Does the World Need China’s Confucian Soul?
July 2007

Li Hongwei is a young journalist in China. He covers international news, especially China’s relations with foreign countries. Li is a visiting fellow at the Stanley Foundation during July as a part of the Asia Foundation’s L.Z. Yuan Fellowship in Media and International Affairs, which focuses on US foreign policy and the domestic forces that shape its course, including the crucial role played by the media.

As China tries to increase its soft power in the world, Confucius has been appointed as the captain of the PR team. The Chinese government has established Confucius Institutes in more than 50 countries. “Harmonious society” and “harmonious world” have become catch phrases of Chinese leaders.  The ancient sage may be radiating glory in the circle of Chinese literati and gaining popularity among the officialdom, but does China need a Confucian soul? And how much good can it bring to the world?

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This page is part of Rising Powers: The New Global Reality, a project from the Stanley Foundation.