Professor Peimin Ni writes with an intriguing request:
A friend of mine works as a local policy making/consulting officer at Confucius’ hometown Qufu. I received a request from him, saying that he would like to get help from the international community of scholars in Chinese philosophy. He wants to know what we perceive as the current situation, problems, and difficulties in (1) disseminating Confucianism outside of China, and (2) the establishment and operation of Confucius Institutes in the world. He would also like to know that (3) on the basis of our assessment of these situations, what we recommend for promoting broader understanding of Chinese culture in the world, and (4) what particularly relevant material we would recommend him to read. Any idea or suggestion would be appreciated.
The call for help, I think, is a good sign that the local government is conscientious about the cultural heritage. It would be great if we can help, even if just offering him bits and pieces of information or opinions.
Anyone with comments or suggestions can post theme here as comments, and Peimin will collect them and summarize them for his friend (who does not read English). Alternatively, if you wish you can just write to Peimin directly. Of course, general discussion of the issues raised here (which may or may not be helpful to an official in Qufu) is also welcome.