Huazhong Tu, Xinyu Liu & Zhiling Zhao
At the end of the Qing Dynasty, China was still a very poor and backward country. In order to rid their country of the fate of poverty and backwardness, many young Chinese chose to study abroad and acquire advanced scientific and cultural knowledge, thus helping China escape its fate.
Among them, Li Dazhao is a very famous one, and he was admitted to Tianjin Beiyang Law School in 1907. After graduating in 1913, he went to Japan to study political science at Tokyo’s Waseda University.
He worked at Peking University after returning to China, where he made an ongoing effort to teach and inspire youth to pursue further education. Comrade Mao Zedong, the leader of China, hailed him as a “real teacher.”
During Li Dazhao’s tenure as the director of Peking University Library, he made extensive book purchases and reformed the administration and services, quickly transforming Peking University Library from a closed structure into China’s first new modern library, and making significant contributions to the research and study of teachers and students at Peking University at that time.
Over the brief 38 years of Li Dazhao, he had a significant impact on China’s perspective on the world. The thoughts and ideas of Li Dazhao offer China crucial direction for managing foreign affairs, shaping international image, defending national interests, and participating in international human rights.
As mentioned earlier, even at the end of the Qing Dynasty, China remained a poor and backward nation. Li Dazhao put a lot of effort into his studies while he was studying in Japan, particularly for this reason. He made an intentional effort to acquire sophisticated information but also insisted on discovering the truth from the facts, emphasizing the need to actively acquire advanced cultural knowledge from developed nations based on actual conditions.
In addition to bringing sophisticated international cultural knowledge back to China, Li Dazhao personally instructed students on how to put their newly acquired knowledge to use in practical work.
Li Dazhao was a pioneering foreign student in China who made an invaluable contribution to enhancing China’s exchanges with countries around the world. He insisted on acquiring cutting-edge scientific and cultural knowledge and strove to keep up with developed countries, which is conducive to China deepening its contacts with other countries in the world.
Furthermore, China’s diplomacy has benefited from Li Dazhao’s persistence in pursuing the truth in the facts. China has consistently handled its international affairs by treating other nations equally, respecting the basic principles of international law and the basic norms of international relations, and viewing peaceful coexistence as the default position.
China’s foreign policy is grounded in reality, pays attention to practical benefits and feasibility, and contributes to the realization of national interests and the welfare of the populace. China has gained the respect and trust of the international community as a result of its pragmatic diplomacy, which has also created conditions for China to participate in international affairs.
Li Dazhao acknowledged the historical accomplishments of Chinese culture, explored a new path for China culture’s advancement, and considered the advantages and disadvantages between China and western culture logically and impartially.
His firm sense of cultural self-confidence promoted the self-esteem and self-confidence of Chinese people, and it was crucial in shaping China’s international image and safeguarding national interests. On the international stage, China demonstrated its own culture, values and development achievements, which enhanced the international community’s recognition of China.
At the same time, China adheres to the path of autonomous development, and is not affected by external pressure, thus maintaining the independence and sovereignty of the country and laying a solid foundation for the long-term development of China.
Li Dazhao upholds the values of democracy and equality, resisting the destruction and oppression of the people by the power systems of western countries. He promotes the progress and democratization of Chinese society and is a key figure in China’s international struggle for democracy and human rights.
Currently, China actively works to advance the universal principles of justice, fairness, democracy, peace, development, and human freedom. While consistently promoting its own human rights cause, China also contributes Chinese wisdom and strategy to the global human rights effort, with the intent of nurturing its own talents and aiding the world.
China and Pakistan are both important members in the international community, sharing similar national conditions and facing similar international environment. In the face of the gap between China and western developed countries, Li Dazhao’s thoughts encouraged generations of Chinese people, made them work hard, constantly learn from other countries’ strengths, and promoted China’s economic development.
Eventually, China’s economy made remarkable contributions. Besides, Li Dazhao’s thoughts enabled China to handle international affairs objectively and practically, gaining the respect of the international community.
Li Dazhao placed a strong emphasis on cultural self-confidence, established national self-esteem and self-confidence, provided the foundation and motivation for shaping China’s international image, and made China more firmly defend its core interests and sovereignty.
The values of democracy and equality advocated by Li Dazhao have laid a solid foundation for the development of human rights protection in China and enabled China to participate in the world human rights cause. People in China can still feel the influence of Li Dazhao’s thoughts today, and his ideas still guide China’s actions on the international stage, making important contributions to the development of China.
Additionally, Li Dazhao’s thoughts will enhance communication between China and other countries in the world, especially between China and Pakistan, consolidating our common friendship and fundamentally promoting regional peace and development.
*The authors are scholars from Southwest University of Political Science and Law, P.R. China.
**The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization neither endorses nor assumes any responsibility for the content of this article.