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Culture Insider: How Confucianism shaped China

2014-09-30 11:09:31



Confucianism, first set up by Confucius (551–479 BC) during the Spring and Autumn Period and later developed by philosophers, including Mencius, Dong Zhongshu, Wang Yangming and others, is a philosophy that has had greatest influence on China. The philosophy has shaped Chinese people's life in one way or another.

As Sept 28 marked the 2,565th birth anniversary of Confucius, let's take a brief look at Confucianism's influence on Chinese people.

A portrait of Confucius (551-479 BC). [Photo/Xinhua]

In politics, Confucianism advocates "internal saints and external king", which emphasizes a man's personal integrity based on which he governs the whole nation. It can be summed up as "benevolent government". This thought was applied by many later emperors, such as Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty, who created one of the most peaceful and prosperous kingdoms in the world. Even today, Chinese leaders stress "morality" and "people oriented" policies.

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