Similarity between the goals of Mao Zedong

Ethnocentrism in the Middle Kingdom

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Ethnocentrism in the Middle Kingdom

  • Ethnocentrism is a belief in cultural superiority – it is the belief that one culture is superior to other cultures

  • Throughout much of their history, the Chinese were ethnocentric – as were most people – the Chinese believed that China was the “Middle Kingdom” – the center of the world

  • This ethnocentrism reflected in the term – Middle Kingdom – led to a belief that the outside world had nothing of value – nothing to offer

  • Yu Huan, a Chinese historian, said circa 250 C.E., “What is recorded in the Buddhist scriptures is analogous to the teachings contained in the scripture of Laozi [the founder of Daoism] in China, and it is actually believed that Laozi, after having gone to India, instructed the barbarians and became the Buddha.”

  • Yu Huan is saying that Buddhist texts were from Laozi, the Chinese philosopher credited with the founding of Daoism – that Buddhist ideas came from Laozi –that Laozi went to India and taught the barbarians in India and became the Buddha

  • In the fictionalized account of the origins of Buddhism outlined in the passage above, Yu Huan’s purpose was most likely to assert the superiority of Chinese culture over non-Chinese cultures

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