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Article

Древность на службе современности: теория морального реализма Янь Сюэтуна и будущее мирового порядка

Recently Chinese IR scholars have been debating the need to create their own original theory of international

relations, which is traditionally dominated by Western scholars. One of the key contributors to the ongoing debate

is Yan Xuetong, the professor of Tsinghua University. In 2005 he started a research project, which aim was to

enrich international relations with non-Western thought and historical experience. He analyzed Chinese classical

texts from the Pre-Qin era and evaluated their applicability to the analysis of modern international relations. In

2014 he formulated the theory of moral realism, which combined main assumptions of realism with new concepts

derived from the ancient Chinese thought. The main goal of the theory and related research questions is to provide

an alternative explanation of China’s rise and the future of the world order. In this article, the authors analyse

the key concepts of the theory presented in different publications of Yan Xuetong: morality, political strength,

power, types of leadership and types of major power. The key concept of the theory is morality, which is borrowed

from the ancient Chinese philosophy. Moral behaviour in domestic and international politics increases strength

and comprehensive power of a state on the international arena, while moral qualities of the major power shape the

world order and determine international stability. The authors examine practical recommendations built upon the

moral realism theory that Yan Xuetong gives to the Chinese leadership. From a scientific point of view, the theory

is criticized for the lack of clear definitions, for contradictions and biases, but it is valuable because it reflects the