Cultural China: "All people are my brothers and sisters"


Winter is comingAn aerial view of the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as the ‘Ice Ribbon’, the venue for speed skating events at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. The ‘curse’ of Olympic overspending looks set to strike again at the Beijing Games, with stringent Covid-19 measures and loss of ticket sales pushing up the cost of hosting the Winter Olympics. — AFP

BEIJING: "All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions" reflects typical Confucianism in China.

This idea was first put forward by Zhang Zai (1020-1077) of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), who held that people and things are all created by the vital force of heaven and earth, and thus have the same nature.

Zhang advocated love for all the people and things in the world, and his view transcended the old anthropocentric viewpoint and aimed to reach harmony between oneself and other human beings as well as between oneself and other creatures.

It is the same as the idea that a true gentleman has ample virtue and care for all things. This notion is an important part of the neo-confucianism thought during the Song (960-1279) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties.

Its extended meaning refers to the state of harmony among people, and the unity of all things all over the world.

The old saying has influenced generations of Chinese people and has become the guide for people to deal with interpersonal relationships and the relations between humans and all things with benevolence.

It is not only an important value concept of the harmonious development of the Chinese nation, but also an important cultural origin for building a "community with a shared future for mankind", which is one of the solutions China has provided for the world to create a better future and cope with the current difficulties.

The old saying embodies China's global vision of integrating its own development with that of the world, and a sense of responsibility as a major country.

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, China has provided nearly two billion doses of vaccines for more than 120 countries and international organisations, and contributed to the fair distribution and use of vaccines worldwide.

The upcoming Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will serve as a grand gathering of athletes from across the world. It also advocates a universal goal of unity, peace, progress and inclusiveness.

Its official motto of "Together for a Shared Future," is also in line with China's initiative of building a community with a shared future for mankind, representing the modern application and development of the Chinese old saying. - Xinhua

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