“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 means that the people are the essence of the state or the foundation upon which it stands. Only when people live and work in peace and contentment can the state be peaceful and stable. This saying, which first appeared in a pseudo-version of The Classical Book of History as an instruction by Yu the Great, can be traced to Mencius’s statement:” The essence of a state is the people, next come the god of land and the god of grain (which stand for state power), and the last the ruler”, and Xunzi’s statement, “Just as water can float a boat, so can water overturn it”. This idea gave rise to the “people first” thought advocated by Confucianism.
Our ancestor Yu the Great warned: (a ruler) must maintain a close relationship with the people; he must not regard them as insignificant. They are the foundation of a state, and a state can enjoy peace only when its foundation is firm. (The Book of History)