Dignity: the Overlap of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Traditional Chinese Culture
April 10,2019   By:CSHRS
Dignity: the Overlap of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Traditional Chinese Culture
ZHAO Jianwen*
Abstract: Human dignity is the fundamental concept of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and serves as the theoretical backbone for the international human rights system. Chinese culture has an excellent tradition of treasuring the dignity and value of people. The provisions on dignity in the Declaration can find their historical origins in traditional Chinese culture. The dignity of people has a supreme status and value in traditional Chinese culture. Chinese “etiquette” culture has a long tradition of respecting the dignity of people. Achieving benevolence through etiquette is the basic way to protect human dignity. Etiquette in ancient China was constrained by inequality and historical limitations, but it also had the elements of respecting or honoring others, and had the practical function of respecting, maintaining and achieving human dignity. The effective implementation of etiquette requires the fulfillment of people’s basic needs. Progressing from xiao kang (moderate prosperity) to da tong (great harmony) is the process of approaching the human rights standards of human dig-nity and equal rights that all nations and all peoples should strive to achieve.
Keywords: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, dignity, China traditional culture
“Dignity” “freedom” and “responsibility” are basic concepts and the theoretical backbone of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Declaration). The Human Rights Council has called on states around the world to explore and carry forward the traditional human values related to dignity, freedom and responsibility in relevant resolutions.1 These values also have a prominent position in traditional Chinese culture. Under the guidance of the provisions in the Declaration, this thesis pays special attention to the traditional Chinese culture related to “dignity”.
I. Reflection of Human Dignity and its Position in Traditional Chinese Culture
It is clarified in the Preamble to the Declaration that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” It emphasizes that the dignity of all members of the human family is inherent and it is inseparable from “their equal and inalienable rights.”
After the Declaration, it was confirmed in the preamble to International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that “all rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person.” It is stated in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in 1993 that “all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person.” In international human rights law, dignity is regarded as an inherent aspect of being human and the source and logical premise all rights. It is closely linked to such concepts or ideas as freedom, equality, non-discrimination, and that every individual should be respected. The protection and promotion of human rights is the protection and promotion of human dignity.
“Man’s dignity, by definition, is man’s inherent nobility and stateliness, which are the essential qualities of being a person. From a historical perspective, the concept of dignity derives from man’s reason and morality. In terms of content, dignity incorporates a generality and recognition of the importance of man’s value.”2 Human dignity is determined by the existence of a person, so it is an inherent quality of human life. Based on reason and morality, human dignity is an essential quality that differentiates a person from other living beings.
All human civilizations emphasize the value of human dignity. In the history of Western ideas, Immanuel Kant turned the recognition of human dignity from “external value” to “inherent value”. He considered that being human is the purpose of a person not the means to achieve other purposes. According to Kant, “In the kingdom of purpose, everything is valuable or with dignity. The valuable could be replaced as the equivalent of something. On the contrary, the precious things that go beyond all val-ues and deny all equivalents are those with dignity.”3 In the opinion of Kant, human dignity has no equivalent and cannot be transferred, so it is of unique significance.
Zhang Dainian pointed out that “human dignity is a term of modern times. But although there was no such term in ancient China, the idea is not new. The terms for expressing human dignity in ancient China include “determined virtue” and “lofty spirit”. The origin of the idea was very early. It is written in Gu Hexagrams in the Book of Changes of the early Western Zhou Dynasty that “the sixth nine, undivided, shows us one who does not serve either king or feudal lord, but in a lofty spirit prefers (to attend to) his own affairs.” Meanwhile, it is written in Xiang Zhuan of the Book of Changes that “he does not serve either king or feudal lord, but his aim may be a model (to others) with determined virtue.” The act to “refuse to serve either king or feudal lord’ was considered as of lofty spirit. Those who refuse to serve either king or feudal lord are not submitted to privileges, so they could maintain the independence of the personality. This is the oldest idea of human dignity.”4 Many concepts or examples similar to the “determined virtue” and “lofty spirit” can be found in the classics of Confucianism.
To sacrifice life to preserve virtue and maintain righteousness. The Master said, “The determined scholar and the man of virtue will not seek to live at the expense of injuring their virtue. They will even sacrifice their lives to preserve their virtue complete.” (Wei Ling Gong in the Analects) Mencius said, “I like life, and I also like righteousness. If I cannot keep the two together, I will let life go, and choose righteousness.” (Gao Zi I in Mencius) In Chinese history, “the behavior to sacrifice the life for preserving the virtue complete and maintaining righteousness is the helpless and unrepentant choices as well as the necessary sacrifice which was considered as a worthy death of those who adhere to the mainstream traditional Chinese value for protecting their dignity... The voluntary choice and self-sacrifice epitomize the long standing noble spirit of the Chinese nation developed gradually over thousands of years.”5
To be killed but not be disgraced. It is pointed out in the Conduct of the Scholar in the Book of Rites that “with the scholar friendly relations may be cultivated, but no attempt must be made to constrain him; near association with him can be sought, but cannot be forced on him; he may be killed, but he cannot be disgraced... such is his boldness and determination. “
The will of a common man cannot be taken from him. The Master said, “The commander of the forces of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.” (Zi Han in the Analects) It is pointed out in the Conduct of the Scholar in the Book of Rites that “his person may be placed in peril, but his aim cannot be taken from him. Though danger may threaten him in his undertakings and wherever he is, he will still pursue his aim, and never forget the afflictions of the people, (which he would relieve) such is the anxiety which he cherishes.”
To nourish the vast, flowing passion-nature. Mencius said: “To dwell in the wide house of the world, to stand in the correct seat of the world, and to walk in the great path of the world; when he obtains his desire for office, to practice his principles for the good of the people; and when that desire is disappointed, to practice them alone; to be above the power of riches and honors to make dissipated, of poverty and mean condition to make swerve from principle, and of power and force to make bend. These characteristics constitute the great man.” (Teng Wen Gong II in Mencius) It is written in Gong Sun Chou I in Mencius that “‘I venture to ask,’ said Chou, ‘wherein you, Master, surpass Gao.’ Mencius told him, ‘I understand words. I am skillful in nourishing my vast, flowing passion-nature. Chou pursued, ‘I venture to ask what you mean by your vast, flowing passion-nature!’ The reply was, ‘It is difficult to describe it. This is the passion-nature: It is exceedingly great, and exceedingly strong. Being nourished by rectitude, and sustaining no injury, it fills up all between heaven and earth. This is the passion-nature: It is the mate and assistant of righteousness and reason. Without it, man is in a state of starvation. It is produced by the accumulation of righteous deeds; it is not to be obtained by incidental acts of righteousness.’ “ According to Collective Commentaries of the Four Books by Zhu Xi, “accumulation of righteous deeds is like the accumulation of good intentions. Everything done should follow the principle of righteousness.” We can learn from the comment of Zhu Xi that “the vast, flowing passion-nature” comes from “the accumulation of righteous deeds.” It is cultivated in the long term accumulation of good intentions over time.”
To refuse to yield to high position and great wealth. Confucius praised Bo Yi and Shu Qi for “refusing to surrender their wills, or to submit to any taint in their persons”. (Wei Zi in the Analects) Mencius said, “The able and virtuous monarchs of antiquity loved virtue and forgot their power. And shall an exception be made of the able and virtuous scholars of antiquity, that they did not do the same? They delight-ed in their own principles, and were oblivious of the power of princes. Therefore, if kings and dukes did not show the utmost respect, and observe all forms of ceremony, they were not permitted to come frequently and visit them. If they thus found it not in their power to pay them frequent visits, how much less could they get to employ them as ministers?” (Jin Xin I, Mencius) It is pointed out in the Conduct of the Scholar in the Book of Rites that “The scholar sometimes will not take the high office of being a minister of the son of Heaven, nor the lower office of serving the prince of a state... although the offer were made to share a state with him, it would be no more to him than the small weights of a balance; he will not take a ministry, he will not take an office — such are the rules and conduct he prescribes to himself.” Kong Yinda, the econo-mist of Tang Dynasty, made the following interpretation to the paragraph in Notes and Commentaries for the Book of Rites, “those who would not take a ministry or an office follow the rules and conducts they prescribe to themselves, so it is natural for them to do so.” According to Biographies of Alchemists in Book of the Later Han, “Emperor Shun of Han said to Fan Yin, ‘I can provide your daily subsistence or kill you, make you of high social status or a humble man, and let you be rich or poor, how could you hide you face from my order?’ Fan Yin responded, ‘it is my destiny to lead a good life or die an ultimate death, how can you dominate my life. I consider the tyrant as my enemy, how could I seek the so called high social status in the palace? Although I lead a simple life, I am self-satisfied and refuse to make a change, how could I be a humble man? You could not dominate my life. If you do not show respect to me, I would not accept you invitation to get high salary in the palace; if I can realize my aspirations, I would not be tired of the life even without sufficient food. How can you make me rich or poor?’ “ The dialogue reflects the spirit of Fan Yin to refuse to surrender his will to the emperor. The sentence in the poem of Li Bai that “how can I gravely bow and scrape to men of high rank and men of high office who never will suffer being shown an honest-hearted face” also demonstrates such spirit.
To refuse the food handed out in contempt. Mencius said: “here are a small basket of rice and a platter of soup, and the case is one in which the getting them will pre-serve life, and want of them will be death; if they are offered with an insulting voice, even a vagrant will not receive them, or if you first tread upon them, even a beggar will not stoop to take them.” (Gao Zi I in Mencius) Even a beggar will not take the food handed out in contempt. According to Tang Dong II in the Book of Rites, “During a great dearth in Qi, Qian Ao had food prepared on the roads, to wait the approach of hungry people and give to them. (One day), there came a famished man, looking as if he could hardly see, his face covered with his sleeve, and dragging his feet together. Qian Ao, carrying with his left hand some rice, and holding some drink with the other, said to him, ‘Poor man, come and eat.’ The man, opening his eyes with a stare, and looking at him, said, ‘It was because I would not eat “Poor man come here’s” food, that I am come to this state.’ Qian Ao immediately apologised for his words, but the man after all would not take the food and died. When Zeng-zi heard the circumstances, he said, ‘Was it not a small matter? When the other expressed his pity as he did, the man might have gone away. When he apologised, the man might have taken the food.’” The hungry man would rather die than taking the food provided in contempt, yet Zeng-zi said that it is reasonable to refuse the food provided in contempt but the food could be taken when Qiao Ao apologised. This comment also takes the dignity of a hungry man into consideration.
Therefore, it can be found that the dignity of people has a supreme status and value in traditional Chinese culture. In modern times, the dignity of the Chinese had suffered from the infringement of foreign aggressors. It is pointed out in the White Paper on the Human Rights in China published in 1991 that “under the imperialists’ colonial rule, the Chinese people had their fill of humiliation and there was no personal dignity to speak of” and “The founding of the People’s Republic of China... The Chinese people have stood up as the masters of their own country; for the first time they have won real human dignity and the respect of the whole world. The Chinese people have won the basic guarantee for their life and security.”
The most important protection of dignity of the people is inseparable from a set of effective institutional arrangements. Only when the dignity of the people is turned into the legal rights can we effectively protect it. It is stipulated in Article 38 of the Constitution promulgated for implementation in 1982 that “the personal dignity of citizens of the People’s Republic of China is inviolable. Insult, libel, false accusation or false incrimination directed against citizens by any means is prohibited.” It is stip-ulated in Article 109 of the General Rules of the Civil Law of China promulgated in 2017 that “the personal freedom and dignity of a natural person is protected by law.” The Constitution and laws in China are providing fully protection for the dignity of the people.
II. Human Dignity and the Chinese “Etiquette” Culture with a Long History
During the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, representatives of some countries advocated to include such content with specific religious color as “God is the source of human rights” into article one. Zhang Pengchun, the Chinese representative pointed out these content could not and should not be mentioned in a declaration for the whole world. He added that “when the Declaration will undoubtedly be accepted by the majority of the member states (of the UN), the majority of population in the field of human rights should not be neglected. Representatives from China think that the population of China accounts for a large part of the world population. They hold different ideas and traditions from the Christianity in the West. These ideas include decent manners, courtesy, etiquette and consideration for others. Nevertheless, representatives from China did not propose to mention these in the declaration although Chinese culture, as an integral part of morality and ethics, has an extremely important influence on people’s behavior. It is expected that representatives from other countries could show an equal attitude and withdraw the proposal to add something metaphysical in the amendment of article one. Similarly, the era of religious intolerance is over to western civilization.”6 The opinion of Zhang Pengchun gained the support of representatives from most countries. The contents of the Declaration are free from the idea to claim, imply or deny that international human rights system is based on any specific religious ideas or theories.
The traditional Chinese culture of “decent manners, courtesy, etiquette and consideration for others” in terms of “the way people behave” in Zhang Pengchun’s example mostly belongs to the realm of traditional etiquette culure in China. For the term itself, “the Chinese word for “etiquette is pronounced as “li yi”. Li refers the basic principles while yi means the fulfillment of these principles.” “The basic principles are general laws of the country.” “The fulfillment of them are in details and demonstrated in courteous behaviors and ritual ceremonies.” 7The etiquette stressed by Zhang Pengchun here is mainly the courteous behaviors to be fulfilled. The major purpose for sages in ancient China to establish the etiquette system is naturally to enhance national governance and social harmony. Meanwhile, it embodies the consideration for personal dignity. If a person’s behavior is consistent with the requirement for “decent manners, courtesy, etiquette and consideration for others”, it would not only improve the respect for the dignity of others but also enhance the sense of dignity for oneself.
China is known as a state of etiquette and ceremonies. “Etiquette” has played an important role in people’s minds since the source of the Chinese culture. The theme of Xiang Shu in the Book of Odes is to criticize those who observe no rules of propriety, “Look at a rat, it has its skin; but a man should be without dignity of demeanour. If a man have no dignity of demeanour, what should he but die? Look at a rat, it has its teeth; but a man shall be without any right deportment. If a man have not right deportment, what should he wait for but death? The mouse has teeth and the people are endless (shame). Look at a rat, it has its limbs; but a man shall be without any rules of propriety. If a man observe no rules of propriety, why does he not quickly die? The mouse has a body, and the person is rude.” It is criticized in the poem that those “without dignity of demeanour”, “without any right deportment” and “without any rules of propriety” are even worth than the rat should die quickly. According to the Chronicle of Zuo, “etiquette is the natural law and the righteousness behavior that the people should follow. It is the unalterable principle upheld by the people.” It means that etiquette is the natural law that should not be changed and the people should act according to the principles of etiquette.
In Confucianism, the rules of propriety are considered as the criteria for telling the difference between human and animal. It is pointed out in Summary of the Rules of Propriety I in the Book of Rites that “the course (of duty), virtue, benevolence, and righteousness cannot be fully carried out without the rules of propriety; nor are train-ing and oral lessons for the rectification of manners complete; nor can the clearing up of quarrels and discriminating in disputes be accomplished; nor can (the duties be-tween) ruler and minister, high and low, father and son, elder brother and younger, be determined; nor can students for office and (other) learners, in serving their masters, have an attachment for them; nor can majesty and dignity be shown in assigning the different places at court, in the government of the armies, and in discharging the duties of office so as to secure the operation of the laws; nor can there be the (proper) sin-cerity and gravity in presenting the offerings to spiritual beings on occasions of sup-plication, thanksgiving, and the various sacrifices. Therefore the superior man is re-spectful and reverent, assiduous in his duties and not going beyond them, retiring and yielding — thus illustrating (the principle of) propriety. The parrot can speak, and yet is nothing more than a bird; the ape can speak, and yet is nothing more than a beast. Here now is a man who observes no rules of propriety; is not his heart that of a beast? But if (men were as) beasts, and without (the principle of) propriety, father and son might have the same mate. Therefore, when the sages arose, they framed the rules of propriety in order to teach men, and cause them, by their possession of them, to make a distinction between themselves and brutes.” According to Against Physiognomy in Xun Zi, “the reason for people to be human is not that they can stand on two feet and with no hair-covered body but that they can think. As a result, beasts have fathers and sons but not the kinship and they have gender difference but not the moral standards between male and female. Therefore, human beings can think over the distinctions.” “The most important think to think is reputation which is determined by the rules of propriety.” The difference between human and beasts lies in the response to the rules of propriety, which can be concluded that dignity is the difference between human and beasts. There is a logical consistency between etiquette and dignity.
Major ancient Chinese classics about “etiquette” include the Rites of Zhou, the Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial and the Book of Rites. The first is the Rites of Zhou, originally known as Officers of Zhou. Legend has it that it was written by the Duke of Zhou. In the Rites of Zhou, the governance bodies of the country are put into six categories: The Offices of the Heaven, Offices of Earth, Offices of Spring, Offices of Summer, Offices of Autumn and Offices of Winter. The official system covers not only the social institutions of the “states” and “government”, like the national ceremonial system such as sacrificial rites, giving audience of emperor, naming a state, imperial inspection tour and funerals, but also the livelihood of the people. For example, it is stipulated in Offices of Earth on taxation and division of land that “six measures should be taken to ensure the livelihood of the people. The first is caring for the young. The second is to support the elderly. The third is to help those in difficulty. The fourth is to promote poverty relief. The fifth is to reduce and exempt the taxes and corvée of the disabled. The sixth is to reassure the rich with equal policy on taxes and corvée.” If all these measures are taken, it could indeed solve a variety of problems of livelihoods of the people related to poverty, vulnerability, disability and diseases. The second is the Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial which is considered as a work of Con-fucius in the Records of the Grand Historian. The Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial is a classic text about “etiquette”. 15 etiquette systems are recorded, including capping rites, nuptial rites, Rites attendant on the meeting of common officers with each other, Rites of the district symposium, Rites of courtesy calls, Rites of the (imperial) audi-ence, mourning rites, and Rites of offering, demonstrating the respect for human dig-nity. For example, “the rites attendant on the meeting of common officers with each other” requires the host to “decline” the visitor with thanks through the gatekeeper be-cause he is flattered when the guest condescends to visit. The visitor can go home for the host to go to visit him immediately. If the visitor insists on meeting the host after receiving repeated “decline”, the host could make the decision to meet him but should express the idea that “he does so to show respect for the guest.” The third is the Book of Rites, a collection of texts describing the ceremonial rites by Pre-Qin Confucianism. Some chapters of the Book of Rites explain the Rites of Zhou, like Li Yun (Ceremonial Usages) and the Zenzi Wen (Questions of Zeng-zi); some explain the Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial, like Guan Yi (The Meaning of the Ceremony of Capping) and Hun Yi (The Meaning of the Marriage Ceremony); some provide supplements to the etiquettes of predecessors, like Qu Li (Summary of the Rules of Propriety) and Sang Fu Xiao Ji (Record of Small Matters in the Dress of Mourning); and some explain the idea to rule the country with etiquette of the Confucianism, like Wang Zhi ( Royal Regulations) and Wen Wang Shi Zi (King Wen as Son and Heir). The Book of Rites covers not only courteous behaviors and ritual ceremonies but also the basic principles. There are many concepts or examples relevant to “determined virtue” and “lofty spirit” to carry forward human dignity and its value, political thoughts about the society of “Da Tong” (great harmony) and “Xiao Kang” (moderate prosperity), and rules of etiquette designed for respect for others and promotion of harmonious relationships between people. Of course, almost all Confucian classics have content about “etiquette” and involve the issue of human dignity in addition to the above mentioned three classics.
In the development process of Chinese history, “etiquette” has gradually devel-oped into a huge institutional and ideology system. “From the prospective of the long history, rich connotation, and wide influence of etiquette system and customs, Chinese culture could also be considered as a culture of etiquette.”8 For human rights, the culture of etiquette pays special attention to human dignity in essence.
III. Achieving “Ren(Conscience)” Through “Etiquette”: the Basic Way to Protect Human Dignity
According to article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, people “... are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” The concept of “conscience” is promoted by the Chinese representative Zhang Pengchun who transferred it from “Benevolence” as a core concept of Confucianism. During the drafting of the Declaration, Zhang introduced such concepts reflecting traditional Chinese culture as “benevolence”, “etiquette”, and the tao into the consultation and integrated the value representing the core value of Confucianism “benevolence” into article 1 of the Declaration as the ideological basis. In this way, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights contains ideas beyond traditional western philosophy. The rights demonstrated in the Declaration have broader moral foundation. As a result, the universality of the Declaration is enhanced.9
Then what is “benevolence”? The original meaning for the Chinese character for “benevolence” is that two people are together and inseparable. When answering the questions of his disciples, Confucius repeatedly explained the meaning of “benevolence” from different angles. Fan Chi asked about benevolence, the Master said, “It is to love all men.” (Yan Yuan in the Analects) How to “love all men”? Zi Gong asked about benevolence, the Master said, “Now the man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others. To be able to judge of others by what is nigh in ourselves — this may be called the art of virtue.” (Yong Ye in the Analects) It reveals the connotation of “benevolence” from a positive perspective. Zhong Gong asked about perfect virtue, the Master said, “not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself”. (Yan Yuan in the Analects) It reveals the connotation of “benevolence” from a negative perspective. Zhang Zai explained, “it is benevolence to love others like one loves himself”. (Zhong Zheng (Equality) in Zheng Meng (Enlightenment)) “To achieve success, one should let others succeed as well” and “not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself” is to put oneself into others’ shoes. “The two sentences summarize the longing of Confucius for the ideal personality and social order. It indicates that people should not only be concerned with their own existence but also the existence of others, so we should treat others equally, respect others and help others.”10
According to the Doctrine of the Mean, “benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity, and the great exercise of it is in loving relatives.” Mencius said, “he is affectionate to his parents, and lovingly disposed to people generally. He is lovingly disposed to people generally, and kind to creatures.” (Jin Xin I in Mencius) Cheng Hao said, “benevolence takes the great harmony of the universe as its ultimate goal.” (Shi Ren (Recognition of Benevolence) in the Posthumous Collection of Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi (1st Half of Vol II )) According to Zhang Zai, “all people are my compatriots and all things are my friends.” (Gan Chen in Zheng Meng (Enlightenment)) Wang Fuzhu further explained the thought of Zhang Zai that “we should show benevolence to the people and love for everything”. (Annotation for Zheng Meng) In Confucianism, the heaven, the earth, and the people are considered as a big family, so human should be close to each other and everything. Therefore, the connotation of “benevolence” includes not only the relationship between people but also that between human and nature. Such insights are ideological wealth across the ages. Nowadays, the human dignity and rights are increasingly linked to the relationship between human and nature.
If the connotation of “benevolence” is explained in the contemporary human rights discourse, it could be close to the meaning of “humanity” or “humanitarianism”. According to San Fu Si Zhi (The Four Principles Underlying the Dress of Mourning) in the Book of Rites, “all ceremonial usages looked at in their great characteristics are the embodiment of (the ideas suggested by) heaven and earth; take their laws from the (changes of the) four seasons; imitate the (operation of the) contracting and developing movements in nature; and are conformed to the feelings of men. It is on this account that they are called the Rules of Propriety; The mourning dress has its four definite fashions and styles, the changes in which are always according to what is right — this is derived from the (changes of the) four seasons. Now, affection predom-inates; now, nice distinctions; now, defined regulations; and now, the consideration of circumstances — all these are derived from the human feelings. In affection we have benevolence; in nice distinctions, righteousness; in defined regulations, propriety; and in the consideration of circumstances, knowledge. Benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and knowledge — these make up the characteristic attributes of humanity.” According to Discourse on Ritual in Xun Zi, “propriety is the most prudent in dealing with the birth and death of the people. Birth is the start of the life and death is the end of the life. Humanity is achieved with proper propriety for birth and death.” According to Rites and Music in Bai Hu Tong, “ propriety represent the harmony of the nature in the universe, so we should respect the heaven and the earth, the gods and ghosts, the superior and inferior, and the humanity.” The title for the introduction part of the Book of Great Unity written by Kang Youwei is that “all men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others.” He thought that the “mind to not bear to see the sufferings of others” is “benevolence” to love others and the spirit of humanitarianism.11 Tan Citong carried forward the ideological tradition of “benevolence” in Chinese culture and “injected the new blood of freedom, equality, and fraternity into it to meet the theoretical needs of Hundred Days’ Reform to transform it into the core of his new ideology system.”12
“Benevolence” is the basic norm for personal moral cultivation in Confucianism as well as the fundamental component of the Confucian political ideas. Etiquette is the form of benevolence and the code of conduct in line with benevolence. Benevolence is the essence of etiquette. It is the fundamental strategy for Confucianism to realize its political idea to realize “benevolence” through “etiquette”. According to the Conduct of the Scholar in the Book of Rites, “the rules of ceremony are the demonstration of it.” Confucius used the benevolence as the core to elaborate on etiquette. The Master said, “If a man be without the virtues proper to humanity, what has he to do with the rites of propriety?”(Ba Yi in the Analects) According to Confucius, “to subdue one’s self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue. If a man can for one day subdue himself and return to propriety, all under heaven will ascribe perfect virtue to him. Is the practice of perfect virtue from a man himself, or is it from others?” (Yan Yuan in the Analects) “To subdue one’s self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue... Confucius reveals that only through propriety can we develop virtue (benevolence). Only with virtue (benevolence) can we exercise etiquette properly and learn how to change them. The cycle is precisely a component of the profoundness of Confucianism.”13
Why can “benevolence” be realized through “etiquette”? Because “etiquette” can bring “harmony”. The process from “etiquette” to “harmony” is the way to realize “benevolence” and human dignity.
According to Ceremonial Usages in the Book of Rites, “when it is said that (the ruler being) a sage can look on all under the sky as one family, and on all in the Middle states as one man, this does not mean that he will do so on premeditation and purpose. He must know men’s feelings, lay open to them what they consider right, show clearly to them what is advantageous, and comprehend what are their calamities. Being so furnished, he is then able to effect the thing. What are the feelings of men? They are joy, anger, sadness, fear, love, disliking, and liking. These seven feelings belong to men without their learning them. What are ‘the things which men consider right?’ Kindness on the part of the father, and filial duty on that of the son; gentleness on the part of the elder brother, and obedience on that of the younger; righteousness on the part of the husband, and submission on that of the wife; kindness on the part of elders, and deference on that of juniors; with benevolence on the part of the ruler, and loyalty on that of the minister — these ten are the things which men consider to be right. Truthfulness in speech and the cultivation of harmony constitute what are called ‘the things advantageous to men.’ Quarrels, plundering, and murders are ‘the things disastrous to men.’ Hence, when a sage (ruler) would regulate the seven feelings of men, cultivate the ten virtues that are right; promote truthfulness of speech, and the maintenance of harmony; show his value for kindly consideration and complaisant courtesy; and put away quarrelling and plundering, if he neglect the rules of propriety, how shall he succeed?” The “etiquette” as the norm of behavior for all members of society comes from “the feelings of men” and “the things which men consider right”. “Quarrelling and plundering “are detrimental to human dignity. According to Rites and Music in Bai Hu Tong, “Humility should be followed for Etiquette. So we should be humble and respect others. Dispute can be avoided in this way.”
“No dispute” is conducive to keeping human dignity. Aggressive wars are the most detrimental to human dignity. Therefore, “human dignity is limited to the situation of unselfish, altruistic, compassionate, emotional dedication for other creatures and universe. As long as there is aggression for greed, there will not be dignity. Aggression for greed is common in the world, yet it is something shameful.”14
“In practicing the rules of propriety, a natural ease is to be prized. In the ways prescribed by the ancient kings, this is the excellent quality.” (Xue Er in the Analects) “Etiquette” is in the impartial and rational golden mean for the purpose of “kindly consideration and complaisant courtesy for putting away quarrelling and plundering.” “Etiquette” pays attention to dignity in differences and harmony.
IV. Elements of “Respect” or “Reverence” in “Etiquette” and Human Dignity
It is stipulated in article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” which emphasizes the equality of human dignity. However, inequality is ubiquitous in the society of ancient times and the difference in “etiquette” is of historic limitations. The question is whether the human dignity can be maintained to some extent in such inequality.
In ancient China, the direct function of “etiquette” is to “tell the difference.” In other words, it helps to tell the differences in roles, identities and status of people in different social relationships to maintain the social order that everyone is in the right position. “Etiquette” is used to regulate “the order of superiors and inferiors in the court for the emperor and officials and the transportation, clothing, food, marriage, funeral, sacrifice, and so on of the general public” (Ritual Treatises in the Records of the Grand Historian) Regarding the role of etiquette, Confucius pointed out when Duke Ai asked him about the rites, “without them they would have no means of regulating the services paid to the spirits of heaven and earth; without them they would have no means of distinguishing the positions proper to father and son, to high and low, to old and young; without them they would have no means of maintaining the separate character of the intimate relations between male and female, father and son, elder brother and younger, and conducting the intercourse between the contracting families in a marriage, and the frequency or infrequency (of the reciprocities between friends). (Questions of Duke Ai in the Book of Rites) Xun Zi said, “what is the difference, it is answered that it lies in high and low, old and young, rich and poor, as well as heavy and light.” (On Rites in Xun Zi) According to Summary of the Rules of Propriety in the Book of Rites, “they are the rules of propriety, that furnish the means of determining (the observances towards) relatives, as near and remote; of settling points which may cause suspicion or doubt; of distinguishing where there should be agreement, and where difference; and of making clear what is right and what is wrong.”
Could the “etiquette” to distinguish high and low as well rich and poor be compatible to human dignity? Because the etiquette norms of difference also show “respect” or “reverence”, it is compatible with human dignity. The first sentence of the first chapter of the Book of Rites titled Summary of the Rules of Propriety is that “Always and in everything let there be reverence; with the deportment grave as when one is thinking (deeply), and with speech composed and definite. This will make the people tranquil.” “Always and in everything let there be reverence” is an important feature of etiquette. In a word, all etiquette follows the principle that “always and in everything let there be reverence.” According to Summary of the Rules of Propriety I in the Book of Rites, “one should not (seek to) please others in an improper way, nor be lavish of his words. One does not go beyond the definite measure, nor encroach on or despise others, nor is fond of (presuming) familiarities. To cultivate one’s person and fulfill one’s words is called good conduct. When the conduct is (thus) ordered, and the words are accordant with the (right) course, we have the substance of the rules of propriety.” In the Classic of Filial Piety, Confucius said, “For securing the repose of superiors and the good order of the people, there is nothing better than the rules of propriety. The rules of propriety are simply (the development of) the principle of reverence. Therefore the reverence paid to a father makes (all) sons pleased. The reverence paid to an elder brother makes (all) younger brothers pleased. The reverence paid to a ruler makes (all) subjects pleased. The reverence paid to the man makes thousands and myriads of men pleased. The reverence is paid to a few, and the pleasure extends to many. This is what is meant by an ‘All-embracing Rule of Conduct.’” Mencius said, “a gentleman preserves in his heart benevolence and propriety. The benevolent man loves others. The man of propriety shows respect to others. He who loves others is constantly loved by them. He who respects others is constantly respected by them. (Li Lou II in Mencius) He also pointed out, “The feeling of reverence and respect, the principle of propriety” (Gao Zi I in Mencius) and “The feeling of modesty and complaisance is the principle of propriety.” (Gong Sun Chou I in Mencius) According to the Different Teaching of the Different Kings in the Book of Rites, “If they be courteous and modest, grave and respectful, they have been taught from the Book of Rites and Ceremonies.” According to Rites and Music in Bai Hu Tong, “the superior man who shows modesty could bring prosperity to the country. While noble, he humbles himself to the mean, and grandly gains the people. Those who humbles himself to respect others is of the mind of a gentleman. Therefore, Confucius said, ‘ceremonies performed without reverence; mourning conducted without sorrow - wherewith should I contemplate such ways?” In social relations regulated by etiquette, the digni-ty of the other is respected and one’s own dignity is demonstrated in one’s own daily interactions.
Even for the etiquette between the princes and ministers which would be very un-equal, a certain degree of dignity for the ministers is not denied. In ancient times, the prince were particularly dignified. According to Dong Zhongshu in the Han Dynasty, “with capable assistants, the prince would keep dignity and the country would be in peace.” (Li Yuan Shen in the Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals) Although the dignity of the prince is overemphasized in the etiquette between the prince and the ministers in ancient times which shows the feature of inequality, it is undeniable that the prince recognizes the dignity of the ministers to a certain extent under normal circumstances. According to Confucius, the relationship between the prince and the ministers is equal and mutual. He said, “a prince should employ his minister according to the rules of propriety; ministers should serve their prince with faithfulness.” (Ba Yi in the Analects) According to The Question of Duke Ai in the Book of Rites, “Confucius was sitting beside Duke Ai, when the latter said, ‘I venture to ask, according to the nature of men, which is the greatest thing (to be attended to in dealing with them).’ Confucius looked startled, changed countenance, and replied, ‘That your lordship should put this question is a good thing for the people. How should your servant dare but express his opinion on it?’ Accordingly he proceeded, and said, ‘According to the nature of men, government is the greatest thing for them.’ The duke said, ‘I venture to ask what is meant by the practice of government.’ Confucius replied, ‘With the ancients in their practice of government the love of men was the great point; in their regulation of this love of men, the rules of ceremony was the great point; in their regulation of those rules, reverence was the great point. Yes, love and respect lie at the foundation of government.’” It shows that Confucius considers that the relationship between the prince and the ministers as well as the people regulated by “etiquette” should be characterized by mutual respect and love. Mencius said, “when the prince regards his ministers as his hands and feet, his ministers regard their prince as their belly and heart; when he regards them as his dogs and horses, they regard him as another man; when he regards them as the ground or as grass, they regard him as a robber and an enemy.” (Li Lou II in Mencius) This shows that although the prince is in a dominant position, the attitude of the ministers towards the prince is determined by how the prince treats them. The ancient political creed that “the prince guides the min-isters” indicates that the ministers should obey the prince, yet it is by no means that only the prince has dignity. According to Tang Zhen, the thinker in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, “the distinction of superiors and inferiors made by the sages is for good leadership but not alienation between them. When the superiors are arrogant, the inferiors would be flattering. They become gradually alienated. When the superi-ors look down upon the inferiors and regard them as his dogs and horses, the talents will leave them and keep a distance from them... At that time, the singing of good singer will not be heard and the brightness of lights will not be seen. The ministers and the prince are gradually alienated... The country will be doomed.”(Yi Zun in Qian Shu) The etiquette between the prince and the ministers in the relationship of “superior and inferior” is by no means that the prince could have the privilege of acting on his own will. On the contrary, his behavior is restricted by the “etiquette”. “If a superior man love propriety, the people will not dare not to be reverent. “(Zi Lu in the Analects) It is a necessary condition for the superior man to love propriety to gain the reverence of the people. If the prince fails to abide by the norms of “etiquette” and becomes tyrannical, the ministers can make their choices. “When good government prevails in his state, he is to be found in office. (Duke Ling of Wei in the Analects) “When they are prostrated, he will keep concealed.” (Tai Bo in the Analects) When “the prince fail to employ his minister according to the rules of propriety”, the minister would keep concealed for the maintaining of his dignity.
When people treat each other with due respect, within the four seas all men are brothers. According to Yan Yuan in The Analects, “let the superior man never fail reverentially to order his own conduct, and let him be respectful to others and observant of propriety, then all within the four seas will be his brothers.” If one could “reverentially order his own conduct” and “be respectful to others and observant of propriety”, then “all within the four seas will be his brothers.” This shows that etiquette among people of different classes differences does not affect the equality of human dignity. According to Summary of the Rules of Propriety I in the Book of Rites, “Propriety is seen in humbling one’s self and giving honor to others. Even porters and peddlers are sure to display this giving honor (in some cases); how much more should the rich and noble do so (in all)!” People would treat porters and peddlers with courtesy to “display this giving honor”, who would not be “honored”? This shows that under the ancient rules of propriety, everyone can be honored to a certain extent.
In Confucianism, the doctrine of benevolence integrates “differentiated affection” and “unity of the universe”. As for the relationship between etiquette and human dignity, it can be said that it integrates “differentiated etiquette” and “unity of dignity”. Therefore, it can be concluded that “‘etiquette’ in the name of the overall interest of the society is “the universal social norm to bring dignity with a long history.”15 “The traditional Chinese culture is mainly the Confucian tradition which covers potential human rights concept and reconstructs it on this basis. The concept or “essence” of hu-man rights is established in Confucian ethics. Meanwhile, human rights are considered to be embodied in reciprocal relations. As a result, it has a dual structure emphasizing differences and the reconciliation between equality and inequality to ensure the social order and the survival of people. Moreover, the Confucian tradition, in particular the theories of Mencius, consider the inherent “dignity” of people has priority over external dignity and stresses the ability of independent judgment and action. Individual dignity is combined with moral and social rules, so personal rights and public interests should be combined accordingly.”16 “Rites bring out forcefully not only the harmony and beauty of social forms, the inherent and ultimate dignity of human intercourse; it brings out also the moral perfection implicit in achieving one’s ends by dealing with others as beings of equal dignity, as free participants in Li.”17
It is still of great significance to realize harmonious interpersonal relationships and promote respect for human dignity through the approach or method of “etiquette” in modern times. In 1994, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution 49/184 titled United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education. It is pointed out in the preamble that “human rights education should involve more than the provision of information and should constitute a comprehensive life-long process by which people at all levels in development and in all strata of society learn respect for the dignity of others and the means and methods of ensuring that respect in all societies” and “human rights education contributes to a concept of development consistent with the dignity of women and men of all ages that takes into account the diverse segments of society such as children, indigenous peoples, minorities and disabled person.” In the sense of human rights, the “etiquette” in ancient China is the norm of behavior “consistent with the dignity of women and men of all ages”.
V. People’s Well-being and the Realization of Human Dignity
Judging from article 22 of the Declaration that “everyone, as a member of so-ciety, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality” and article 23 that “everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection”, the realization of human dignity is inseparable from the satisfaction of the basic needs for subsistence of the people. The connotation of these principles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clearly recognized in traditional Chinese culture.
In ancient China, the necessity of certain material conditions for implementation of etiquette and realization of the rules of propriety has been recognized in Confucianism, which is the need to satisfy the basic livelihood of the people. Zi Gong once asked Confucious, “What do you pronounce concerning the poor man who yet does not flatter, and the rich man who is not proud?” The Master replied, “They will do; but they are not equal to him, who, though poor, is yet cheerful, and to him, who, though rich, loves the rules of propriety.” (Xue Er in the Analects) Guan Zhong made it more clear, “with sufficient food, people will be more polite, and with enough clothes, people will be more cultivated.” (Mu Min in Guanzi) According to Summary of the Rules of Propriety I in the Book of Rites, “When the rich and noble know to love propriety, they do not become proud nor dissolute. When the poor and mean know to love propriety, their minds do not become cowardly.” According to Biographies of Merchants in Records of the Grand Historian, “with sufficient food, people are more polite, and with enough clothes, people are more cultivated.’ Etiquette comes from prosperity and declines in poverty. Therefore, rich gentlemen would promote charity; when ordinary people get rich, they could adjust their ability.” When Sima Qian quoted the sentence of Guanzi, he changed “will be” into “are”, which more accurately explained that the economic foundation and the guarantee for the livelihood of the people are the only necessary condition for realization of moral civilization and human dignity. It is by no means sufficient condition or sufficient and necessary condition.
VI. From Xiao Kang (moderate prosperity) to Da Tong (great harmony): Continuous Improvement of the Social Conditions for Realization of Human Dignity and Equal Rights

Ceremonial Usages in the Book of Rites gives a detailed and lively description of Xiao Kang (moderate prosperity) to Da Tong (great harmony).”18 Judging from the description of Xiao Kang (moderate prosperity) to Da Tong (great harmony) by Confucius, the conditions and degrees of realization of human dignity and rights are different to a great extent at the two stages of social development.
The description of Xiao Kang (moderate prosperity) by Confucius is as follows, “now that the Grand course has fallen into disuse and obscurity, the kingdom is a family inheritance. Everyone loves (above all others) his own parents and cherishes (as) children (only) his own sons. People accumulate articles and exert their strength for their own advantage. Great men imagine it is the rule that their states should descend in their own families. Their object is to make the walls of their cities and suburbs strong and their ditches and moats secure. The rules of propriety and of what is right are regarded as the threads by which they seek to maintain in its correctness the relation between ruler and minister; in its generous regard that between father and son; in its harmony that between elder brother and younger; and in a community of sentiment that between husband and wife; and in accordance with them they frame buildings and measures; lay out the fields and hamlets (for the dwellings of the husbandmen); adjudge the superiority to men of valour and knowledge; and regulate their achievements with a view to their own advantage. Thus it is that (selfish) schemes and enterprises are constantly taking their rise, and recourse is had to arms; and thus it was (also) that Yu, Tang, Wen and Wu, king Cheng, and the duke of Zhou obtained their distinction. Of these six great men every one of them was very attentive to the rules of propriety, thus to secure the display of righteousness, the realisation of sincerity, the exhibition of errors, the exemplification of benevolence, and the discussion of courtesy, showing the people all the normal virtues. Any rulers who did not follow this course were driven away by those who possessed power and position, and all regarded them as pests. This is the period of what we call Xiao Kang (moderate prosperity).” In the society of “moderate prosperity” described by Confucius, the condition to realize the “great way” in Confucianism was not mature. The world is not for the public but for “families” and “private interests”. The hereditary system was adopted for the prince and ministers.
The wealth and strength were for private advantage, so it was hard to avoid the violation of human rights, turbulence, and wars. Facing the social reality, wise princes and sages “were all very attentive to the rules of propriety”. They defined the behaviors in line of “benevolence” as the rules of propriety. “The rules of propriety and of what is right are regarded as the threads by which they seek to maintain” the social order and “to show the people all the normal virtues.” As Xunzi said, “what is the ori-gin of etiquette? It is answered that humans are born with desires. When desires could not me satisfied, it is impossible for human to give up it. When there is no limit or boundary for the pursuit of desire, there would be conflicts. Conflicts cause confusion, which would further result in poverty. In order to change the situation, sages in ancient times set rules of propriety to satisfy the desires within a certain limitations. As a result, the desire could be controlled within the limitations of material supply and the supply should not manage to satisfy the endless desire of people. They could develop together in the mutual restriction. This is the origin of etiquette.” (Discourse on Ritual in Xun Zi) In the society of moderate prosperity, the role of etiquette is to “satisfy the desires within a certain limitations” so that “the desire could be controlled within the limitations of material supply and the supply should not manage to satisfy the endless desire of people”. It manages to realize the balance between the satisfaction and limitation of people’s desires. This is related to the keeping of social order and the protection of human dignity.
The description by Confucius for da tong (great harmony) is as follows, “when the Grand course was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky; they chose men of talents, virtue, and ability; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. Thus men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their own sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, employment for the able-bodied, and the means of growing up to the young. They showed kindness and compassion to widows, orphans, childless men, and those who were disabled by disease, so that they were all sufficiently maintained. Males had their proper work, and females had their homes. (They accumulated) articles (of value), disliking that they should be thrown away upon the ground, but not wishing to keep them for their own gratification. (They laboured) with their strength, disliking that it should not be exerted, but not exerting it (only) with a view to their own advantage. In this way (selfish) schemings were repressed and found no development. Robbers, filchers, and rebellious traitors did not show themselves, and hence the outer doors remained open, and were not shut. This was (the period of) what we call the great harmony.” The society of great harmony described by Confucius is what he considered to be the situation during the rule of Yao and Shun before Yu of the Xia Dynasty, which embodies has political ideals on social development. Because “the Grand course was pursued” and “a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky”, the position of the prince could be given to talented people. People’s words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. They made the best use of everything and everyone. Property and manpower were not for private interests. Robbers and filchers who used to violate the interests of others “didn’t show themselves”, so the outer doors remained open, and were not shut. Even the vulnerable group of “widows, orphans, childless men, and those who were disabled by disease” were all sufficiently maintained. It is like the human rights standards in article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights; they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Based on the brief description of “great harmony” by Confucius, Kang Youwei made the blueprint of the society of “great harmony” and pointed out the way to achieve it in his Book of Great Harmony. For example, he said that “for realizing the great harmony of agriculture, industry and commerce, the top priority is to clarify the human rights of male and female. If the violation of “human rights of male and female” is “considered as the righteous way, it would be against the natural rights of human and the world would remain in the state of moderate prosperity.” “If the great harmony and peaceful world is to be realized, the first thing is to clarify the equal rights of male and female which is the natural rights of human.”19 In short, the realization of “great harmony” starts from “clarification” of human rights according to Kang Youwei. “Only when ‘human rights, equality, and independence’ are realized can the realm of “great harmony” be achieved.20
When Sun Yat-sen explained his Three Principles of the People, he pointed out “Confucius said, ‘When the Great Way prevailed, a public spirit ruled all under Heav-en’, which is a world of great harmony advocating the rights of the people... The understanding of the rights of the people can be traced back over 2,000 years ago. Nev-ertheless, it was a merely a dream at that time, like “utopia’ mentioned by foreigners. It could not be realized immediately.” 21
At present, China is in the process of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society. “Development bears on everyone’s well-being and dignity.”22 With reform and opening-up, “we have turned China into the world’s second largest economy, lifted l.3 billion people from a life of chronic shortage and brought them initial prosperity and unprecedented rights and dignity.”23 “The Chinese nation has been seeking ‘great harmony’ of the world and that all nations live together peacefully and harmoniously for build a wonderful world “when the Great Way prevailed, a public spirit ruled all under Heaven.”24 A peaceful, secure, prosperous, open and beautiful world should be a world where “countries respect others’ interests while pursuing their own and advance common interests of all” and a world approaching universal equality in “dignity and rights” for all countries and people.
* ZHAO Jianwen ( 赵建文 ), Researcher and Ph.D. Supervisor of Institute of International Law of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
1. On September 27, 2012, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution (A/HRC/RES/21/3) calling on the international community to better recognize and understand the positive significance of traditional values for the promotion and protection of human rights. It is clarified in the resolution that the traditional human values include dignity, freedom and responsibility.
2. Luo Haocai, “Different Cultures Show Same Respect for Human Dignity, Speech of Luo Haocai at the open-ing ceremony of the 4th Beijing Forum on Human Rights,” Guangming Daily, September 22, 2012.
3. Kant, Groundwork for the Metαphysics of Morαls, trans. Allen W. Wood (New Haven and London: Ya1e University Press, 2002), 52.
4. Zhang Dainian, “Ideas of Human Dignity in Ancient China,” International Confucianism Studies 2 (1996): 61.
5. Zhou Kezhen, “Concept of Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights in Chinese Culture—Also on Labor Rights as Historical Precondition for Complete Realization of Realistic Human Rights,” in Proceedings of the 5th Cross-culture Human Rights International Symposium on Traditional Spirit and Culture Value, ed. Chang Jian and Tom Zwart (Beijng: China Intercontinental Communication Center, 2018), 85.
6. Gudmundur Alfredsson and Asborn Eide, Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Common Standard of Achievement, trans. China Society for Human Rights Studies (Chengdu: Sichuan People’s Publishing House, 1999), 58-59.
7. Fan Wenlan, An Introduction to the Study of Confucian Classics (Beijing: Beijing Confucianism Studies Press, 1933), 247-248.
8. Feng Tianyu, He Xiaoming and Zhou Jiming, History of Chinese Culture (Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Pub-lishing House, 2015), 305.
9. Sun Pinghua, Zhang Pengchun: An Important Designer of World Human Rights System (Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press, 2017), 396.
10. Xia Hai, Guo Xue Yao Yi (Essentials of Chinese Culture) (Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 2018), 169.
11. Kang Youwei, the Book of Great Unity, noted by Qi Bolin (Liaoning: Liaoning People’s Publishing House, 1994), 5 of the “introduction”.
12. Jia Runguo, On Benevolence — Collection of Works by Tan Sitong (Liaoning: Liaoning People’s Publishing House, 1994), 6 of the “introduction”.
13. Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh, The Path — A New Way to Think About Everything, trans. Hu Yang (Beijing: CITIC Press Group, 2017), 52.
14. Gou Chunsheng, Zhu Jizheng, and Chen Guodong, Forecast the 21st Century: A Dialogue Between Daisaku Ikeda and Arnold J.Toynbee (Beijing: China Intl Culture Press, 1985), 411.
15. Li Yunlong, Traditional Culture and Human Rights Concepts in Contemporary China, Proceedings of the 5th Cross-culture Human Rights International Symposium on Traditional Spirit and Culture Value, ed. Chang Jian and Tom Zwart (Beijing: China Intercontinental Communication Center, 2018), 46.
16. Luo Zhehai, Li Yang, and Liang Tao, “Intrinsic Dignity: Chinese Tradition and Human Rights,” Research in the Traditions of Chinese Culture 1 (2013): 82.
17. Herbert Fingarette, Confucius-The Secular as Sacred, trans. Peng Guoxiang and Zhang Hua, (Nanjing: Jiangsu People’s Publishing House, 2000), 12.
18. Xi Jinping, “Speech at a Study Session on Implementing the Decision of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee Attended by Officials at the Provincial/Ministerial Level, January 18, 2016,” Peo-ple’s Daily, May 10, 2016.
19. Kang Youwei, the Book of Great Unity, noted by Qi Bolin (Shenyang: Liaoning People’s Publishing House, 1994), 293-295.
20. Ibid., 11.
21. Sun Yat-sen Research Society, Collected Works of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (I), ed. Meng Qingpeng (Beijing: Tuanjie Press, 1997), 138.
22. Xi Jinping, “Work Together for a Bright Future of China-Arab Relations-Speech at the Arab League Headquarters,” People’s Daily, January 22, 2016.
23. Xi Jinping, “Speech at the Welcoming Dinner Hosted by Local Governments and Friendly Organizations in the United States,” People’s Daily, September 24, 2015.
24. Xi Jinping, “Working Together towards a Better World-Speech at the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting,” People’s Daily, December 2, 2017.
(Translated by HU Liang)
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