Editor's note:

The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pointed out that the excellent traditional Chinese culture has a long history, is broad and profound, and is the crystallization of the wisdom of Chinese civilization, which contains the world for the public, the people for the state, the government with virtue, the reform of the old and the new, meritocracy, the unity of heaven and man, self-improvement, virtuousness, faith, harmony, kindness and kindness to neighbors, etc., which are important embodiments of the cosmology, tianxia, society, and morality accumulated by the Chinese people in their long-term production and life, and are highly compatible with the values and propositions of scientific socialism.

The Chinese's "cosmology, world view, social view, and moral view" reflect the long history and humanistic heritage of Chinese civilization, and are an important dimension for the world to understand China, the Chinese people, the Communist Party of China, and the Chinese nation. The "East-West Question" column of China News Service specially launched a series of plans to interpret the meaning and influence of the "four views".

Beijing, 6 Jun (ZXS) -- Why is the "Tianxia View" an outstanding creation of China's outstanding traditional culture?

——Interview with Wang Jie, President of the China Practical Studies Association and Professor of the Department of Philosophy of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (National Academy of Administration).

Written by Wen Longjie Xu Huangguan

The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pointed out that the excellent traditional Chinese culture has a long history, is broad and profound, is the wisdom crystallization of Chinese civilization, and contains the cosmology, worldview, social view and moral view accumulated by the Chinese people in their long-term production and life. Among them, the Tianxia View is unique, which is the outstanding cultural creation of the Chinese people, and the most meteorological and patterned cultural construction of Chinese culture.

What is "Tianxia"? What aspects of the excellent traditional Chinese culture are reflected in the Tianxia View? What enlightenment can the Tianxia View provide for current global governance? China News Agency's "East-West Question" recently interviewed Wang Jie, president of the China Institute of Practical Research, professor and doctoral supervisor of the Department of Philosophy of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (National Academy of Administration).

The following is a summary of the interview:

China News Agency reporter: "First the world is worried and worried, then the world is happy and happy", "Tianxia", as a unique cultural concept of Chinese and even the Han cultural circle, has a lasting and far-reaching influence, what is "Tianxia"?

Wang Jie: "Tianxia" includes the whole of mankind as known to the ancients, and represents all known civilizations, that is, "the unity of heaven". Through the evolution and development of different historical periods, the concept of "Tianxia" has formed the most characteristic view of Tianxia, which is the general view and viewpoint of Chinese on the issue of "Tianxia", reflecting the cosmology, world view, life view, moral view, values, national view and historical view of the ancient Chinese. The Tianxia View is an important source of the excellent ideological spirit of the Chinese nation and an important carrier for shaping Chinese civilization, Chinese wisdom and Chinese spirit.

In traditional Chinese culture, "Tianxia", as a unique cultural concept of Chinese and even the Han cultural circle, has different levels of diversity meaning.

From a geographical point of view, the meanings of "Tianxia" are similar to those of "Four Seas", "Kyushu" and "Sifang", and are understood from the sense of natural region and physical space.

From a political point of view, "Tianxia" is a political structure and political order constructed by the territory within the political territory and the people living in this territory, such as "five serving the world", "nine serving the world", "Wang Dao Tianxia" and so on.

From a cultural point of view, "Tianxia" is a kind of ideology and spirit, containing Chinese beliefs and characters, such as "Tianxia feelings", "Tianxia Guiren", "Tianxia Datong", "Tianxia for the public", etc., are all political ideals and humanistic spirit.

From a philosophical point of view, "Tianxia" is a kind of thinking and method, and it is a form of wisdom for the top leadership to think about how to govern the world and plan for operations, such as "viewing the world with the world", "neutralizing the world", "harmony with the world", etc.

From the ecological perspective, "tianxia" is a kind of civilization, and the essence of civilization is to transform human beings into adults, the transcendence of human nature over bestiality, and the transcendence of human beings for survival, such as "turning into the world" and "civilization under the world".

Confucius was determined to "regain self-denial, return the world to benevolence" and "the world is unified", Mencius volunteered to "overturn the world", Mozi wanted to "love the people of the world", "regard the country of man as its country, and regard the home of people as its home", and Lao Tzu pointed out that it is necessary to "treat oneself as the world", these are all typical expressions of "the feelings of the world" in the excellent traditional Chinese culture, highlighting the national spirit and excellent quality of the Chinese nation of "enjoying the world and worrying about the world".

China News Agency: What is the connotation of the Tianxia view, and what is it reflected in China's excellent traditional culture?

Wang Jie: The concept of tianxia in Chinese culture is accumulated by the ancients on the basis of values such as self-cultivation, family and country, integrity, clean government, people-based and harmony, and has rich and profound connotations. Specifically, it is embodied in:

Self-cultivation orientation is the cornerstone of the view of the world. The key to "walking the way in the world" in "The University" lies in people, and everything starts from each person, that is, internal cultivation, internal cultivation can be externally treated. Generations of scholars often "regard the world as their own responsibility", and for the highest ideal of "leveling the world", they must first cultivate their own qualities. As Confucius said, "His body is right, and he does not order it; His body is not right, although he does not obey the order". Strict self-cultivation is the first standard of "Ping the World".

Children dressed in Chinese costumes participated in the "Chinese Studies Pen Opening Ceremony" activity in Shanghai, displaying their own written "people" characters. As a form of enlightenment education in traditional Chinese culture, ceremonies such as the "pen opening ceremony" have been popularized in recent years. Photo by Tang Yanjun

The sense of integrity is the key to the world view. In ancient China, honesty was regarded as the key to the ethical order under heaven, and the core meaning was "truth" and "reality". In "The Tube", there is "the one who is honest, the knot of the world". Confucius also emphasized the fundamental significance of honesty to standing up and being a human being, saying that "people do not know what they can do without faith."

The pursuit of clean government is the confidence of the world. The so-called honest government means not being meticulous in politics, not taking things in vain, and not being subjected to ill-gotten gains. "Li Ji Qu Li Shang" said: "Wealth is not meticulous." Liu Xiang of the Han Dynasty believed: "The righteous do not deceive, and the honest do not take it in vain." Chen Hongmou of the Qing Dynasty said: "Officials who are close to the people are based on honesty." In the view of the ancients, the honest are the foundation of officials and the importance of government, "only the public gives birth to wisdom, and only honesty gives birth to power." Being a clean and honest person and being an official with dignity and integrity is a kind of confidence in "leveling the world".

A delegation of well-known American artists participated in the "Qutao" Zhangzhou Culture and Art Week, and members visited Eryi Building in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, to experience Tulou culture. Photo by Zhang Jinchuan

Harmonious development is the goal of Tianxia View. "He" is a cornerstone of Chinese culture, and it is the way the ancients got along with each other and between countries. Since the Wei and Jin dynasties, the integration of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism has reflected the strong cohesion of Chinese culture. Xunzi put forward that "all things have their own harmony and life" and "harmony is precious" has gradually become an important criterion in the field of social activities, "one flower alone is not spring, a hundred flowers bloom in the spring garden", no country can be alone in one country, can only take the road of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

China News Agency: Why is it said that the Tianxia View is the most meteorological and patterned cultural construction of Chinese culture?

Wang Jie: Chinese have lived in a vast continental environment since ancient times, and the friendly exchanges between various tribes and ethnic groups have never stopped, and they have their own views of the world for a long time. For example, "Xiehe Wanbang" in the "Book of Shang", "Xianning of All Nations" in "Zhou Yi", "brothers in the four seas" in the "Analects", "the world is for the public" and "one family under the world" in the "Book of Rites", and all the way to "the community with a shared future for mankind", the concept of tianxia is an outstanding creation of Chinese, and is the most meteorological and patterned cultural construction of Chinese culture. In contemporary times, inheriting and carrying forward the Chinese cultural concept of "Concord and All Nations" has provided new thinking and new vision for global governance.

Statue of Confucius in the Confucius Temple in Beijing. Confucius and the Confucianism he founded had an important influence on the development of Chinese culture. Photo by Chen Shuo

During the Shang Dynasty, Tianxia was divided into two parts, "Sifang" and "Central", which formed the basic elements of Chinese Tianxia View. After the Qin and Han dynasties, the loose "co-master" situation of the Xia, Shang, and Three Dynasties of the world was replaced by a unified political system, and the concept of tianxia gradually penetrated into the political concept. Through the Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, the traditional Chinese concept of tianxia and the political ruling order formed by it have been perfected day by day. Among them, Confucianism such as "harmony among all nations, harmony and common welfare, and one family in the four seas", Taoist ideas such as "holding one for the world", Legalism "ruling the world for the world" and other views, and Mojia's ideas such as "righteousness under the world" all build doctrines with the goal of ruling the world, and provide ideological support for the realization of "peace" and "great harmony" in the world. This view of the world transcends the national view, and its vision, realm and meteorology are unusually comparable, which determines the thinking and methods of solving international problems in the new era, and the focus is not on confrontation and conquest, but on win-win cooperation.

On September 2021, 9, the Beijing Winter Olympics theme slogan press conference was held in Beijing. Photo courtesy of Visual China

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that building a community with a shared future for mankind "conforms to the concept of universal harmony that the Chinese nation has always upheld, and conforms to the Chinese Tianxia view of being gentle and distant and harmonious among all nations." This statement points out that China's excellent traditional culture is an important source of the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind. For thousands of years, through the theoretical construction and physical practice of the Chinese people, the pursuit of the righteousness, benefits and harmony of the world has been sublimated into a unique spiritual symbol of the Chinese nation, and has provided a steady stream of wisdom nourishment for the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind.

China News Agency: At this time of unprecedented changes in a century, what enlightenment can the Tianxia View provide for current global governance?

Wang Jie: The concept of tianxia is China's international strategic concept since ancient times, and the concept of cherishing the world, taking the world as its own responsibility, taking the world as its own responsibility, taking the world as the public, and the world being equal has been passed down to the present, which has provided useful inspiration for the current global governance.

"Thinking of the world" and advocating the global governance concept of consultation, co-construction and sharing. "The rise and fall of the world, the responsibility of the husband" has always been the common responsibility of the Chinese nation. The concept of a community with a shared future for mankind advocated by China and the global governance concept of consultation, co-construction and sharing are based on the value principle of "thinking of the world and building oneself for others", a great concept that conforms to the fundamental interests of mankind, and is a world concept with the characteristics of the new era, opening up new ideas and exploring new paths for the people of the world to jointly safeguard long-term peace and common development and to solve the common challenges of mankind.

On the evening of May 2023, 5, the actor performed at a welcome ceremony held at the Tang Paradise in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, to welcome VIPs attending the China-Central Asia Summit. Photo by Mao Jianjun

"Seeking the common good of the world" and establishing win-win international relations. The distinction between righteousness and benefit was an important topic in ancient Chinese philosophy. Confucius believed that it is necessary to "see the benefits of righteousness", Mencius advocated "unifying profits with righteousness", Xunzi admonished that "those who first benefit and then benefit are prosperous, and those who benefit first and then righteousness are humiliated", and Mozi proposed "the interests of the world" to seek the public interests of the world, rather than their own selfish interests. China wants to develop and at the same time drive other developing countries to develop together, and the Chinese dream will not only benefit the Chinese people, but also benefit the people of the world.

Attach importance to the "heart of all the people under heaven" and the establishment of a just and reasonable international order. Since ancient times, the Chinese nation has advocated goodwill and harmony, hoping that both oneself and others will have a good life. Confucius's emphasis on "do unto others what you do not want to be done to others", which Zhu Xi interpreted as "pushing oneself and things", a concept that profoundly influenced Chinese dealing with the relationship between people, between people and society, and between people and self. Promote the establishment of a just and rational international order globally, adhere to the people-oriented approach, oppose hegemonism, safeguard the interests of the people of developing countries, and promote the reform of the international order.

March 2023, 3, Fountain Square in front of the permanent site of the Boao Forum for Asia. The Forum aims to provide a high-level dialogue forum on issues such as economic development, population and environment in the Asian region, with a view to promoting mutual understanding and cooperation among Asian countries. Photo by Luo Yunfei

The Chinese nation has always stressed that "the world is one family" and longed for a beautiful world in which "the road travels and the world serves the public". Among the latest global civilization initiatives, the first is to jointly advocate respect for the diversity of world civilizations, adhere to civilization equality, mutual learning, dialogue and tolerance, and transcend civilizational barriers through civilizational exchanges, transcend civilizational conflicts through mutual learning among civilizations, and transcend civilizational superiority through civilizational tolerance. This fully reflects China's cultural self-confidence and world responsibility under the new historical conditions, and creates a correct path for promoting the development of world civilization into a new era. (End)

About the Experts:

Wang Jie, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Postdoctoral Fellow in History, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor of the Department of Philosophy of the Central Party School (National Academy of Administration); President of the China Institute of Practical Studies, director of the Nishan World Confucian Center, secretary-general of the National Confucian Society Joint Conference, and one of the guests of the ideological interpretation of CCTV's special program "Ping" Yu "Near People - General Secretary Xi Jinping's Dictionary". Main works: "Eighteen Lectures on Chinese Philosophy" and "Essays on Pre-Qin Confucian Political Thought"; Editor-in-chief: "Leading Cadres Chinese Studies Lecture Hall", "Leading Cadres Open Course on Chinese Studies", "Leading Cadres Political Ethics Open Course", "Practical Study Culture Series", etc.