Chinese harmony renaissance: Can world ignore it? Updated 2006-11-02 16:01:01 by Francis C.W.

Fung, Ph.D. BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhuanet)-- Following is an abridged version of two papers by Francis C.W. Fung, Ph.D. The papers are titled "Chinese Harmony and American Dem ocracy in 21st Century" and "Chinese Harmony Culture Old and New, Promise for a Less Confrontational World?" (I) CHINA'S HARMONY RENAISSANCE: CAN AMERICA IGNORE IT? On Oct. 8, 2006, at its Central Committee meeting, the Communist Party of China launched the national campaign to build a harmonious society. The resulting Harm ony Communique¨¦ is a system engineering blue print to guide China on its path of re juvenation. It will be an arduous and long undertaking to build a harmonious soc ialist society in modern China, no less challenging to the CPC as the revolution ary "Long March" of Chinese history. Oct. 8, 2006 will be remembered as the most important milestone of China's Harmony Renaissance. By rediscovering harmony cu lture, China is rediscovering its own rich ancient cultural harmony traditions. It is of similar in importance to Europe's Renaissance after the rediscovery of ancient Greek culture. China's harmony development will herald a brand new perio d of vitality and national spirit as the country enters a new period of sustaina ble development. By developing its own harmony society, China becomes the standa rd bearer of a harmony world. Harmony, as taught by Chinese ancients, embraces ideas of democracy as a way of conflict resolution between the ruler and the ruled. China has practiced harmony as a way of life since Laotze and Confucius for at least 2500 years. In contras t, American Democracy is only 230 years old, developing after Independence, and borrowing from the traditions of European Enlightenment. As China's Harmony Soci alism wins gradual international recognition, it will provide an alternative mod el to American-style Democracy as the leading 21st century governance system. To keep its position as the most influential political and cultural leading countr y of the world America cannot afford to overlook the 21st century Chinese Harmon y Society and Harmony World development herald by China's Harmony Renaissance. T he consequence could be the isolation and unwitting fall of the greatest militar y and economic empire of our time through its inability to keep up with the pace of world harmony consensus. The mightiest American military power cannot dictat e world order any longer, as is exemplified by the Iraqi War, and the Iran and N orth Korea nuclear confrontations. The overwhelming desires of developing countr ies for common development are closing the curtains on the world of internationa l power politics. The world will be caught up in the surging tide of common deve lopment and harmony conversion. The Harmony World of unity in diversity of world cultures and governance systems will surely come. Harmony will give China a place on the world stage to express its ancient herita ge and the moral high ground to challenge the U.S. leadership in international r elations. For over fifty years America interfered in China's domestic affairs in the name of democracy. Now harmony contains democracy ideals also as conflict r esolution government and its citizens. The table will be turned between the West and China during the 21st century. Since the Opium War, over 150 years ago, Chi na finally is able to raise its head and stand up against the West. By doing so, China will have the unity and vitality to continue its sustainable reform and o pening up to a new era. (II) CHINA'S HARMONY RENAISSANCE, HOW IT ALL BEGAN? The Central Committee meeting was a major meeting to discuss major policy decisi ons to launch a national campaign to build a harmonious society. [1] In terms of its impact on the future Chinese society and the future world, policies announc ed during this meeting will have a longer lasting effect than China's recent pol icies of reform and opening up. These policies, initiated under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping, led to profound benefits for China and the world, but the nation is ready for the next step in its process of transformation. By comparison, the Oct. 8 meeting provided the needed national spirit of harmony which continues on the success of the Scientific Concept of Development. This new spirit is built on the essence of ancient Chinese teachings of harmony which remains unparallele

d for its richness in the world. Due to the rapid expansion of economic and industrial activities, China, over th e past twenty some years, has developed from an egalitarian society to a society of unbalanced wealth distribution, and from a self-sufficient society to one, l ike other developed nations, that depends heavily on outside energy and other ma terial resources. The Scientific Development Concept was thus conceived by the C hinese leaders to provide a blueprint for a long term sustainable development. I n time, this blueprint is expanded to include also all old and new conflicts in China's grand modernization. Harmony being China's dominant philosophy for 2500 years it is no surprise, despite the onslaught of Western culture for the last t wo hundred years, China rediscovered its ancient heritage. This is not unlike th e return of harmony philosophy to the golden Han dynasty after the Spring and Au tumn Warring States period. In the fertile soil of Chinese harmony garden after Chinese leaders called for H armony Society development, ideas of harmony spread like wild fire. Creative ide as of Harmony Society from government officials, intellectuals, think tanks, aca demicians and the general public is currently sweeping through the country. We m ay once again witness a major New Harmony movement excelling the ancient teachin gs of ancient harmony that has guided China for the last 2500 years. A true peri od of let hundred flowers bloom and hundred schools content may be in the making surpassing the Spring and Autumn period debates in scope and magnitude. This ti me the Chinese culture may take a leap into the future World of Harmony. (III) THE COMING OF THE HARMONY WORLD In today's world of extreme disparity among nations, need for international econ omic and political change is driven by: the widening gap in stages of developmen t, the increase of injustice in world order, and the growth of clashes between c ivilizations. As seen in the recent unilateral Iraq War, the crisis in Sudan, an d the nuclear confrontation with North Korea and Iran, the world is hastening to wards confrontation. Written in Chinese characters, the term, "crisis" is composed of the opposing el ements, "danger" and "opportunity." In Chinese harmony belief, the opposition of Ying and the Yang, or the strong and the gentle, are in constant contest. When Ying and Yang are in balance, harmony is reached, as is illustrated by the Daois t double fish circle of life.When viewed as a globe the Ying envelops the Yang a s the outside shell. Laotze's philosophy of renunciation of force is also reflec ted in forming Chinese words. The word "martial" in Chinese means "stop the use of weapons." The word "war" in Chinese means "imbalance of weaponry." When country specific harmony societies grow in their own fertile soil with dist inctive cultural characteristics, World Harmony will surely spread. Each society will have its own appropriate harmony theory and practices reflecting the wide differences in states of development, needs and culture. For harmony to take roo t, basic needs must be met, and the society must be equitable, social order must work smoothly, cultural values must have sustaining power, and the mobility of different stratum in society should be assured. Indices such as Happiness, Harmo ny, Environment, Rural and Urban must be customized according to each country's will and development. Great debates are happening today in China over whether Socialism with Chinese c haracteristics becomes Socialism with Chinese harmony. In the last couple of yea rs China has extended the philosophy of Harmony to the practice of international relations, from Harmony Society to Harmony Region and Harmony World. In doing s o, China, as one of the world's ancient civilized nations, is expressing to the world its choice and determination to travel the road of peace and development. Harmony as the core of Chinese traditional cultural belief, reflects the concept s of appropriate and properly balanced relationships between man and man, man an d nature, man and society and harmony among nations. In fact Harmony Society and Harmony World are manifestations of ancient Chinese cultural values. Western cultures, in contrast to the East, tend to emphasize conflict rather tha n harmony, personal, national, and world affairs in terms of good and evil, righ t and wrong. God must triumph over the Devil, good over the bad, and the individ ual struggles to conquer sin and redeem his soul. Armies fight with the convicti

on that God is on their side, and leaders, like George Bush, call upon believers to support them in righteous wars. The powerful U.S. media, adhering to the sam e tenants, does not report contrasting views. Thus, Western nations, most notabl y the United States today, justify aggression through their own self-righteousne ss, convincing themselves that they are duty bound to change or eliminate hostil e countries that do not adhere to Western principles. Rather than accepting diff erences they attempt to destroy differences to achieve uniformity in internation al political ideology. In such an atmosphere, international relations become pow er politics, with the assumption that new democracies that arise will be fashion ed in the mold of American and Western European systems. In China today foreign policy is an extension of domestic policy and, at the sam e time, serves domestic policy. Hu Jintao, President of China, pointed out, Chin a must "Closely connect our development with the progress of mankind. Develop ou r self through maintaining world peace and at the same time through our own deve lopment to promote world peace." The Chinese government has officially stated th e central ideas of Harmony China and Harmony World as: China wants to build a ha rmony society of "democracy and rule of law, justice and righteousness, trustwor thiness and friendliness, full of vitality, stable and orderly, a society of man and nature in harmony." A Harmony World envisioned by China is "adherence to mu ltilateralism, realization of mutual security, adherence to mutually beneficial cooperation, realization of mutual prosperity, adherence to the spirit of tolera nce and building a Harmony World together." President Hu Jintao, on April 22, 2005, when attending the Asian African Summit meeting, suggested that "promoting friendship among different cultures, equal di alogue, develop common prosperity and together build a harmony world." This was the first time the concept of Harmony World appeared on the world stage. Two mon ths later on July 1, 2005, President Hu Jintao visited Moscow. Harmony World was written into the China-Russia world order joint communique¨¦. For the first time Wo rld Harmony was recognized as common policy belief between two major countries. This marks the new World Harmony concept's gradual entrance into the vision of a world society. Chinese leaders’ thoughts on World Harmony were quickly deepening, for two months later, on September 15, 2005, President Hu Jintao gave a speech at the United Nation General Assembly in which he detailed the deep contents of World Harmony. Participants of the meeting gave the speech a resounding response , and world media also gave the speech heightened notice and positive evaluation . It is generally considered that China as a major responsible country is transm itting to the world its longing for peaceful world development. The speech also served to relate China s message to build a peaceful, prosperous and Harmony Wor ld together with the rest of the world. Harmonious and cooperative China stands ready to work for sustainable and long lasting peace and mutual prosperity with the rest of the world. As China progresses towards a green harmony society (Tien Ren Ha Yi) according to her pre-Qin sages’ teachings and current government policies of building world harmony, China will lead the world in international harmony diplomacy. The emph asis on harmony diplomacy to build the great world unity (Si Jie Dai Tong) and m utual development for the world will in time replace the hitherto power diplomac y as defined by Hans Morgenthau and Clinton’s smart diplomacy as embraced by our c urrent Secretary of State, as the international norm in the 21st Century coincid ing with China’s ascent to super power status. (IV) CHINESE HARMONY AS SYSTEM ENGINEERING BLUE PRINT China s cultural contribution to the world is the harmony philosophy just as Eur ope and America are the breeding grounds for democracy. China for most of its 50 00 years of recorded culture was an agricultural society, in contrast to Europea ns, most of whom were descendants from pastoral nomads. As a continuing ancient culture China was firmly rooted to cultivating the land handed down through the generations. This dependency on agriculture led to an inclination to harmonize w ith nature rather than to challenge nature. The order of nature is harmony with Ying and Yang in dynamic balance as taught by Laotze. As a result harmony philos ophy grew in the fertile land of this Middle Kingdom until it was challenged by Western democracy as late as the 1900 s. Chinese ancient culture, rich in harmon




y teaching begun 2500 years ago by Laotze and Confucius, was preserved and hande d down with continuing refinement until modern times. Laotze s instructions of harmony were rooted in observation of the origin of the universe and natural science. His philosophy of human activity harmonizing with nature was all embracing, including the practice of FENG SHUI (living with natu re), physical science, agriculture and Chinese ancient medical practice. Chinese medical practice is holistic, based on the belief that biological systems must maintain internal balance to be healthy. The goal of treatment is to restore the balance of opposing forces in this total system. This led to the belief that hu man biological systems, society, and nations are constantly in an influx of ever changing contending forces. Harmony is achieved when the contending forces come to a balance or mutual acceptance under a certain set of conditions. All system s are constantly shifting, complex, and seldom just black and white (or in weste rn terms, good or bad). This concept of harmony is just as fitting in today s co mplex world and society as it was during the time of Laotze. Confucius teaching comprises social systems including: man with himself, man be tween men, man and society and relations between groups and countries. This incl udes harmony between government and its citizens, which means that democracy is part of harmony system analysis. In keeping with Chinese harmony philosophy, bal ance is achieved through self-discipline, high moral value, social order rather than strict law and penal system. The use of physical force is to be avoided, an d employed only as a last resort. Harmony Society discussions in today s China u nder the present leadership are returning to the old roots of system analysis an d ever changing balance of major forces in a changing world. This is based on th e very nature of Chinese peoples longing for harmony and the ancient teaching o f tolerance, acceptance and equity. Both Laotze and Confucius teachings were com prehensive system engineering analyses of Harmony for ancient China, and the Com munique is a system analysis of Socialism with Chinese characteristics for today s China. As China progresses towards a green harmony society (Tien Ren Ha Yi), according to her Spring and Autumn- warring states ancient sages teachings, China will le ad the world in international harmony diplomacy. This harmony diplomacy with hu mane leadership to build world great unity (Si Jie Da Tong) with mutual developm ent will replace the current power diplomacy as advocated by Hans Morgenthau and the Smart diplomacy embraced by our current Secretary of State as the internati onal norm. In the 21st Century based on her ancient sages’ teachings China will d evelop into a new type of super power as described by Prof. Hu Angang of Tsinghu a University. (V) THE ULTIMATE PRINCIPLE OF HARMONY The ultimate principle of Chinese ancient principles, as expounded by LAOTZE in DAO DE JING, is the balance of YING and YANG but ultimately YING envelopes YANG and is beautifully illustrated in the Daoist circle sign of life. However it is known observation today that dark energy represents over eighty percent of the u niverse and visible matter is the smaller remaining part. This general theme of YING over YANG runs through DAO DE JING. To name a few ima ges from DAO DE JING; soft overcomes the hard like dripping water eventually bor es a hole in the hardest rock, water flows over and immerses that blocks it. Wat er representing Ying can both float and sink a boat. Harmony represents soft pow er to resolve conflicts as opposed to warfare which represents hard power. In to day s conflicting world one model of democracy cannot be forced on other nations of different cultures and at different developing stages. Democracy works best by softly and patiently winning over the hearts and minds of people. Countering extremism by extremism is bound to lead to ultimate destruction of both sides. T he best way to resolve conflicts is to bring harmony to the confronting parties. This can start by understanding the differences in cultural understandings and causes of conflicts through mutual respect, trust, tolerance and acceptance. Con fucius said "JUN ZI HE ER BU TONG, XIAO REN TONG ER BU HE" which means that gent lemen place harmony above ideological differences, and petty people fight for id eology differences. "HAI NAI BEI CHUAN, YU YONG NAI DA"( The sea takes in hundre ds of rivers, it can be big only if it contains). World harmony will surely come








. Editor: Pan Letian PRAISE FOR FRANCIS C W FUNG, CHINA’S HARMONY RENAISSANCE Excerpt from “Harmony in Co ntemporary New Confucianism and in Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” 2008 by Jesus Sole-Farras “It has been asserted (Fung, 2006) that the 2006 Sixth CPC Plen um Session will be remembered as the most important milestone of China’s Harmony R enaissance,” since, “by discovering harmony culture, China is discovering its own ri ch ancient cultural harmony traditions. It is similar in importance to Europe’s Re naissance after the rediscovery of ancient Greek culture” (p. 8). Jesus Sole-Farra s Excerpt from Jan 2007 speech by Hon. John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister and Fi rst Secretary of State, United Kingdom: There s been a great deal of talk about harmony in recent times. In fact, the academic, Francis Fung, has argued in his recent paper "Chinese Harmony Culture: Old and New - Promise for a Less Confront ational World" that China is witnessing a harmony renaissance. He claims that gr eat debates are happening today in China over whether Socialism with Chinese cha racteristics can be Socialism with harmony. And Fung maintains that China s harm ony socialism will provide an alternative model, as the leading system of govern ance in the 21st Century. Morgan Steacy, York University, Department of East Asian Studies, Canada I have been reading professor Fung s letters and articles on harmony renaissance, and h ave become completely enraptured by the hope of future possibility that they bri ng. My main area of study lies squarely within Dr. Fung’s realm of thought insofar as ascertaining the facets of Chinese thought that may be able to ameliorate th e social situation of my country and the world at large. I am certain that I wou ld be able to contribute to your organization with great success. Peter Neumann, Partner Faegre Benson, Shanghai, China “It is wonderful to see the concept of a "harmony" paradigm being promoted in the media. So much of Western cultural history has been based on a conflict paradigm (crusades, competition fo r scarce resources, clash of civilizations, political struggle, etc.). It is ext remely important to open people s minds to unity, universal love and harmony as governing principles of society, the world and the universe.” Eric Chipps, Chipps Management Consultants, San Francisco, CA, USA In today’s worl d of international conflicts, religious strife, North and South disparities, ter rorism, extremism and unilateralism, harmony renaissance is the only common valu e universal solution. The tide of Harmony Renaissance is inevitable. All present will become pioneers of Harmony Renaissance. Harmony advocates non-violence. It s’ premises are tolerance, acceptance, respect, equity, patience and humility. As powerful as we are we will not have nobility and hope unless we practice humilit y. This is the new global awareness. Harmony is the conduit to facilitate multidirectional cultural flow not just from West to East and North to South. Harmony is the all-embracing unifying force for unity in diversity. Dr. Fung has initia ted the World Harmony Organization in North America and has already attracted in terest and support. It is a growing influence in North America, Europe and China from important figures in academic and social circles, economics and politics, as well as a growing number of concerned citizens in many countries.





Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful