Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Asian Studies

First Advisor

Katherine Alexander

Second Advisor

Tim Weston

Third Advisor

Evelyn Shih


Decades after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) demonized Confucianism as a backwards philosophy, Confucianism has once again become popular in Chinese political culture and society. This paper investigates how the president of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is using Confucian rhetoric to legitimize himself and the CCP. The paper explores the Chinese people's search for a national moral identity, the resurgence of Confucianism, and finally examines the speech Xi gave on the 40th Anniversary of the Reforms and Opening-up.