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Confucius statue in beijing

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Social Studies High School

Confucius and Chinese Culture

Confucius was a philosopher who was born more than 2500 years ago in China, and his ideas have become central to China’s identity. His ideas became Chinese imperial philosophy and they were especially popular during the pivotal Han and Tang and Song Dynasties. Today, China is working to broaden not only its economic and diplomatic power, but also its cultural influence, and is looking back to Confucianism for help. China hopes that extending their soft power will lead to an increase in its ability to export Chinese values as well. But this story finds that Chinese values may not be applicable across all cultures. Listen to hear more about this soft-power powerhouse and how a centuries-old philosopher still leads a nation.

China Culture Religion

Story Length: 6:53

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National Public Radio © 2008 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 04/02/2008

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