How Does China See the Future?

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) promulgates an image of historical ascendance. China is set to become, in 2049, a “Modern Socialist Country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized, and harmonious,” while the international realm will blossom into a harmonious and multi-civilizational “Community of Common Destiny.” Sociologist Eric Hendriks, who previously worked for Peking University and is presently a visiting fellow at the Danube Institute, will argue the CCP’s official vision of the future constitutes a sober utopianism. Transmitted through party-speak, GDP statistics, and the dull rhythm of party gatherings, this utopianism draws on Marxist-Leninist and classical Chinese sources while resonating with optimism in the broader society. “Things are getting better and better” (yue lai yue hao), a common Mandarin idiom insists. But are the Chinese really still that optimistic? And how different is the sense of the future in Western politics?

-Dr. Eric Hendriks,
Visiting Fellow, Danube Institute
-Dr. David L. Dusenbury, Senior Fellow, Danube Institute
Moderator: David Oldroyd-Bolt, Visiting Fellow, Danube Institute