The Cultural Discovery and Practical Implications of “Chinese Values”

Social Sciences in China, 2018

Vol. 39, No. 3, 2018


The Cultural Discovery and Practical Implications of “Chinese Values”



Yuan Zushe


The social reforms in China since the late 1970s represent an arduous process in which the Chinese nation, in its own way, has reflected upon the many disadvantages of the “civilization of modernity,” and has explored, created and practiced “Chinese values,” pursuing and shaping new spiritual convictions and new (rational) value beliefs for its national culture. In a deeper sense, “Chinese values” are endowed with a marked orientation toward practice and follow the logic of genuinely implementing society’s “public values” on the basis of the intrinsic and organic integration of the personal and public and the national and cosmopolitan. This manifests the pursuit of a noble belief in justice and a commitment to a universal and genuine good life for the Chinese populace today. What “Chinese values” seek to forge is an image of “the Chinese” that manifests not only the disposition and breadth of vision of a contemporary “citizen of the world,” but also the fine traits of tolerance, benevolence, responsibility, and courage, as well as self-esteem, self-improvement, confidence, and self-reliance.


Keywords: Chinese values, excellent Chinese traditional culture, public values, social justice