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10 political essays that have influenced China

By Liang Heng (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

13:19, April 24, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Throughout history, there have been 10 beautiful political essays that have greatly influenced the political civilization, behavioral pattern, and cultural thought of the Chinese people.

The 10 beautiful political essays all meet three conditions. First, they contain thoughts that have influenced the political civilization and behavioral pattern of the Chinese people. Second, certain phrases or sentences in these essays have become famous quotes, proverbs, idioms, or mottos. Some phrases have been included in dictionaries, enriching the vocabulary of the Chinese language. Third, they are in line with the rules of art, and have achieved beauty with fine choice of words and sentence structures, impressive rhetoric, sincere emotions, and sound reasoning.

The following is a brief analysis of the 10 essays.

Famous Han statesman Jia Yi (201 BCE – 169 BCE) explores why regimes perish in his essay, The Faults of Qin (778 BC–207 BC). He concludes that an emperor must adopt a generous and benevolent policy toward his people. The famous phrase, "Cut down trees to make weapons, and raise bamboo poles to serve as the standard of revolt," is from this essay.

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