Chinese Civilization in Vistas of World Civilization

by Jiang Yi-hua (Author)
©2021 Monographs VI, 124 Pages


This book aims to introduce all aspects of Chinese civilization in a way that is easiest for readers in the Western world to understand. The first chapter of this book introduces the emergence, historical evolution and characteristics of Chinese civilization. The second chapter introduces the knowledge pedigree of Chinese civilization, which is characterized by human-centered and historical and social practice. The third chapter introduces the value pedigree of Chinese civilization with ethics and responsibility as the core and the fourth chapter introduces the national governance system of Chinese civilization in selecting and appointing talents. The fifth chapter introduces China’s self-organization of mutual assistance and mutual benefit and the final chapter discusses the relationship between Chinese civilization and world civilization in the new era. Since entering the 21st century, China's economic aggregate and political influence have increased day by day. However, for a long time, the Western world's view of China has been full of various prejudices and misunderstandings which are produced by the ignorance of the history and current situation of Chinese civilization. It is hoped that readers can profoundly change their views on China after reading this book.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Chapter one China: An Everlasting Civilization
  • 1.1 Chinese Civilization Is the Only Primary Civilization That Continues to This Day
  • 1.2 Chinese Civilization Is Created Independently by the Chinese People
  • 1.3 Chinese Civilization Is the Joint Creation of All Ethnic Groups Living in This Land
  • 1.4 Chinese Civilization Is Constantly Enriched by Absorbing the Essence of Other Civilizations
  • Chapter Two A People-Oriented Knowledge Pedigree with the Care of Historical Connection and Social Practice
  • 2.1 From “Divination” to “Historical Facts”
  • 2.2 The Structure of Chinese Traditional Knowledge Pedigree
  • 2.3 The Spread and Succession of the Chinese Knowledge Pedigree
  • Chapter Three The Value Pedigree with Responsibility as Its Core in Ethics
  • 3.1 Taking the Family and the Country as One’s Own Duty
  • 3.2 The Core Values of Chinese Ethics of Responsibility
  • 3.3 Rule of Virtue, Rites, and Law: The Realization of the Responsibility Ethics Value Pedigree
  • Chapter Four The Governance of a Nation of Grand Unification with the System of Selecting Talents According to Their Merits
  • 4.1 A Unified Country Is the Normal State of Governance in the Chinese Civilization
  • 4.2 The System of Prefectures and Counties: The Beginning of Selecting Talents According to Their Merits
  • 4.3 The Various Challenges to Grand Unification in the Last Hundred Years
  • Chapter Five The Self-Management of the Self-Organization in a Mutual Benefit Society
  • 5.1 The Social Self-Organization Based on Families and Folks
  • 5.2 Gentry and Squire: The Leadership of Self-Organization
  • 5.3 The Reconstruction and Transition of Self-Organization
  • Chapter Six Embracing a New Era of Cultural Communication and Exchanges
  • 6.1 The Diverse Development of Multi-civilization in the Present Day
  • 6.2 Communication and Exchanges vs. Clashes
  • 6.3 The Common Mission of All Civilizations in the Present World
  • Translator’s Acknowledgement

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Chapter one

China: An Everlasting Civilization

Chinese civilization was created by the Chinese people in this united nation. The Chinese people continually reformed traditions from previous generations and innovated according to actual needs to gradually evolve into the country it is today and, in this way, the ancient Chinese civilization gradually evolved into the current state.

1.1 Chinese Civilization Is the Only Primary Civilization That Continues to This Day

When did Chinese civilization begin to take shape? Previously it was considered that the emergence of writing, that is, the oracle inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty marked the start of civilization. According to this belief Chinese civilization had been born at least 3,600 years ago. Nowadays, it is generally believed that the “Hereditary Monarchy”1 was implemented in the Xia Dynasty, which put the family, private ←1 | 2→ownership, and state into a dominant position. Counting from that time, Chinese civilization had been born 4,000 years ago. However, in 1973, at the Hemudu Site in Yuyao City of Zhejiang Province, a carbonated paddy of 7,000 years ago was unearthed. In 1988, a large number of rice husks containing pottery pieces of 9,000 years ago were found at the Pengtoushan Site in Lixian County, Hunan Province. The world’s earliest cultivated rice was discovered in Yuchanyan of Daoxian County in 1993, with an estimated age of about 14,000–18,000 years. In Hunan Province, nearly 10,000 grains of carbonized rice of 8,000 years ago were unearthed in 1995 at the Bashidang Site of Lixian County. In 1996, ancient rice fields dated to about 6,000 years ago were discovered at the Chengtoushan Site in Lixian County. A large amount of carbonized bran and a complete irrigation system of 4,000 years ago were found in 2006 at the Jijiaocheng Site in Lixian County. The cultivation of rice, the establishment of irrigation systems, the construction of cities, and regular sacrificial ceremonies indicate that people had made great breakthrough not only in responding to the challenges of the natural environment, but also in orderly self-management and the formulation of a common belief and spiritual life. On June 18, 2015 a press conference held by the Information Center of the State Council about the evacuation achievements of Taosi Site announced that the total city area of Taosi Site in Xiangfen County, Linfen City of Shanxi Province constituted 2.8 million square meters; this included the palace, outer city, residential area of lower-level aristocracy, storage area, royal cemetery (kings’ tomb), observatory (altar), handicraft workshop area, and residential area for ordinary people. The burial pottery drums, chime stones, bronze bells, and other ceremonial instruments unearthed in the royal cemetery indicate that a prehistoric ritual music system has been formed. The cinnabar writing on the pottery flat pots is probably the earliest Chinese writing characters. The emergence of kingship and the preliminary formation of etiquette indicate that the inhabitants of Taosi Site had entered the initial stage of governance and state at least 4,300 years ago. All these facts confirm that the basic elements of Chinese civilization had emerged at that time.

The first primary civilization in the world is usually considered to be the Sumerian-Akkadian civilization in the downstream area of the ←2 | 3→Tigris and Euphrates rivers, also known as the Mesopotamian civilization. It gradually emerged in about 4300 BC from 3500 BC to 2400 BC, the Sumerians dug canals in southern Mesopotamia, established complex irrigation system, and built cities and states; they invented and the cuneiform writing characters marked the forming of this civilization.

The second primary civilization is the Egyptian civilization in the middle and downstream of the Nile river. It gradually developed since 4000 BC, and a unified country with its own writing system and unique religion began to form about 3100 BC. This continued throughout the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom. Ancient Egypt experienced many secessions, alien invasions, and developmental fractures, and continued until the 6th century BC.

The third primary civilization is the Indus civilization formed in the Indus Valley in 2500 BC or even earlier. With urban construction, advanced water, and drainage systems, as well as a writing system, the civilization had flourished for a thousand years before being disrupted. In 1500 BC, groups of Aryans poured into the subcontinent from the northwest (the northern Iranian plateau) and created a new civilization system, the Vedic Civilization that had no previous inheritance.

The fourth primary civilization is the Aegean civilization in Crete and Mycenae in the Greek Islands of the Aegean. This civilization began to form in 2800 BC and ended in the 12th century BC.

The above four primary civilizations are all civilization systems formed independently with no relationship to other civilizations, and they formed at about the same time. The Chinese civilization is also an independent civilization system that has no kinship with other civilizations, and the time and path of its formation are very similar to the above-mentioned four primary civilizations.

Central American and Andean civilizations are also civilizations that were formed independently without being related to others. They originated comparatively late and were interrupted suddenly. What people see today is just the ruins of the Mayan and Inca civilization.


VI, 124
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2021 (August)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2021. VI, 124 pp.

Biographical notes

Jiang Yi-hua (Author)

Jiang Yi-hua, born in February 1939, is from Yangzhou, Jiangsu. He is currently a researcher at the China Research Institute of Fudan University, director of the Modernization Process Research Center of Fudan University, professor of the Department of History, and doctoral supervisor.


Title: Chinese Civilization in Vistas of World Civilization
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132 pages