Chinese Cosmopolitanism (tianxia)

  • Shan Chun


The transformation of Chinese cosmopolitanism (tianxia) from the meaning of geographic space in the time of the “Five Emperors (wudi) and the Three Dynasties (sandai)” to the universal ethics based on humaneness (ren) in the time of the Qin and Han Dynasties witnesses a critical change in the making of the Chinese people. The importance of Chinese cosmopolitanism is seen in its preservation of the basic Chinese territory and Chinese people’s integrity. Chinese cosmopolitanism also gives rise to ethical liberalism of Chinese style, hence, making Chinese people sustained in their social lives and cultivated in their individual improvement. Chinese cosmopolitanism not only reflects the space and ethical experiences of Chinese people originated in their “Families (jia)” at the stage of the patriarchal society but also symbolizes the Chinese people in their acknowledging the “geographic world” and accepting the universal value during their more than 2,000 years’ development. In the age of globalization we could aim at the mutual communication and benefit between “humaneness and rite (ren li)” exhibited in Chinese cosmopolitanism and universal human rights exhibited in world pacifism.


Chinese People Filial Piety Geographic Space Ethical Content Patriarchal Society 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Confucian StudiesChina University of Political Science and LawBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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