Marry Western thought with Chinese reality, says daily

August 22nd, 2012 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 22 (IANS) Western thought has to be combined with China’s reality to produce a positive impetus, said a state-run Chinese daily that described the westernization of the country as “just the dream of a few idealists”.

An article in the op-ed page of Global Times Wednesday said that Chinese society “needs a new round of enlightenment, or another emancipation of thought, to broaden our views and resist any spiritual suppression by outside values”.

It said that during the 1980s, Western thought streamed into China.

“…This enlightenment has changed the development process of thought in Chinese society, ensuring that the reform and opening-up could go forward in the following three decades,” it added.

“What is `God’ in Chinese people’s minds nowadays?,” the daily asked and answered: “It is not notions embedded in traditional ideologies. Instead, these deified notions are the power that once helped China break away from old-fashioned ideas.”

The article noted that though Western thought hasn’t occupied a dominant position in China yet, it does seem appealing to many of China’s elites and has gradually influenced public opinion.

“It has created new `political correctness’, and holds more weight than its opposing voices. It goes against the values they promote, damaging the freedom of ideas,” it added.

Stating that China is a net importer of ideas, the daily cautioned: “…Chinese society needs to have the ability to selectively apply imported ideology.”

Having learnt lessons in its modern history of “surrendering to external ideas”, the article said that the country “suffered from a dogmatic implementation of Marxism during the new democratic revolution era. It later charted its own path by localizing Marxism”.

Now it needs a localisation of Western-style democracy, it said.

“Western thought has to be combined with China’s reality to produce a positive impetus. Given China’s size, completely copying the Western model has no historical or realistic basis in China. The westernization of China is just the dream of a few idealists,” it added.

It stressed that China has to take a path of its own.

“This is not to be different on purpose, but because the Western model cannot fit China.”

“China needs a new enlightenment. It needs a large number of great thinkers and opinion leaders to initiate it,” the daily added.

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