, an office manager informed the Post that Professor Hong was “very busy” and that “now was not a good time”.

Aside from mosques and schools, the Chinese Dream has made an unlikely appearance in one other place – prisons. Similar to students in schools, prisoners in Sichuan province are now encouraged to participate in discussions called “Chinese Dream, Prison Dream, My Dream.” Prisons have even organised Chinese Dream speech and essay contests, the Epoch Times reported.

“What kind of dream is a Prison Dream?” one perplexed online commentator asked as news of these developments went viral on China's Sina Weibo. “By this logic, they should start making ‘dreams’ of everything – what about a Bathhouse Dream? A Karaoke Dream? A Funeral Dream?”