Chinese Culture Broadens Its World Influence

As China steps into the new millennium, she hopes to enthrall the whole world with her unique culture, which is widely known for its dragon-shaped lanterns, Peking Opera, wushu or martial arts and even chopsticks.

With at least 5,000 years of history, China is eager to take her culture on tour overseas.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has helped out in this fostering of awareness of Chinese culture by granting another four World Heritage certificates to Chinese cultural sites, bringing the total of World Heritage sites in the country to 27.

China has developed her own painting styles for 10,000 years, her own musical instruments for 8,000 years, ceramics for 5,000 years and poetry for 3,000 years.

During the overall history of civilization, China has been repeatedly confronted with challenges from various different cultures from the East and the West. In their interactions with foreign cultures, Chinese people have always absorbed the best of foreign cultures and subtly altered these outside elements to fit in with the Chinese way.

"Almost every people in the world has at some time been charmed by the charisma of Chinese culture with its unique philosophical origins," said historian Tang Yinbi.

Confucianism dominated the nation for more than 2,000 years. While all through the ages, many Chinese literary giants, from ancient poets like Qu Yuan and Du Fu to modern laureates like Lu Xun and Ba Jin, have shown their utmost care and passion for society and ordinary people.

With their trademark trait of tolerance, the Chinese people have embraced Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Catholicism. They have also developed their own religions such as Taoism and Zen Buddhism.

Looking inward, we see that the many ethnic groups in the country also continue to learn from each other, bringing about many flourishing advances in the cultural field.

China's cultural achievements are important spiritual links that tie the Chinese people together and are also the basis for peaceful reunification, said President Jiang Zemin.

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

Many other scholars have said that no single culture can dominate the whole world, but the time-honored culture of China will continue to play a more and more active role in world culture in the coming centuries. Chinese cultural workers are already making endeavors to bring Eastern and Western cultures into closer harmony.

"While Western art focuses on representation, Eastern art stresses the power of the 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, have undertaken to tell Chinese stories using the most advanced Western cinema technology.

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

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

(Xinhua 12/08/2000)

In This Series



Web Link