In recent years the Chinese government has increasingly employed ideas from Confucian thought in political campaigns and projects. This revival of Confucianism by the Chinese government is a paradox because Confucianism and the social values and structures it stood for has been under heavy attack during the first three decades of the history of the Peoples Republic of China. Why then would the very same regime that so rigorously criticized Confucianism make such a radical change in standpoint? The most straight forward answer to this question seems to be that the revival of Confucianism serves to fill an ideological gap after Communism has lost its appeal as a result of three decades of capitalist driven economic development and political reforms (Chen Ming 2009; Cho and Jeung 2008). Filling an ideological gap however does not seem to be the only purpose. By giving a comprehensive account of the phenomenon, this researcher will show that while the domestic legitimization crisis may have been the starting point for utilizing ideas from Confucianism, the purposes have broadened to also include strengthening Chinas soft power image and reinforcing the Chinese Model of Development as well.
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2nd International Conference on Specific Topics in Chinese Studies: One Hundred Years of Modern China, 2012