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PKU125 | The Confucian Canon Project commenced at Peking University
May 01, 2023
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Peking University, May 1, 2023: Peking University celebrated the completion of the "Essence" of the Confucian Canon Project and the launch of the Confucian Canon Project series on April 28, 2023, as it approaches its 125th anniversary. The project, which is a 20-year endeavor to compile and organize Confucian classics in China, covering almost 200 million characters, includes 510 Chinese Confucian writings across 282 volumes, alongside 160 works by Confucian scholars from South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

The ceremony, held at the Yingjie Overseas Exchange Center, was attended by officials from inside and outside of the University, as well as scholars from South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam who joined the event virtually. The Vice President of Peking University, Sun Qingwei, presided over the ceremony.

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Hao Ping 

During the event, PKU Council Chairman Hao Ping emphasized that the Confucian Canon Project is the most extensive project to systematically sort out Confucian classics since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He highlighted that the project is a remarkable feat in China's history of collecting and publishing ancient literature, and it represents a significant accomplishment in preserving and studying ancient books in the new era.

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Zhang Zhiqing

Deputy Director of the National Library of China (NLC), Zhang Zhiqing, extended his congratulations to Peking University on behalf of the NLC, noting that the NLC stands ready to preserve, utilize and publicize the compilation of Confucian classics incorporated in the Confucian Canon Project. He expressed the NLC's willingness to cooperate with PKU and other institutions in areas such as the digital preservation, restoration and promotion of ancient books.

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Weng Tiehui 

In her speech, Vice Education Minister Weng Tiehui praised PKU’s efforts in organizing joint research and promoting international cooperation and exchange. She pointed out that the Confucian Canon Project represents a vivid example of promoting exchange and mutual learning between civilizations.

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The Confucian Canon Project is the most significant basic cultural construction project that systematically organizes Confucian classics in China and abroad since 1949. 

The project relies on the profound academic prowess and cultural heritage of Peking University. Nearly 500 scholars from about 100 universities and institutions in China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam have been dedicated to the systematic collation and research of Confucian literature. With academic vision and technical means, they have achieved significant results in textual collation, punctuation, and digitization, compiling the collection of Confucian classics into an independent document system.

Confucius (551-479 BC), an educator and philosopher, founded Confucianism, a school of thought that influenced later generations. For thousands of years, Confucius has been regarded as a symbol of China's traditional culture and intellectuals.

The Confucian Canon Project has been implemented in two steps. The early results of the "Essence" contain the most influential and representative Confucian literature in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese history. As a series, it has been compiled into 339 volumes. In the second phase, the project will continue to expand the size of literature, and the grand total will be more than 3,000, including the "Essence."

Edited by: Dennis Meng
Source: Editorial & Research Center of Confucian Canon; PKU News (Chinese)