Kelli's essay three draft
The “American Dream” of China
In Hua Yu’s novel China in Ten Words, one reads about Hua’s experiences growing up in an ever-changing China. One of the things he experienced during the Great Leap Forward, when Chinese people were mobilized to smelt steel in the mid 50’s, was how determined China seemed to catch up, or even be better then, America. The Great Leap’s slogan was “Surpass the UK, catch up with the USA” (Hua, 114). They had the notion, much like other people, that America is good influence. The website Chinese Dream also shows how much China looks up to America. Much like the American Dream, this website is a portrayal, mostly for the upper-class to view, of the “ideal life” in China. With this passage from China in Ten Words and the Chinese Dream website, one could get an idea of how much China feels the need to prove themselves to Americans.
The Chinese Dream website (xinhuanet.com) is aimed towards the more rich and powerful type. This website is translated into English, Arabic, French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. From the image on the front page, which has a large picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the rich and powerful audience most likely has a job as some form of politician or has a good understanding of government. Moving on from the audience, one could see the agenda of the website is to advertise how Chinese [should] strive to live, the bias being through the eyes of a government official. This is proved by numerous articles, such as in the article “Xinhua Insight: New Leadership’s first year, a good beginning of Chinese dream”. This article gives opinions from a political standpoint, yet never states opinions from a civilian point of view. This helps present positive facts to impress political powerhouses, like America.
The passage from China in Ten Words, which talks about the Great Leap Forward, mentions one of the poems, “Let’s Compare”, the Chinese people recited as they worked:
“You’re all heroes and we’re all champs,
By the furnace here let’s compare our stats.
Good for you, you’ve smelted a ton,
But a ton and a half is what we’ve done!
Right, you go off and fly your jet -
Now watch as we fly our rocket!
Your arrow can pierce the sky -
But ours has gone into orbit!” (Hua, 115)
This goes hand in hand with the slogan “Surpass the UK, catch up with the USA". The Great Leap Forward was also a way to prove to America that China can also be like them. The Chinese treated the Great Leap Forward like a race against America to see who could smelt more iron. Hua also goes on to say in 1996, over 30 years after the Great Leap, China had achieved number one in the world for smelting. He states “in 2008 [China] had exceeded over 500 million tons, or 32 percent of the world’s steel output, more than that of the next seven nations in the world combined.” (Hua, 114) China’s need to achieve a dream to that of the American dream was rapidly increasing, and the push to beginning to achieve their dream was visible during the Great Leap.
America’s influence on China is visible on the web, in a book, everywhere. Upon viewing the website Chinese Dream, one can see what influences America has had on the Chinese dream, being that the website is more geared toward politicians and wealthy Americans. With the passage from China in Ten Words a person could see where the push to have a dream like America started, and how much closer they are to achieving it. Collectively, the website and the passage are good examples to show when the Chinese dream started, how it started, and where it is at the present time.
Hua, Yu. China in Ten Words.
“Revolution”. New York: Anchor, 2012. Print
Qing, Shen. Xinhuanet, Chinese Dream – Special Report
“Xinhua Insight: New Leadership’s first year, a good beginning of Chinese dream”.
Jan. 9th, 2014. Web. May 25th, 2014.