Since 1949, we lost China to Mao’s Communist regime; we had fight with Mao’s army in Korea and Vietnam. To me, if we would get qualified Sino experts in US side, the outcome of Korea and Vietnam wars would be different.
However, we cannot rewrite history, only can we look forward and learn form history.
Monday (July 27, 2009) the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) between US and China just kicked out in Washington. I heard some quite interesting Chinese proverbs and Chinese’s Mencius quoting. I can assume those Chinese literacy are mostly crafted by the Sino expert in their appropriate US department.
Madame Secretary, Clinton, may make the best. In February with China, She said, “ In Same boat, we help!” Monday, she use a very famous Chinese phase “ When people are of one mind and heart, we can move Mt. Tai.” It seems to me that every time she can quote a new, creative and appropriate Chinese to welcome her counterpart, the Chinese delegates.
For Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, may be his department is still under staff especially China expert, he paraphrases of Madame Clinton’s word “In same boat, we help." He wastes lot money for his studying in China!
Now comes to our President, Barack Obama! His quotation of Mencius, strikes my heart and let me instantly think of best Sino expert and our last Ambassador in China at 1949, John Leighton Stuart. The only Ambassador who understands very well about Four Books. Only would this kind of Sino expert , could provide Mencius literature President Obama who used in the opening speech in SED . Apparently, the Sino experts did their home works. They know that Confucius is hot again in China; And Confucius College is building in most big city (e.g., in NY) in foreign country. For Chinese, Confucius and Mencius are belong the same school and are same kind of scholars, philosophers or my view the pioneer of Chinese political scientists.
The original quotations that President Obama used which was recorded in Mencius, by Heart the second Chapter. The original meaning is that Mencius criticizes his disciple Kuo Tsze (Zi) for not practices well about benevolent, by knowing it only and not continuously uses and applies it in society. He criticizes Kuo, the path to benevolent is cleared and formed, you have to use it, and otherwise the long grass will come again and stuffed the path. And now you mind is stuffed. *(The Original Chinese By Mencius to Kuo Tsze: 「孟子謂高子曰：『山徑之蹊間，介然用之而成路。為間不用，則茅塞之矣。今茅塞子之心矣。』」 Form Chinese World Journal)
President Obama only provided the common meaning in his speech, used the dialogue between Chinese philosopher and pioneer of Chinese Political Science, Mencius and his disciple to remind the Chinese delegates: ‘this is comparable to people walking on paths through grasslands. As long as people keep walking on the path, the path will remain there. If people don’t walk on the path, weeds and grasses will grow back and obscure it.’”
I have to admit that it is excellent quotation, the Sino Experts of this Administration hint that there was a good “dialogue” in Olden Chinese between Mencius and Kuo Tsze. In this SED, we should learn it and use it. With regard to certain disagreements that currently exist between the US and China, Obama emphasized the need to resolve problems by means of continuing dialogue with the wisdom of Mencius. In additional to this, Mencius contends that the innate essence of human process good or humane quality. Only the afterward environment change the nature of a person.
I hope the two main Chinese representatives, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo may understand Confucius and Mencius well. The great idea of Confucius and Mencius: Harmony and benevolent. Understand them and talking are not enough, need to practice and “walk the path”.
The Sino-expert didn’t suggest our President Obama to quote Karl Marx but Mencius. I hope the Chinese comrades have the courage to get rid of the “Goat skin” of Communism and further walk out the shadow of Deng Xiaoping. Sino-expert of America can learn something from Mencius. Chinese surely can learn from him too and change the modern China to a positive rising China.
My impression about the Sino-experts around this Administration is strong and positive.
*All Chinese works provided by Dr. John Chan.