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Rising middle class on ambitions, and frustrations

03-04-2014 15:14 BJT Special Report: 2014 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

By CCTV reporter Han Peng

Chinese new leadership has laid out a vision of a stronger country, using the term "China Dream". The "dream" is to make Chinese nation prosperous, powerful and proud again. It’s now a year since the new leadership took office. How is the public responding to this vision?

Chinese leaders have been touting about the country’s renaissance. But what does that mean for an ordinary family?

For Xuanxuan and her parents, the answer is clear: wealth, health and well-being. Her family is part of China’s emerging middle class, which barely existed just a decade ago. Her mother says that in broader sense, they are the beneficiaries of China’s reform and opening up, which started in 1978.

“We were all from small towns, and could never move to big cities like Beijing without that historic change. But at the same time, we are not really leading a relaxed way of life. We have to plan and calculate very carefully on every item of spending to hold our position in this competitive city.” said Ge Xin.

Faced with sky-rocketing housing prices, the family has moved to Beijing’s suburbs for a bigger apartment. It still used up almost all their savings just for the down payment.

They now pay half their monthly salary for the mortgage, and have to commute a hundred kilometers daily to and from work.

Their child is about to start school, and their parents are getting old. The growing financial pressures are a huge burden for the family’s breadwinner. Mr. Li now works twelve hours a day and barely rests on weekends.

“I work in a private company. To be honest, China’s market isn’t very friendly to private businesses. There are many boundaries in policies and procedures. If the bigger environment becomes better, it will be easier for us to make a living.” said Li Jiangfeng.

Across China, there are hundreds of millions of families like them, each has their own struggles and dreams. But for many Chinese, the China Dream is not just about the success of individuals. Like Mr. Li, they believe their fate is closely connected with the changes of nation.

The government is pushing ahead with those changes. Since the new leadership took office, President Xi Jinping has promised for comprehensive reforms. The government says the problems Li’s family faces are part of a structural problem that calls for structural changes. The China dream, as Xi Jinping puts it, is rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, which could ultimately reshape the life of each individual.

“My dream is that my daughter can grow up in a better environment.” said Ge Xin.

“I hope to spend more time with my parents.” said Xuanxuan.

“My China dream? I don't have any more demands. I grew up in a small village and experienced hard times. I’m grateful for everything we have today.” said Ge Xin’s Mother.

“My dream is to raise the happiness of our whole family. That’s my contribution to building a better China.” said Li Jiangfeng.

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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