How has the cultural identity of China responded to and adapted to contact with foreigners

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Evidently, this goes to show that despite the achieved modernization of China in its economic, socio-political state of affairs, among others, it proved to the world that it has truly maintained its cultural identity. Maybe one inquisitive critic would like to know the factors how China kept its culture through all these years amidst the salient events that led to the great transformation of China from what it was before, having a weak economy, to what it has become today, a sprawling economic giant in East Asia and these are the issues which this paper intends to present. China’s achievements all these years may be traced from a number of significant events in its history that involved politics, culture and economic reforms that shaped China’s destiny and these can be viewed separately in four phases. First phase involved Ancient China. In its early beginnings, China started to be governed by feudalism and monarchy altering one dynasty after another. In fact, it was the Han dynasty which was considered the East Asian counterpart of and contemporary of Rome’s golden age rule (Cultural Essentials 2004). Ruling China for more than 400 years was reasonable enough to expect that it left lasting legacies in China and to the world like the invention of the first ‘paper’ and the adoption of Confucianism. … This probably explains why it was so difficult then for China to accept modernization. (Wu, J. n.d.). It was also during the four decades of Mao Tse Tung’s rule and his declaration of ‘self-reliance’ marked the deepest period of withdrawal from the international economy. (Schenk 2006). Contacts with the outside world were treated as risks to come with political destabilization. economic exploitation and cultural subversion thus, must be totally restricted and regulated (Harding 1993). It took so many years for the traditional China to keep its state of affairs closed from the Western world. The third phase begins with Western intrusion to China’s affairs whereby there were sporadic internal uprisings opposing to foreign encroachments, for example the Opium Rebellion in 1839-1842 (Ebrey, 1993) and Boxer Rebellion in 1900 (Rosenberg 2013). Milestones also occurred between 1899-1900 when US Secretary of State John Hay first initiated the ‘Open Door Policy’ through Notes( US Department of State, n.d.) which actually was a scuttle for concessions in China, so to speak ,among superpowers. This was also the period of Cultural Revolution as well as the momentum when China opted to adopt new economic and political reforms. The fourth phase is Contemporary China. Presently, China sprawls as the largest country in East Asia dealing with approximately almost 1.4 Billion people (China: World Statistics 2013). Finally, it was during the era of Deng Xiaoping that changed the course of the world by steering China’s class-oriented revolutionary struggle into tangible, economic development (Chihua Lin 2007). Actually, it was considered a period of sustained reforms under his leadership (Kau