Chinese Philosophy and Universal Values in Contemporary China


  • John Makeham La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia



universal values, tianxia, Chen Lai, Xu Jilin, Ge Zhaoguang


Consistent with its growing economic, political and military might, China wants due recognition by and engagement with the global community of nations. This aspiration is complicated by the fact that Chinese political leaders and intellectuals continue to struggle with how “Chinese values” fit with “universal values”, and whether there is a single global modernity or whether there are multiple modernities and multiple—perhaps competing—universal values. In this paper I examine how some prominent Chinese philosophers are engaging with these issues, despite the fact that in 2013 the topic of “universal values” was prohibited as a discussion topic in universities on the mainland.


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How to Cite

Makeham, J. (2020). Chinese Philosophy and Universal Values in Contemporary China. Asian Studies, 8(2), 311–334.