As the economic relationship between China and Australia continues to go from strength to strength, Bond University recently held an inaugural international symposium that sought to better understand Chinese culture and values through the teachings of Confucius.
The Confucianism and Modern Society International Symposium explored how the Confucian brand of philosophy can be applied in today's modern world, with academic and business professionals from around the globe sharing their expertise on how the Confucianism tradition can influence business internationally.
The symposium was a joint collaboration between Bond University's Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, and the Beijing Foreign Studies University Center for East-West Relations, with presentations from international experts from the University of San Francisco, China University of Political Science and Law, Seoul National University and the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.
Bond University Associate Professor, Dr Rosita Dellios, said that in light of China emerging as a 21st century superpower, it was important that we have an understanding of how Chinese culture and values apply to the modern world.
"Confucianism has been the cornerstone of Chinese culture for over 2000 years, and for that reason its influence cannot be overlooked," said Dr Dellios.
"The symposium was about looking at the Confucian philosophy and reenergising the messages that apply to contemporary society, such as the focus on humaneness and not being held back by pettiness.
"Leading academics in the field covered a diverse range of topics, including 'What Confucius can teach us as China goes global' and 'Confucian Humaneness in modern human rights politics'.
"The symposium was not just about philosophy; it's about understanding the societal values and culture of the Chinese in order for us to continue to maintain a healthy economic and trade relationship within a wider range of interests into the future."
Dr Dellios said Bond University was initiating the symposium in order to facilitate East-West communication between Australia and China within the context of the Indo-Pacific region.
"The Confucianism and Modern Society International Symposium was a collaborative effort between Bond and the Beijing Foreign Studies University Center for East-West Relations, and we expect that next year's symposium will be held in Beijing."