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The Meanings of New Asia

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Chapter Summary

The meaning and purpose of cultural education at New Asia College was ambiguous and complicated, colored by many political problems and priorities and competing cultural preferences and agendas. The British colonial government, the American NGOs, and New Asia all aimed to promote an education that was wide-ranging and intellectually open. New Asia's educational goals necessitated teaching its students about the world beyond China. The dynamic that the government created encouraged New Asia's leaders to operate as active collaborators in the development of their educational program. New Asia considered Communism to be a Western import, a Western-bred philosophy; however, the degree of enthusiasm with which the Chinese had appropriated it had made it also a Chinese entity. The common scholarly mention of New Asia under the rubric of New Confucianism is therefore problematic, as it ascribes greater clarity and cohesion to its founders than they would have acknowledged themselves.

Keywords:British colonial government; Communism; Confucianism; cultural education; New Asia


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