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Confucius books capture Xi’s interest

Zhao Xinying
Updated: Sep 25,2014 1:29 PM     China Daily

More than 1,000 students and teachers bow to a statue of Confucius at a primary school in Lanzhou, Gansu province, ahead of a recent recital of traditional literary works.[Photo by Pei Qiang/For China Daily]

Two books on Confucianism have gained popularity among scholars and ordinary readers alike after President Xi Jinping said he would read them.

Xi made the comment during his November visit to Qufu, Confucius’ hometown in Shandong province.

“I will read these two books carefully,” Xi said to his two companions as he looked through classics and periodicals on Confucianism with interest at the Confucius Research Institute in Qufu.

One of the books was about interpretations of The Analects of Confucius, while the other had quotes from Confucius’ talks with his family members.

The two books on Confucianism in bookstore.[Photo/China Daily]

Yang Chaoming, the head of the institute, said the two books drew widespread attention after Xi showed interest.

“In recent years, people have gradually realized the importance of Chinese traditional culture, including Confucianism, and have begun to pay more attention to it,” Yang said.

“President Xi’s interest in the two books made people want to know more. And that led to the apparent increase in their circulation,” he said. “Meanwhile, the two books are more frequently mentioned by scholars in academic exchanges and discussions.”

Xi said in a speech after a discussion on Confucianism by a panel of experts that China boasts a long traditional culture and will create a new glory of its culture.

He also stressed that research on Confucius and Confucianism should aim at making the past serve the present, discarding the less valuable while keeping the essential, so that the thoughts of the renowned philosopher can exert a positive influence today.

Yang said he appreciated the affection and respect Xi showed toward traditional culture.

“As the top leader of the Party and the country, President Xi is setting a good example for people all over the country who are inheritors of Chinese culture, which includes Confucianism and many other things,” Yang said.

Zhao Ruixue contributed to this story.