Many western press and intellectuals appear to suffer a deep perception gap on modern day China. The root cause is their persistent refusal to recognize the political legitimacy of modern-day Chinese philosophy and ideology. To many western liberals and conservative alike, they perceive the current CCP government as helpless and inward looking, trying hard just to stay in power. Such perception may look logical on the surface, yet can not more farther from the truth.
The handful generations of Chinese leadership since Man and Deng have established a unique brand of worldview for themselves through internal philosophical debate and in practices. They always have a clear thinking of what they want to be in the future and in the world, yet still follow Deng’s wisdom of “holding capabilities to yourself and bidding for your own time”, recognizing the stage of development in Chinese society and bending backward hard to rise the living standard for common people. They are not afraid of looking outside to introduce themselves to new ideas and opportunities, yet still persistent on self-reliance and self-development. The contradiction raised from passiveness and dynamism, stubbornness and openness, showing of leaping progressive attitude with very little regard to western liberal values may confuse and arouse many in the West, yet look perfectly harmonious through the lens of Chinese culture and philosophy.
The modern-day Chinese brand of philosophy and ideology was founded first by great leaders like Mao ZeDong, further shaped by late giants such as Deng XiaoPing, with a deep influence coming from China’s philosophical past. While Mao may be a giant on philosophy and ideology, he was a peasant and gambler on economical development policy. While Mao may be scorned widely by the West, he is still a hero to many common people in China and throughout the world. Deng succeeded on where Mao failed, and also contributed to his brand of pragmatism.
As China continues her development and the process of nation building, it’s also time to define a new sense of Chineseness. Please share your thought on this subject through debate and discussion.
As a source of food for thought, you may read interesting and provocative articles from a serial by the newspaper Guardian from the link here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/series/will-china-rule-the-world)