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Taoism also part of China’s soft power

(People's Daily Online)

08:17, July 11, 2012

(Photo from Xinhua)

Chinese culture enjoys increasing influence in the world. What makes it so attractive? What are the challenges facing it? Over the past eight years, the Confucius Institute has made remarkable achievements in promoting the Chinese culture and language worldwide.

From the Mississippi to the Nile, the Chinese learning craze is sweeping across the entire world. The undoubtedly attractive Chinese language faces a challenge of carrying the right culture as language is the carrier of culture.

Chinese society has once again realized the strength of Confucian culture, and always cites Confucius when talking about China’s soft power. However, the backbone of Chinese culture includes both people-oriented Confucianism and nature-oriented Taoism. The present craze for traditional Chinese culture is actually the craze for Confucianism, which is only a part of Chinese culture. The Confucius Institute teaches more than Confucianism, just like the Goethe-Institute is not a research institute of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s works. China should not forget Taoism when publicizing its culture abroad.

Ancient Chinese scholars once stood on the vehicle and held the bridle to express their ambition of controlling the world. We do not blame them. However, we must know that ancient Chinese people spent a lot of time admiring the beauty of the nature, culture and history, always adjusted the human being's position in the universe, and always pursued a healthy and proper physical and spiritual life. It was a result of the combination of the Confucianism and Taoism. The Confucianism pursues “regulating the family, governing the state and administrating the world,” but the Taoism regards the physical and spiritual health and the harmony between the man and nature as its responsibilities.

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