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Middle Kingdom是哪国?

[ 2009-08-27 10:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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Middle Kingdom是哪国?

Reader's question: Middle kingdom Absenc of racial or religious prejudice is traditional in China. For two thousand years foreigners had been encouraged to settle in the Middle kingdom and practice their religions and retain their customs. Could you explain “Middle kingdom”?

My comments:

Middle Kingdom is another name for China, a literal translation from zhong guo. Ancient China flattered itself by believing that it was the centre of the world.

The above assertion that foreigners had been “encouraged” to settle in here is another self-flattering way of looking at history. Closer to the truth is perhaps merely a case of “they came, they saw and they settled” - and indeed sometimes they conquered as well, to make the Caesarean allusion complete.

To be fair, though, neither of the two major Chinese philosophies of Taoism (which dominates life on the popular level) or Confucianism (the official doctrine) was seriously against foreign ideas. Rather, both philosophies tend to let them be.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.