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(2,500 words)

Author(s): Pohl, Karl-Heinz
If by intellectuals in the broader sense one means a scientifically or artistically educated elite, then the Chinese intellectuals ( zhishifenzi) of the 20th century are descendants of the Confucian literati or scholar-officials ( wenren or shidaifu) who traditionally determined cultural and political life in China as intellectual elites. Owing to their specifically Confucian background, the pre-modern literary intellectuals developed characteristics which have persisted into modern times, and which distinguish their successors' s…