Confucian geopolitics in the age of competitive regionalism

Rosita Dellios, R. James Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


If Confucius was as celebrated in international relations as Sunzi has been in the study of strategy, the world would now enjoy greater peace and more equitable governance. Efforts by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to promote the concept and practice of a harmonious world, first articulated on the global stage by the then PRC president Hu Jintao at his United Nations speech of 2005, can be seen as compatible with Confucian ideals of good governance and balanced statecraft. The theme of harmonious and peaceful relations has been continued by current President Xi Jinping via numerous initiatives, which are discussed below. While it is easy to understand in a competitive world the need for tactical deceptions-or stratagems-as advocated by Sunzi's A rt of War , it is not so readily appreciated that Confucian harmony can generate positive perspectives on state relations. The notion of Confucian-inspired international relations is no mere deception of the tactical Daoist variety toward Legalist (or state power) ends. Confucianism's scope is much greater as a political philosophy and practical guide to governance than it has been given credit for.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational Symposium Commemorating 2565th Anniversary of Confucius' Birthday - Beijing, China
Duration: 24 Sept 2014 → …


ConferenceInternational Symposium Commemorating 2565th Anniversary of Confucius' Birthday
Period24/09/14 → …


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