August 14, 2019
Tianxia. What in the world is that? It is the worldview behind the way the Chinese – and all their tributaries – see the world. Tianxia is older than Christianity in terms of worldview. But in the same way Judeo-Christian principles undergird Western thought and democracy, Tianxia forms the foundation of Chinese thought and totalitarianism. Applied to both internal and international chaos, tianxia brings order – over everything and everyone. It pertains to all places, all the people and all things – transforming enemies into friends and the many into the one under one global understanding – expressly and exclusively Chinese.
China’s all-inclusive tianxia worldview can be seen in its approach to the Uighurs, Christians, and now Hong Kong. Significant to understand is the tactic of sinocisation which gives life to tianxia by the reeducation or conversion of others, not their conquest.
In 2005, Zhao Tingyang 赵汀阳 published The Tianxia System: A Philosophy for the World Institution (天下体系：世界制度哲学导论). It was a best-seller in the world’s most populous nation and its a book most American’s have never heard of. It weaves together the seemingly incoherent (tianxia, nationalism and cosmopolitanism) to present Chinese-style (Sinoistic totalitarian) solutions for the world’s problems. And chief among those problems? Those who need to be converted or transformed from the Christian and Western worldviews.