Confucius Back in China

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BEIJING--Confucius has returned, at least to Tiananmen Square. According to the World Journal,  a statue of the 5th century BC sage philosopher has just been erected there. The article notes the statue reflects the government's determination to see China's cultural legacy returned to its former glory.

Once vilified by Mao Zedong as the wellspring of China's past and future ills, in recent years there has been, alongside China's dramatic economic rise, a resurgent interest in Confucian thought and teaching, including his "Analects," a collection of sayings attributed to the itinerant scholar.

Confucian Institutes have been opened in countries around the world, with Beijing's backing, while traditional Confucian festivals and rituals, long moribund within China, have experienced something of a renaissance. A film version depicting the life of Confucius and starring internationally renown actor Chow Yun-fat is also enjoying ardent support from authorities in Beijing.

Standing some 30 feet tall, the bronze statue was completed on January 12th, and sits just in front of the National Museum, its eyes fixed on the distant horizon and on the portrait of Mao Zedong, which hangs atop the entrance to the Forbidden City, the two poised in an unlikely relationship as paragons of the party's ideological and cultural foundations, providing some serious food for thought.