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Kind and correct image for China

By Naren Chitty | China Daily | Updated: 2012-11-05 08:13

A glittering concept from China's rich past can brand its relationships with the world community with eclat. Ren-yi has layers of Confucian meaning. I would like to reduce them to "benevolent rectitude" - being both kind and correct. What finer advocacy can China espouse in its relationships with the international community?

When I made these remarks at a conference in Nanjing in August, a Chinese scholar said foreigners were dazzled by China's classical civilization but had less interest in contemporary Chinese culture. But a culture that has been weathered by time speaks to the new, just as the new reinterprets the old. Kindness and correctness are seen in the behavior of many ordinary individuals that visitors encounter in China.

Let me offer as an example the Beijing taxi driver who spoke no English but spent an extra hour with me at my destination until the person I intended to meet found me. He refused to accept payment for the extra time he spent waiting with me. This kind of kindly correctness is often met in China, though, like other societies, it has its mix of good and bad eggs.

Kind and correct image for China

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