Hong Kong Says No to the China Dream
China’s leaders and their mouthpieces in Hong Kong have repeatedly claimed that a silent majority of the local community opposed the demonstrators, and that foreign “black hands” were behind the protests. But the city’s district council elections on November 24 told a different story.
LONDON – At the beginning of his satirical novel China Dream, which has a cover designed by the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Ma Jian expresses his gratitude to George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm. Orwell, he says, “foretold it all.”
Ma, whose work is banned in China and who lives in exile in London, is of course reflecting on Orwell’s warnings about the threat of a totalitarian future in which dictatorships brainwash people. Today, in China’s Xinjiang region, the regime is incarcerating about a million Muslim Uighurs in “re-education” camps.
The target of Ma’s book is the Communist Party of China (CPC), which, he argues, has “imprisoned the minds and brutalized the bodies of the Chinese people.” In particular, his satire targets President Xi Jinping’s signature “China Dream.” A communist official in the novel believes the policy will “go global”; the CPC will become “the ruling party of humanity.”
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one to read two commentaries for free? Log in