Book Talk: The Chinese Dream and Ordinary Chinese People


Thursday, April 29, 2021, 9:30am to 10:30am


Virtual event, registration required

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, and HKS China Society invite you to a discussion with Lu Mai, author of The Chinese Dream and Ordinary Chinese People (Springer 2021). Joining Mr. Lu is Jason Furman, Aetna Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at HKS and Winnie Yip, Professor of the Practice of Global Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Fairbank Center Acting Director. Moderating this discussion will be Ash Center Director and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs Tony Saich.

This discussion is hosted in collaboration with the China Development Research Foundation.

Register here

About the Author    

Lu Mai is Vice-Chairman of the State Council’s China Development Research Foundation (CDRF), and previously served as General Secretary for over two decades. Mr. Lu has extensive experience working on rural reform efforts in China, having served as Director of Experimental Area Office for Rural Reform, Research Center for Rural Development of the State Council in the late 1980's and leading a number of related research projects for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Mr. Lu earned his B.A. in economics from Beijing College of Economics in 1982, and his M.A. in public administration from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1991.

About the Book

This collection of interviews explores how the Chinese Dream is fueling the aspirations of individuals in China today and presents 40 representative cases that showcase the journeys that ordinary people undertake in pursuit of their dreams as well as their extraordinary achievements.  The authors identify autonomy, self-awareness, and hard work as the most fundamental driving forces in individuals taking control of their own lives and achieving their dreams, with family and social support as further important factors. Despite the vast differences in the interviewees’ dreams and experiences in pursuing them, there is a common thread in their stories, namely the impact of major changes in the country on their lives. The future of individuals is closely linked to the future of the country: a bright future for the country means a good life for all. People’s longing for a better life is the basis and a central element of the Chinese Dream, which is the dream of the nation and the dream of every citizen. 

Virtual Event Details 

Registration is required for this event. Please register using the link above to receive details via email for how to join the virtual discussion. 

You can submit questions to the panelists in advance during the registration process. A live Q&A will also be available during the event with an option to submit questions in real-time. 

The Ash Center encourages individuals with disabilities to participate in its events. Should you wish to inquire about an accommodation, please contact our events team at prior to the event. 

Additional questions? Email the Ash Center events team at