“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
Confucianism advocates the political principle of governing the country through benevolence and winning people’s support through virtue as opposed to badao(霸道) – the despotic way. Enlightened kings and emperors of ancient times governed the country primarily through benevolence and virtue. In the Warring State Period, Mencius advocated this idea as a political concept: Only by governing the state with benevolence and righteousness, and by handling state-to-state relations on the basis of virtue, can a ruler win popular support and subsequently unify the country. The kingly way or benevolent governance epitomizes the Chinese people’s respect for “civilization” and their opposition to the use of force and tyranny.
By upholding justice without any partiality or bias, the kingly way is inclusive and boundless. (The Book of History)
One who governs by force through feigning virtue may gain only hegemonic dominance, and hegemony must have a large state as its basis; one who governs through virtue and benevolence is a king who does not necessarily need a large state…Allegiance commanded through force from the people does not mean the conquest of their heart; it is only because they are not strong enough to revolt. Allegiance gained through benevolence and virtue is really from the heart of the people, who will follow whole-heartedly, just like that of the seventy-two disciples of Confucius. (Mencius)