Int’l order can have Chinese moral compass

By Liu Qingling Source:Global Times Published: 2012-12-17 19:45:06

A renowned scholar from Tsinghua University has recently proposed a value system rooted in traditional Chinese classics: courtesy, benevolence, and righteousness, noting that such values even outshine the Western culture pillared by freedom, equality, and democracy.

A culture based on these three classic values not only suits China, but should also be acceptable to more countries and the international community. In fact, China's foreign policy of peaceful coexistence and mutual benefit may just have derived from such a cultural ideal.

The Chinese nation today not only needs to underline its own common values but also needs to promote such a culture to the international community to contribute to an advanced global culture accepting of Chinese characteristics.

The sense of happiness and identity of the Chinese people comes from their common values and the nation must earnestly safeguard such values benefiting its people.

When the values have firmly taken hold and shaped people's lives and careers, they will externalize and promote social well-being. China has been promoting such an advanced culture at home through State policies and social undertakings with some fruits already having been reaped.

A case in point is to look at contemporary Lei Fengs and other moral role models. Within Chinese society, these people serve as role models, but when viewed from abroad, they display the positive image of China and Chinese culture.

But the basis of such a culture is still not firm enough. More measures need to be taken to ensure people of all walks of life act accordingly.

China needs to also promote such values internationally, given some of the negative images of China which have stemmed from the conducts of its citizens deviating from such a culture.

The road will be long and it may take decades of efforts, but it is a worthwhile cause.

Singapore, through its education and law enforcement, has turned itself into a nation of order and discipline, not only greatly improving its international image, but also augmenting its comprehensive strength.

With more challenges and pressure coming from the international arena, China needs to step up its efforts to forge an advanced culture acceptable to the world, making clear that China's rise will not only benefit itself, but also will truly contribute to a more friendly, just and benevolent international order.

China's soft power has been outlined. But special endeavors should be made to recreate and promote an advanced world culture with Chinese characteristics before it is too late.

China needs to contribute more than material wealth to humanity and surely should not forget to share its precious cultural assets with the international community.

Liu Qingling, an administrator of Tsinghua University

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