Professor warnings over conservatism in China





Contemporary China should never just stick to its traditions but has to be open-minded and also learn from the West in order to contribute to the creation of a new civilisation in the world, a mainland professor said in Macau yesterday.

Shen Xiaoyuen, a professor of history at the Nanjing University made the remark in a public lecture, “Critical Thoughts About New Conservatism in Contemporary Mainland China”, at the University of Macau.

New Conservatism, also known as neoconservatism, was a movement first arose among thinkers and the cultural scene between the 80s and 90s in mainland China. It argued that progress was best accomplished through gradual reform of society, avoiding revolution and sudden overthrow of the government.

Hence, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 were deemed in error as they attempted to change society through revolutionary means.
According to Professor Shen, since the 90s there was a “strong conservative movement” in the academic sector in China, which was related to the “patriotic education and the legitimacy of political propaganda” at that time....

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