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Retrospect And Prospect For Contemporary Chinese Thought

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Chapter Summary

Contemporary historians are used to using the model of 'Western impact-Chinese response' to describe the contemporary development of China since the Opium Wars. Considering matters from a broad view of culture, how pre-modern Chinese culture was able to give a creative response to modernised western culture remains an important topic for contemporary Chinese culture. Basically, a cultural identity with deep spiritual roots-a stubborn cultural tradition of cultural conservatism-and an anti-traditional consciousness born of the urgent needs of modernisation are the two aspects whose overlapping interaction has formed the chessboard of contemporary Chinese culture. In contemporary times, China has chosen the most radically critical thought of western political culture: Marxism. Even from a cultural point of view there is a reason for this, because it conforms better to the 'practical rationality' which is the spiritual tradition of Confucian socialism.

Keywords: capitalism; Confucian moralisation; contemporary Chinese thought; Opium Wars

10.1163/ej.9789004165786.i-386.12
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