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Home > Embassy News > 2012
Speech by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Second Wilton Park-CPSC Conference
Defining China Consensus and Chinese Dream

(Wilton Park, 17 December 2012)

Lord Green,

Director Han Baojiang,

Chairman Ferguson,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for me to join you at this conference co-sponsored by the Wilton Park and the Central Party School of China.

I congratulate these two prominent think tanks on making possible a discussion on a timely and important theme: Towards Prosperity: Implications and Opportunities of the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Not long ago, I had the honour of attending the 18th CPC National Congress in Beijing. As soon as I came back to London, many British friends have invited me to talk about the Congress. Last week I shared my thoughts about the Congress with British friends on two occasions. These were at the Icebreaker Lecture hosted by the 48 Group Club and the opening of the China Institute of the Birmingham University.

In addition, I wrote an article about the 18th CPC Congress for The Daily Telegraph. In that article, I put forward a concept which I called the China Consensus.

I am sure those who study China will know that this concept evolves from the Beijing Consensus. It was a paper by Mr. Joshua Cooper Ramo and was published by the Foreign Policy Centre in London eight years ago.

Since its publication there have been constant debates in China about the Beijing Consensus.

First, it was seen as being limited to the view of a Western journalist. The Chinese academic community does not find the analysis of the Beijing Consensus very convincing.

Second, the Beijing Consensus only examines China's economic success. It does not provide analysis of China's political and social progress. So, in summary, the Beijing Consensus offers only a partial examination and explanation about the progress of China.

I believe in the concept of the China Consensus for three reasons:

· First, it provides a summary of China's successful development experience over the past three decades.

· Second, it encapsulates the consensus of the entire Chinese society.

· Third, it describes the development course set out at the 18th CPC Congress.

I believe the China consensus has five main aspects:

· scientific development;

· reform and opening up;

· stability and harmony;

· peaceful development

· and Chinese characteristics.

I am sure there will be full agreement about the vital need to gain deeper understanding about the progress of China. But how to describe and evaluate the advance of China requires serious study.

Chinese scholars are now mainly focusing on topics like Chinese path, Chinese system and Chinese theory. But, it is my understanding that the concept of the China Consensus goes along the same line. The reason is that the China Consensus incorporates the path, system and theory of China.

Some friends might ask whether the China Consensus is synonymous with describing a China model. You also might think that I have in mind the well known Washington Consensus. Some have used the Washington Consensus as describing an alternative way of referring to the Western Model or American Model.

My answer would be, "no", I am not using the China Consensus as a way of describing a China model.

My reasoning is that by using the concept of a model this suggests it is something for others to copy. In my view the relevance of a model is that it is universal.

However, the way China has evolved is unique. China has not followed any model. China always stresses that as a nation we do not copy the system and model of other countries. China will open a development path with Chinese characteristics and in light of China's national conditions.

Confucius said:

"Treat others the way you want others to treat you."

The spirit of this saying suggests answers to many questions. For example, would China conclude that its experience applies to other countries? Is China's development a model for others to copy? In a nutshell, China Consensus is the consensus of China. It may offer inspiration or reference to other countries. But China will not promote or export it. China will not term the China Consensus as a model.

Where will the China Consensus lead?

I believe that it will lead to the Chinese Dream coming true.

When I worked in the United States, American people often talked about the American Dream. It is the national ethos of the USA. In simple terms the American Dream means every citizen in the USA through hard work has the chance to succeed.

Then what is the Chinese Dream?

In my observation, the Chinese Dream has two meanings. The best way to arrive at a definition is to read what General Secretary Xi Jinping has said in his recent two speeches.

First, the dream of every individual Chinese. In Mr. Xi's words, it means to achieve through hard work:

· better education;

· more stable jobs;

· higher income;

· more reliable social security;

· improved medical care;

· more comfortable housing

· and a more agreeable environment.

Second, the dream of the entire Chinese nation.

As a Chinese saying goes: "When streams and brooks collect, they become a big river."

Likewise, the dreams of every Chinese build up to the national dream of China. So the Chinese dream also means the common goal of all Chinese:

· This is to build China into a well-off society by 2020;

· a socialist modern country that is rich, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the middle of this century;

· and accomplish the revitalisation of the Chinese nation.

Both the China Consensus and the Chinese Dream are conceptual. They are in the territory of ideas and knowledge.

But, we Chinese people emphasise combining the knowing and the doing.

The 18th Congress has built the consensus and charted the blueprint of China's future development. Yet this consensus needs to be carried out into action and hard work is entailed for the blueprint to become reality.

So with the China Consensus and the Chinese Dream what we need now is Chinese Action. We need action to realise the benefit of the China Consensus and fulfill the Chinese Dream.

The new central leadership of China has taken up the baton. Actions are being taken.

We believe China will have a brighter future.

We are convinced that the Chinese Dream of national revitalisation will come true.

Thank you!

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