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BEIJING Diary: Taking a Look at Chinese Culture Print E-mail
by Tom McGregor    Fri, Apr 6, 2012, 06:02 PM

BEIJING: Culture, diplomacy, arts can help China bridge differences with the West

Some Westerners incorrectly assume that China should only be viewed according to its political doctrine. They raise fears over its rapid economic development by claiming Beijing is pursuing sinister motives. China seeks peace, not war; alliances, not enemies; so it seems apparent that the nation must promote "soft power" to overcome commonly held misperceptions.

The four great classics of Chinese literature - Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, Outlaws of the Marsh by Shi Nai'an, Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en and A Dream of Red Mansions by Cao Xueqin - hold the key to a more comprehensive understanding of the Chinese mindset. The characters and plot-settings were written centuries ago, but the themes of love, conflict, family, crime, business, justice and politics remain relevant even today.

Of the four works, A Dream of Red Mansions appears to relate most closely with contemporary China, which seems remarkably similar to a modern TV drama in which family members scheme over love, money and power.

However, few people outside of the Asia-Pacific region are familiar with these literary masterpieces and promoting the books should be worth the effort.

To read the entire article from the China Daily, link here:

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Comments (2)add comment
written by G S , April 07, 2012

We visited China in 2005, it is our most facinating and favorite trip. I don't know about their politics but loved the country.

written by tiffany , April 07, 2012

Great article. It is an excellent advice to China and to the West.

Few westerners are familiar with these popular novels.

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