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Contribution to Book
Preface to the Chinese Edition
人权与中国思想》 [Human Rights and Chinese Thought] (2012)
  • Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University
In the years since this book was first published, scholars and citizens in both East and West have continued to discuss the relations between the universality and historical- cultural particularity of human rights. There is no question that China’s continuing rise in economic and political prominence has fueled desires to see a rise of Chinese values as well: surely a five-thousand-year-old civilization has much to contribute to the contemporary world? In China, the last few years have witnessed a wide-ranging debate that pits advocates of “universal values” against those who favor a “China model.” Human rights are certainly not the only topic in this debate; disputants have covered economic and political organization, general values like freedom and well-being, and whether the global community is or should be converging on a single set of values. Perhaps one lesson that should be drawn from this debate is that there is no one answer— neither a single understanding of “universal values” nor a single “China model”—that applies to all of these different spheres. 
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Stephen C. Angle. "Preface to the Chinese Edition" 人权与中国思想》 [Human Rights and Chinese Thought] (2012)
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