The Cultural Discovery of “Chinese Values” and their Practical Meaning

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.8, 2017


The Cultural Discovery of “Chinese Values” and their Practical Meaning



Yuan Zushe


The establishment of a rational faith in social values and their conscious practice symbolize the maturation and ultimate syncretism of a nation’s culture. The practice of social reform in China since the end of the 1970s has been a zigzagging track full of hardship, along which the Chinese nation has taken its own way to reflect on the multiple defects of “modern civilization,” explore, create and practice “Chinese values,” and pursue and shape the new spiritual faith and (rational) faith in values in national culture. This process of pursuit and practice emphatically indicates the course of autonomous creation and evolution of the new shape of this culture, and the way in which the entire realm of the character of the nation fulfills and evaluates itself. In a deeper sense, “Chinese values” clearly indicates the orientation toward practice, follows the logic of the real fulfillment of social “public values” on the basis of the internal and organic integration of individuality and social commonality and of nationalization and globalization, and highlights the call of a sublime faith in justice, and the promise of the reality of a universal good life for today’s Chinese people. “Chinese values” sets up an emphatic image of “the Chinese” as having the bearing and generous hearts of contemporary citizens of the world, the great features of benevolence, responsibility and commitment, and the ethos of self-respect, self-confidence, self-strengthening and independence.