Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

A Study of the Diplomatic Culture from Han to Tang Dynasty

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

A Study of the Diplomatic Culture from Han to Tang Dynasty

Article excerpt

Abstract

In ancient China, the royal courts had output the Confucian culture to the surrounding ethnic regimes, the Northeastern Asian countries and so on from Han to Tang Dynasty (202 B. C. - 907 A. D.) and it was the core content of the diplomatic culture. Second, with the introduction and development of Buddhism, some diplomatic activities were related to Buddhism and it also was an important diplomatic cultural characteristic from Han to Tang Dynasty. Again, Tang Dynasty was the heyday of the development of Taoism in China. In the diplomatic activities, the royal courts' output of Lao Zi's Tao Te Chin g and Lao Zi's pictures by request of Koryo, India, Japan and other countries also was a diplomatic cultural phenomenon worthy of attention in the period.

Key words: From Han to Tang dynasties; Diplomatic culture; Confucian culture; Buddhist culture; Taoist Culture

INTRODUCTION

In ancient China, the diplomacy had a big development from Han to Tang Dynasty (202 B. C. - 907 A. D.). At the time, China not only had frequently communications with neighboring minority regimes, but also opened up to the world and established diplomatic relations with a number of foreign countries. In this paper, the diplomacy includes two aspects: One refers to the communication relations of China and the surrounding minority regimes; another refers to the communication relations of China and foreign countries. At present, the main research result about the diplomacy from Han to Tang Dynasty is Li Hu's The History of Diplomatic Systems from Han to Tang Dynasty (Lanzhou University Press, 1998 edition), and the author analyzes the evolution processes and characteristics of the diplomatic systems from Han to Tang Dynasty with the perspectives of central royal decisions, but has less explanation about the diplomatic culture from Han to Tang Dynasty. This paper tries to explore this issue and intends to get some suggestions from experts.

1. THE OUTPUT OF THE CONFUCIAN CULTURE IN THE DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITIES FROM HAN TO TANG DYNASTY

In the Han Dynasty, the Emperor Wu of Western Han Dynasty carried out the policy of "Domination of Confucianism" and the impact of Confucian culture was strengthened day by day. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, Confucianism had its heyday. Later, the impact of Confucianism once declined. From the Sui to Tang Dynasty, Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism were equally emphasized by the royal courts. However, in fact, the Confucianism still had the most important position. The Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty declared: "I only like the ways of Yao and Shun, Zhou's and Confucian theories." (Wu, 1978, p.195) During this period, the royal courts had diplomatic activities with the surrounding ethnic regimes, the Northeast Asian countries, etc. and the output of the Confucian culture were the core content of the diplomatic culture.

From Han to Tang Dynasty, the royal courts had mainly output the Confucian etiquette and the Confucian classics of the surrounding ethnic regimes. In the seventeenth year of Kai Huang period of Sui Dynasty (597 A. D.), the mler Tuli khan of ancient Turkic people sent an envoys to China for his marrying Princess Anyi, "The top officials of the etiquette department taught them the etiquette" (Wei et al., 1982). In the fifteenth year of Zhenguan period of Tang Dynasty (641 A. D.), The Emperor Taizong let Princess Wencheng marry the ruler Song Zan Gan Bu (Srong-btsan Sgam-po) of Tubo (ancient Tibet, and ask Jiangxia governor Li Daozong to send the Princess to Tubo. When Song Zan Gan Bu saw Li Daozong, "He conducted the son-in-law etiquette and was very respectful. He praised Li Daozong's dress and etiquette and had a shame look. ...Later, he gave up the clothes made by fur, wore exquisite silk clothes, and admired the Chinese fashion. So he sent the royal children to Tang Dynasty to learn Chinese The Book of Poetry and The Four Books. He also requested Chinese intellectuals to edit his diplomatic documents. …

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