China in the 21st Century

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Confucianism is the cornerstone of traditional Chinese culture that has brought a sense of identity and common moral grounding for more than two millennia. However, as the world continues to develop and change so does the values and attitude of its people. The question stands: “What do Chinese people believe?” As written by Kerry Brown and Sheng Keyi in their article “China in the 21st century: Confucianist outside, confused inside”, the answer is never easy.

The controversial article describes Chinese in the 21st Century as ‘more materialistic’, where ‘meanings and faith seem very remote’. Despite this, the Chinese Communist Party has tried to erect new sources of morality, endorsing Confucianism as a leading guide to ethics .

With the increasing push for Confucian Institutes worldwide and Xi Jinping’s endorsement, a cultural revival could be imminent.

According to Dr Rosita Dellios, Associate Professor of International Relations at Bond University, the revival comes at a time when the country is looking for answers. “It is a time when people are searching for values they can rely on, when China needs a firmer grip on its fast changing reality.” See:



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