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Chinese Culture: From Tradition to New Millennium
While stepping into the new millennium, China tried to enthrall the whole world with its unique culture, which is somewhat characterized by dragon-shaped lanterns, Peking Opera, Chinese Wushu or martial arts, and even chopsticks.

China, with at least 5,000 years of history, is now enthusiastic about taking its culture on tour overseas.

In addition, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted another four World Heritage certificates to Chinese sites, bringing the total of World Heritage sites to 27 in the country.

This ancient oriental country has developed Chinese style painting for 10,000 years, musical instruments for 8,000 years, ceramics for 5,000 years and poetry for 3,000 years.

During the overall history of civilization, China was repeatedly confronted with challenges from various kinds of cultures, both from the East and West. After continuous dialogue with foreign cultures, Chinese people always combined the outstanding parts from foreign countries with those indigenous.

"Almost all the people in the world at any time were stunned by the charisma of the Eastern culture which originates from a unique philosophy," said historian Tang Yinbi.

Confucianism dominated the nation for more than 2,000 years. Meanwhile, many Chinese talents, from ancient poets Qu Yuan and Du Fu, modern literary laureates Lu Xun and Ba Jin, always showed their utmost care and passion for society and ordinary people.

A warm passion for nature also made the nation one of the world's most romantic people.

With tolerance of various kinds of cultures in the world, the Chinese people accepted Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Catholicism. Furthermore, the Chinese initiated their own religions such as Taoism and Zenism.

Cultural traditions of China also influenced European people who started their Renaissance in the 14th century. Lots of European scientists and writers at that time said that they learned so much from their Chinese counterparts.

Meanwhile, people of all ethnic groups residing in the country learned from each other in order to make flourishing advancements in the cultural field.

China's glorious cultural achievements jointly made by the people are important spiritual links of the whole of Chinese people and also the basis for peaceful reunification, said Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

"The economic globalization will give rise to another round of competition in the cultural industry," said Cheng Zhongying, a culture scholar.

Many other scholars said that any single culture could hardly dominate the whole world. The time-honored Chinese culture could continue to play its active role in the coming centuries. Chinese cultural workers are making endeavors to bridge Eastern and Western cultures.

"While Western art focuses on actual visions, Eastern art stresses the power of spirit," said Chen Yifei, a Chinese-American painter who has gained international fame.

Well-known movie directors Zhang Yimou and Ang Lee, who was born in Taiwan, vowed to show Chinese stories with the most advanced Western movie techniques.

While sticking to the traditional core of the culture, China is preparing itself to compete with other global giants in the culture industry, which earns stunning profits for their respective countries.

As the country speeds up economic development, China is also ready to win its due position in the global cultural arena.

(People’s Daily 12/06/2000)

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