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Confucius helps China-U.S. express mutual goodwill and respect

(People's Daily Online)

13:49, June 27, 2012

Chinese need to use Confucius to express goodwill and Americans also need to rely on Confucius to express respect.

While Chairman Jiang Zemin was visiting the United States in October of 2002, he mentioned Confucius twice in the George Bush Library.

While talking about the panda, he quoted Confucius' words, "when you know something, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know something, to allow that you do not know it," to express that he was not an expert in that realm. In a later speech, he mentioned this ancient sage again.

"Confucius proposed that the superior man is affable, but not adulatory," Jiang said, "keeping harmony but seeking no oneness is an important rule for developments of social l relations, a rule for people to follow while interacting with each other, and an essence for the harmonious development of various civilizations."

During his visit in the United States five years ago, he used Confucius' words, "how happy we are, to meet friends from afar," to express his thanks for the reception. In another lunch party, he emphasized that respecting the individual's dignity and value is the tradition of China.

In the development of Sino-U.S. relation from past decades, Confucius was always a necessary figure.

In 1972, Sino-U.S. relation started breaking ice and Confucius turned into a bridge for the two sides to express their goodwill and information. In the same year, President Nixon visited China and signed the Shanghai Communiqué. At that time, in the informal reports by U.S. media, Confucius' complex principle for the diet was used to describe the well-considered reception of China. So did the serious reports, the media also pointed out element that affecting the Shanghai Communiqué most was not Mao Zedong but Confucius. The principle "seek common ground while reserving differences" reflected Confucius' idea of "doctrine of the mean", "opposing the super power's hegemony in Asia" reflected Confucius' idea of "peace", and no mentioning Soviet Union all the way reflected Confucius' idea of being practical.

In 1987, while George Shultz was visiting China, an important arrangement of his journey was to visit Confucius' hometown. In the welcome ceremony from Shandong, Shultz enthusiastically said that Confucius' edification would continue and forever be a source of wisdom for the human being.

"Chinese need to use Confucius to express goodwill and Americans also need to rely on Confucius to express respect," said Zhang Tao, who wrote a book named "Confucius in the United States of America."

Currently, on the diplomatic stage of the new era, China is still trying to carry forward Confucius' charm and build up a peacefully rising image.

Source:China Youth Daily , author: Fu Yannan.

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