“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.
This term is an abbreviation of the compound word formed by Zhongguo(中国) and Huaxia(华夏). Here, hua(华) also means “flower” or “flowery”, which was used as an analogy for a splendid culture. The ancestors of the Huaxia people established their state in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, which they thought was the center (zhong) of the world and which had a flourishing culture(hua), so the state was called Zhonghua. This multi-ethnic state, with the Huaxia people as the predominant group of its population, later began its territorial expansions, and the places where it extended to became part of Zhonghua. In modern times, Zhonghua became a term denoting China, the Chinese people , and its culture.
Zhonghua refers to China. Under the wise rule of the sage king, all his subjects belong to China. They are dressed in a dignified manner, practice filial piety, love and respect the elderly, and follow moral norms in personal and social conduct. This is the country called Zhonghua. (Commentary and Explanation on Well-Known Law Cases of the Tang Dynasty).