Medvedev praises "Tao Te Ching" at international economic forum

09:36, July 01, 2010      

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Last week at the international economic forum, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed to deal with the world financial crisis by following the teachings of the great ancient Chinese philosopher and thinker Laozi's Tao Te Ching.

Laozi was a philosopher of ancient China, and is a central figure in Taoism. The Tao Te Ching or Dao De Jing, whose authorship has been attributed to Laozi, is a Chinese classic text.

More than 2,300 national political figures, entrepreneurs and economic circles from over 50 countries, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, attended the forum held in St. Petersburg. They discussed the world economic recovery channels, the modernization of the Russian economy and other issues.

According to Medvedev's statement, "If we follow the teachings of the Chinese philosopher, I think we can find balance and stand the tremendous test." He said he saw Laozi's Tao Te Ching again when he visited Web sites that morning, so he cited one passage from the text.

The passage to which he referred asks: "Which one is more harmful, gains or losses? The more people like something, the more they must pay; the more people collect precious things, the sadder they feel when they lose them. Therefore, people will have no humiliation if they are content with their lots and will not be in danger if they stop where they should stop and thus will last long."

This is the core content about relations between gains and losses in the Tao Te Ching. It exhorts people to be content, maintain balance and advocate natural moral principles and a peaceful mentality. This is also the core idea of traditional Chinese culture. Wang Zijin, professor at Renmin University, explained the quotation by Medvedev to reporters.

He believes that traditional Chinese culture tells the concept of "degree," emphasizing that going too far is as bad as not going far enough, while the root cause of the economic crisis is the endless desire of capital and human beings triggered by consumption.

"In this sense, what Medvedev quoted is very appropriate. If people are content and can stop where they should stop, crisis can be avoided to some extent," Wang added.

By People's Daily Online
Additional support provided by LOTO


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