EASSC Publications


The Chinese Dream: More Rhetorical than ‘Actionable’?

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper


'The Chinese Dream' is a broad, elusive and ambiguous concept. Whilst there have been attempts to, conceptually and analytically, define and interpret it more rigorously, it nevertheless retains a nebulous quality. This paper argues that the rhetorical process of 'the Chinese dream' by elites - elaborating, defining and articulating - is more important than the concreteness and content of the concept and, to that end, the oblique nature of the Chinese dream is therefore central. This ambiguousness serves functional ends in that it can be multifariously employed to push different (but sometimes contradictory) agendas. It further suggest that the Chinese dream has not brought about a shift in its foreign policy behaviour and is unlikely to do so, rather, it will remain a hermeneutical tool for its leaders to strategically justify and elide some its foreign policy.

Journal, Book or Conference Title

East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会

Publication Details

Author information: PhD Candidate, Department of Politics and International Studies, The University of Cambridge. Faculty Member, Public Policy and Global Affairs Division, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/Staff_and_Students/dylanloh

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