Opinion / Zhu Yuan

Zhu Yuan

Zhu Yuan is an editorial writer with China Daily’s opinion department. He writes editorials about social and cultural issues.

Book provides clue to institutional reform

[2009-08-26 07:41]

The financial crisis on Wall Street once again rings the alarm bell that there is no such a thing as laissez-faire being able to give full play to economic growth without any negative effect. The repeated back and forth of regulation and deregulation by governments in the Western world, the United States in particular, reveals the intrinsic problem between markets, institutions and individuals. For such a late-comer as China in terms of market economy, more attention to the relationship between the three elements is more than necessary to preempt pitfalls that the malfunctioning of its social institutions may quite probably cause to its healthy economic growth.

Simplified structure adds to cultural gap

[2009-08-21 07:57]

A list of 8,300 Chinese characters for common use was published last week to solicit public opinion. This is the third time it is being done to regularize characters since 1956 and was against a different background: the heated debate over whether to restore the unsimplified traditional Chinese characters. That this list contains 1,335 more characters than its previous version published in 1986 is considered by some as a gesture of compromise to both sides in the debate.

Freedom of expression key to prosperity

[2009-08-19 07:56]

It is unjust to denounce all informers, but the Chinese equivalent, gaomizhe, is usually used as a negative term for those who inform on others with an ax to grind. There are informers everywhere at any time. But what was really awful in history was the use of informants by rulers as a means to get to know what was on people's minds, or to be exact, the terror created among the public by the wide use of informants to hush the grievances.

Some light on ancient political philosophy

[2009-08-12 07:50]

If Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) earned himself a name as the originator of the idea of political pragmatism because of his book The Prince, his Chinese counterpart Shang Yang (390-338 BC), prime minister of the Qin State in Warring States Period (475-221 BC), gained his fame as a Legalist (fajia, a school of thought) for his book Shangjun Shu, or the Book of the Lord of Shang.

Book sheds light on growth of mafia

[2009-08-05 07:52]

The very popular book Once Upon a Time in Northeast China, Underworld Stories in 20 Years traces the development of a particular Chinese gang from a small group of gangsters into a mafia in the real sense. Such a story reminds me of the greenwoods outlaws in ancient China being described in numerous fictions.

Enough thought for interests of workers

[2009-07-29 07:53]

History can never be reversed, but we sometimes need to look back in time to get a perspective for a solution to today's problems. That explains why history has been described in China as a mirror, which can reflect what we can hardly make sense of at present.

The paradox of the Jia Junpeng phenomenon

[2009-07-25 07:59]

Let's call it the "Jia Junpeng phenomenon."

Common sense helps a new world order

[2009-07-22 07:58]

Where is the world to go is a question for big powers and their politicians. It is almost impossible for the United States to maintain a unipolar world any more as transnational challenges such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, civil conflicts and terrorism are not for any single country to address.

Professor traces root cause of financial tsunami

[2009-07-15 07:48]

Something that everybody talks about is likely to become a general term, with its context and connection to other things becoming hazy. The "financial crisis", which triggered the current global economic slowdown, may have developed into such an expression. For those who have been vague about what it is all about from the very beginning, such an epochal turmoil may just be one more term for a bad thing in economic sphere.

Draw on wisdom of ancestors for system building

[2009-07-08 07:43]

With a history of thousands of years as a unified nation, China and its people habitually look to the past as a mirror to reflect on what is desired today. This theme is typical in Chinese operas, in which almost all moralizations are based on past stories. Fed up as many Chinese have been with this habit, we still may benefit by drawing on the wisdom of our ancestors.

Shoulders stoop carrying education system's weight

[2009-07-04 08:30]

If there is anything that should never be industrialized and rolled off from assembly lines, it's academia. The reason doesn't get any simpler: The input is creative thinking and the output creative ideas or arguments.

Tacit rules undermine nation's rule of law

[2009-07-01 07:52]

Unwritten or tacit rules are everywhere, and are observed to circumvent explicit rules for personal gains in officialdom. Finding a balance between such rules and the established laws and regulations has become a must for corrupt officials to get endorsement from higher authorities for what they have done on the one hand and reaping dirty gains on the other hand.

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