HOME
        TheInfoList






Lately Matteo Ricci utilized some false teachings to fool people, and scholars unanimously believed him...take for example the position of China on the map. He puts it not in the center but slightly to the West and inclined to the north. This is altogether far from the truth, for China should be in the center of the world, which we can prove by the single fact that we can see the North Star resting at the zenith of the heaven at midnight. How can China be treated like a small unimportant country, and placed slightly to the north as in this map?[44]

In the l

In the late Ming and Qing periods, there was a belief in Chinese cultural circles that knowledge entering China from the West had already existed in China in the past. This trend of thought was known in Chinese as xi xue zhong yuan (Chinese: 西學; pinyin: Xīxué Zhōng yuán; lit.: 'Western knowledge has Chinese origins'). Xi xue zhong yuan was a way to not only enhance the prestige of ancient Chinese learning, but also that of Western learning and make it more acceptable to the Chinese at that time.

One notable

One notable example was Chouren Zhuan (Chinese: 疇人; pinyin: Chuórén zhuàn; lit.: 'Biographies of Astronomers and Mathematicians'), a book by the Qing dynasty scholar Ruan Yuan which adopted the point of view that some Western sciences had an ancient Chinese origin. Scholars such as Ruan saw astronomy and mathematics as a key to deciphering the ancient classics. Until the Sino-Japanese War, some intellectuals believed that some of the sciences and technologies coming from Europe were actually lost ancient Chinese knowledge. The Chinese have abandoned the idea of xi xue zhong yuan since the early 20th century.

Cultural Sinocentrism was the political and cultural core of the region: traditional Chinese language and writing system, ideological frames of the Confucian social and familial order; legal and administrative systems; Buddhism and the art of historiopraphy[definition needed] were used in China, the Korean peninsula (Korean Confucianism) and also Vietnam.[43]

Followers of Chinese Buddhism were some of the fiercest critics of Sinocentrism, since they followed a religion that originated in India, rather than China. The monk Zhiyi (538–597 CE) referred to China as "Zhendan" (震旦; Zhèndàn), rather than by any epithet for China that emphasized China's centrality, such as Zhōngguó (the modern name of China, 中國; 中国; Zhōngguó) or Zhonghua (中華; 中华; Zhōnghuá). "Zhendan" originated in a transcription of the Sanskrit word for China, चीनस्थान, cīnasthāna. Another anti-Sinocentric name for China used by Buddhists was "country of the Han" (漢国; 汉国; Hàn-guó) or "region of the Han".[45] Reacting to an insecurity against China's indigenous religions of Confucianism and Daoism, Buddhists in China asserted[when?] that Confucius and Yan Hui were avatars of the Buddha, and that Confucianism was merely an offshoot of Buddhism. When Buddhists had influence in the court, such as in the minority-led Yuan dynasty, they successfully persuaded the imperial governments to censor and destroy Daoist texts. They especially hated the Huahujing, which made the opposite argument to that of the Buddhists; that Buddhism was an offshoot of Daoism.[46]

Liu Ji, one of the key advisors of the Ming-dynasty founder Zhu Yuanzhang, generally supported the idea that while the Chinese and the non-Chinese are different, they are actually Liu Ji, one of the key advisors of the Ming-dynasty founder Zhu Yuanzhang, generally supported the idea that while the Chinese and the non-Chinese are different, they are actually equal. Liu was therefore arguing against the idea that the Chinese were and are superior to other people.[47]

Culturally, one of the most famous attacks on Sinocentrism and its associated beliefs was made by the author Lu Xun in The True Story of Ah Q, in which the protagonist is humiliated and defeated; satirizing the ridiculous way in which he claimed "spiritual victories" in spite of this.[48]

The influence of the Sinocentric model of political relations and Sinocentric belief in cultural superiority (especially against the West) declined in the 19th century. The Sinocentric ideology suffered a further blow when Imperial Japan, having undergone the Meiji Restoration, defeated China in the First Sino-Japanese War. As a result, China adopted the Westphalian system of equal independent states.

In modern Chinese foreign policy, the People's Republic of China has stated repeatedly that it will never seek hegemony (Chinese foreign policy, the People's Republic of China has stated repeatedly that it will never seek hegemony (Chinese: 永不称霸).[49] However, some[who?] believe there are Chinese who still hold Sinocentric beliefs.[50]

Successive peoples from the north, such as the Xianbei, Jurchens, Mongols,[51] or Manchus, were quite ready to place themselves at the center of the model, although they were not always successful. The Xianbei empires during the Southern and Northern dynasties, for example, regarded the Han Chinese regimes of southern China as "barbarians" because they refused to submit to Xianbei rule. Similarly, the Manchu Qing dynasty regarded the initial wave of European incursions during the mid-19th century as "barbarians".

Sinocentrism is not synonymous with Chinese nationalism. The successive dynasties in China's history were Sinocentric in the sense that Chinese nationalism. The successive dynasties in China's history were Sinocentric in the sense that they regarded Chinese civilization to be universal in its reach and application.[citation needed] Chinese nationalism, in contrast, is a more modern concept (nationalism) focused primarily on the idea of a unified, cohesive, and powerful Chinese nation, as one of the nations of the world. Chinese nationalism does not necessarily assert superiority over other nations or cultures.