Journal : Global Times (English) Date : Author : Cao Siqi Page No. : NA

Spiritual link to overseas Chinese, their children

Yang Chaoming Photo: Cao Siqi/GT

A political advisor from East China’s Shandong Province has proposed the establishment of the country’s first Confucius University, which could serve as a link to overseas Chinese and a study center for their children.

Yang Chaoming, head of the Confucius Research Institute of China and member of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, told the Global Times that building a Confucius University is needed.

“Chinese people need to establish their cultural confidence, which requires a full understanding of history and the current situation. Many scholars have dreamt of building a Confucius University, which is closely related to the fate of traditional culture,” Yang said.

Yang stressed that the university can be a spiritual link among Chinese people around the world.

Under the influence of Confucius’ doctrine, the Chinese nation has lived together peacefully for thousands of years. Confucian thoughts have nurtured generations of outstanding descendants, he said.

“In the future, the Confucius University can serve as a traditional cultural learning center for overseas Chinese children,” he suggested.

Yang also noted that the university could help cultivate talent who will contribute to the country’s governance and Party building.

It is likely that Yang’s proposal could become a reality someday.

In September, Liu Jiayi, Party Chief of Shandong Province, said during the international Confucius culture festival in Qufu, Confucius hometown, that the Shandong Province is implementing the “Confucianism Masters” program, promoting the establishment of Confucius University and building a Confucian research center.

Foreigners and Chinese dressed in traditional ancient Chinese clothing as they paid their respects to Confucius at a ceremony to mark his 2566th birthday at the Temple of Confucius in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. Events are being held in Confucian temples across the country. Photo: IC

China’s Ministry of Education also published an announcement on its website in January, saying that it should be included in the overall planning of colleges and universities in Shandong Province.

“We encourage educational institutions [in Shandong] to strengthen research on traditional culture, train excellent traditional culture talent and promote the integrated and innovative development of excellent Chinese traditional culture,” the announcement said.

Confucianism is seeing a revival as China draws on its traditional culture and develops its vision, concepts, values and ethics to keep pace with the times.

Ceremonies marking Confucius’ birthday have been held across the nation in recent years.

The world’s tallest statue of Confucius was inaugurated in Shandong during the Mid-Autumn Festival in 2018.

“It shows Chinese people are trying to restore their culture after experiencing a crisis of values in the 20th century due to the impact of Western culture,” Yao Zhongqiu, a professor at Beihang University and Confucian scholar, told the Global Times in a previous interview.

“After years of cultural introspection, the Chinese people finally realized the value of Confucian philosophy and become more confident than ever about it,” said Yang.

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