A Comparison Between Western and Chinese Political Ideas: The Difference and Complementarity of the Liberal-Democratic and Moral-Despotic Traditions

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The polarities between the Chinese and Western political traditions are striking. They contradict each other in their views of society and human nature, and in the importance allocated to law, morality and democracy. This study argues that the best ideas of both traditions could be combined in a dialectical unity, a synthesis which would facilitate progress and human development. This work of theory offers many practical lessons. China will more likely adopt Western political ideas than vice versa, but Dr. Zheng shows that some Chinese ideas are highly exportable, when stripped of their Confucian language, and that they can be reconciled with liberal-democratic thinking and free-market society.

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