A World-Pattern State: A Whirlpool Formula of China

  • Tingyang ZhaoEmail author
Part of the Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture book series (KCCTC)


China has managed to retain, in spirit, the concept of Tianxia in its grand unity system since the Qin dynasty. Wars for conquest among tribes and nations in ancient China were fought for cultural resources rather than economic or territorial reasons. The cultural resources of the Central Plains are unrivaled in the spiritual world they have produced and encapsulated in unique ideographic writings, which have drawn tribes and nations into a whirlpool of competition for the throne. The constructs of compatibility and coexistence in the Tianxia concept inherited from the Zhou dynasty assure a sharable world for all, conquerors and the conquered alike. Furthermore, the succession myth, a political theology created by the Tianxia concept, became a traditional narrative repeated by all rulers. As a result, China has developed into a world-patterned country with various integrated ethnicities and cultures in an ingenious institutional form, that of one country with multiple systems.


Cultural advantages Whirlpool formation One country with multiple systems 

Copyright information

© Foreign Language Teaching and Research Publishing Co., Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chinese Academy of Social SciencesBeijingChina

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