The Chinese scholar, politician and philosopher Confucius spent his life trying to change politics and to improve people’s lives. His philosophy emphasised personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. Yet Confucian-influenced countries, including China, still struggle with many of the issues he challenged 2,500 years ago. Since the death of Confucius in 479 BC, the adoption and use of Confucianism has ebbed and flowed, but is it still relevant in today’s world? Professor Joseph Chan, from the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong, believes so, and that it contains ethical and political insights for the 21st Century.
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