Tuesday, May 24, 2016
BRIEF TALE OF CHINESE UNIFICATION PAST PRESENT FUTURE RETURN OF MIDDLE KINGDOM BY FRANCIS C W FUNG, PH.D.
BRIEF TALE OF CHINESE UNIFICATION PAST PRESENT FUTURE RETURN OF MIDDLE KINGDOM BY FRANCIS C W FUNG, PH.D. Chinese people are very diverse and individualistic because of the hilly nature of its landscape divides the nation into multitude of regions by dialect, traditions and cuisines. China cascades down towards the East and North in steps that keep the nation separated. Until modern times travel to different regions of different elevation had not been easy. James Fallow, the consummate reporter on China, once said that compare to the U.S., the Chinese people are connected loosy goosy and hard to unite even today. The Chinese 20th century revolutionary Sun Yatsen frustrated by the difficulties to unite China had the famous saying that Chinese people are like a pan of loose sand lack of cohesion. That is why in Chinese history, leaders who could unite China are heroes and were highly regarded by Chinese people. Leaders such as Qin Shi Huang Di, first emperor of Han dynasty ( Han Gao Tsu), first emperor of Tang Dynasty (LI Sei Ming)and last but not the least, Mao Tzetung , the father of modern China, are all fondly remembered by all Chinese people as unifier and national heroes. To this day Chinese people still call themselves as Han people despite its diversity. It is quite amazing that one billion diverse people call themselves Han people as a whole. That is unique in human civilization except in religions that bound people together by pretense of super natural God. However despite the name Han race and the establishment of the Middle Kingdom over two thousand years, Chines people are prone to division and hard to unite because of its people’s diversity. The unification of China had always relied on force and charismatic leaders such as Qin Shi Huang Di Han Goa Tsu and Mao Tsetung. Despite the existence of one common language China remain divided by a multitude of different dialects due to its difficult terrains that divide the nation into regional parts. China never had an unifying national religion such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Instead China has a Hodge podge religion that comprised of all abovereligions. To this day according to a recent Pew international survey only 3% of Chinese people think that religion is important in their life. This the lowest percentage among all nations surveyed. In contrast Ethiopia scored 98% and U.S. scored 53% in the middle of the survey. In this sense the U.S. is more united than China and easier to govern. Without the adhesive power of a unifying national religion as in all major nations of the world, each dynasty of China including the foreign Manchu dynasty that came to power rely on Confucian philosophy to govern China. However Confucian philosophy does not have a unifying all powerful mighty God to provide adhesion as in all other major nations of the world. That is why every two or three hundred years the Chinese empire felt apart and a new leader must reconquer China by military force. In the modern era after the fall of the Manchu empire the influence of Confucian philosophy is on the wane especially after the Cultural Revolution and Mao’s death. In contemporary China both Confucian philosophy and Communism established by Mao vanished under the assault of foreign influence during the last forty years of reform and open up. China is now badly in need of an unifying force. Unlike other major nations in the world as demonstrated by the previous Pew survey China does not have a bonding faith. Contrary to many Western media’s wish China is not about to engage in a Gobachev sting of instant Westernization. Nor will China follow the example of political reform of South Korea and Taiwan as suggested by James Fallow and other Western think tanks. Chana needs to revive its ancient culture as roots for rejuvenation. Fortunately for China since Xi Jingping became president of China in 2013 he launched successfully with great visions the China Dream and Chinese rejuvenation. Chinese rejuvenation is to overcome past 100 years of humiliation by Western powers. This is the dream of all Chinese intellectuals after the fall of Qing dynasty. The Chinese rejuvenation of President Xi Jingping has two centenary goals. First is to build a modestly prosperous China (Xiaokong society) by 2020 the centenary of birth of Chinese Communist party, the second is to build a modern and harmonious China by 2049 the centenary birth of modern China. These two objectives of China are part of President Xi Jingping’s vision to unite China. As predicted by many Chinese and Western scholars these two objectives will last as long as the aspiration is valid. China will need new faith as adhesion after the centenary objectives are achieved. Fortunately for China again President Xi Jingping has the vision to see that China needs to revive ancient Chinese culture and philosophy to rejuvenate. Recently he wisely launched movements to revive Confucianism and Chinese ancient philosophy. Please refer to his speech titled “It is time for philosophy to flourish” and my essay “Time for philosophy to flourish rejuvenation of China and harmony for the world”. Today under Xi Jingping initiative China announced that traditional culture to play bigger role in textbooks. Wang Xuming, the president of Language and Culture Press, said that the new high school textbooks are aimed at improving students' moral standards and promoting traditional culture by including more Chinese classics. This is one of the greatest policies for China to adopt. As Xi points out the return to Chinese cultural roots is essential base to build China rejuvenation. This will restore Chinese confidence to launch a new future belief system. This is timely and necessary; the whole nation endorses the policy. Because of president Xi Jingping’s vision to launch China dream, rejuvenation of China plus his “One belt One road “ initiatives (Silk road economic belt and 21st century marine time silk road) to unify China Xi is regarded as the great hero of today’s China. All previous Chinese unifying rulers of China such as Qin Shi Huang Di, Han Gaotsu, Tang Minghuang and Mao Tzetung all used military power. In contrast Xi used soft power such as philosophy, ancient culture, concept of community of common destiny, win win mutual development to unify China and the world. It is easy to see that China will soon be the Middle Kingdom with revived Confucian culture and rejuvenated power again. The biggest fear of Chinese people is chaos and instability. Chinese people want peace and harmony by ancient culture teaching. That is why they regard unifiers as heroes. To sum up President Xi Jingping’s prescription for China and the world are rejuvenation of China for a multipolar world, “One belt one road” infrastructures for world connectivity, win-win mutual development, community of common destiny and finally let philosophy flourish around the world. All these prescriptions in time will bring peace and harmony to China and the World!!!! In Service of world harmony Francis C W Fung, Ph.D. Director General