It’s basically been accepted, since this Economist cover story, that Chinese president Xi Jinping got the idea for his “Chinese Dream” from a Thomas Friedman New York Times column.
But where did Tom Friedman get the idea? Isaac Stone Fish of Foreign Policy decided to find out.
I asked Friedman whether all this was true, and he responded by email:
“I only deserve part credit,” he noted. “The concept of ‘China Dream’ was created by my friend Peggy Liu, as the motto for her NGO about how to introduce Chinese to the concept of sustainability.”
Friedman’s “China Dream” column references Liu and her NGO JUCCCE. In his email to me, he wrote, “I adapted her concept in the column below and just took [it] all the way to [the] top and made it a challenge for Xi Jinping.” “I just took it to a higher level — put it right in his face so to speak — in hopes of making it scale by challenging the next party chairman to adopt it,” he added.
May we recommend Friedman consider putting Chinese censorship of the New York Times “in (Xi Jinping’s) face, so to speak”?