• An inside view of one of the most dynamic but little-understood sectors of Chinese society
• Compelling interviews and personal stories reveal the varied motivations, aspirations, and backgrounds of the Chinese middle class
• Illuminates both the unexpected similarities and complimentary differences between the Chinese and Western middle classes
Apprehensions about China abound. People fear the country’s recent record growth, believing a strong China presents a threat to the West. But these fears are misplaced. In a vibrant portrait of this dynamic sector of Chinese society, Helen Wang demonstrates that a rising Chinese middle class will be a complementary force in the global community and benefit the world as a whole.
The Chinese Dream combines careful analysis of sociopolitical forces with fascinating stories of individuals who embody a middle class that is still emerging in China. Wang, who was born and spent her early adulthood in China, spoke to over a hundred people: homegrown entrepreneurs and executives of foreign-owned firms, connected Communist party members, rural migrants who lifted themselves up from poverty, an Internet mogul who beat eBay, a gay footwear company manager, a former Tiananmen Square demonstrator, and many more. They share their struggles, hopes, and dreams set against a background of ancient traditions and modern ambitions.
Wang also explores the impact of the middle class on Chinese society and on the rest of the world. A large Chinese middle class, Wang argues, will become an alternative growth engine for the international economy. The environmental challenges China and the world face can be an awakening force that binds us to work together. Whether or not the expansion of the middle class will lead to greater democracy is a question Wang explores with great sensitivity and nuance.
China will only become more important in the coming years—promoting mutual understanding will lead to a safer, stronger world. The Chinese Dream delivers a powerful message of the oneness of humanity and illuminates the unity in diversity that exists in the global community.
For the future growth of the Chinese middle class, please see here.