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Isolated from its neighbours by the vast windswept deserts of central Asia and the mighty Tibetan plateaus to the west by the Jungles of the south and by the Pacific Ocean to the east China developed a civilization and cultural tradition independent from the rest of the world even though it accepted many inventions and ideas created elsewhere Because of this isolated evolution the social institutions with which Chinese society are built upon are unique Included amongst this uniqueness is the development of a code of morality called Confucianism Confucius believed that both the world and its people were essentially moral and that it was the duty of superior minds to train themselves in benevolence or humanity ren and then to extend this out to all people Confucianism encouraged the submission of younger generations to their elders of women to their men and of all to the ruler of the state The leader of ancient China the King was considered to be personally responsible for the welfare of the world and he operated upon a Mandate of Heaven Thus this mandate offered the option of legitimate rebellion in Chinese life if the ruler no longer was seen to be given this mandate through heaven but it did not allow for revolution This deeply ingrained cultural acceptance of a single supreme leader transcended into the creation of Mao and Maoist thought Chinas millennium-old heritage of nondemocratic beliefs and institutions provides a backdrop for a cultural and historical understanding of the limits of democracy in China What democracy could mean in the Chinese context has been an issue since the first attempts to turn China into a democratic republic with the overthrow of imperial China and the establishment of the Kuominatang KMT or Nationalist party within the new Chinese Republic in 1912 This Republic proved incapable of administering a democratic government in China With less than ten years in existence the Republic began to
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