October 6, 2015    Happy Birthday, Matteo Ricci!

Matteo Ricci (利 玛 窦) was born on this day in 1552 in the Italian town of Macerata. He grew up in Renaissance Italy with its love of learning and openness to new ideas.

From 1583 until his death in Beijing in 1610, Ricci worked in China as a Jesuit missionary. No other foreigner has been honored by China as much as Ricci. No other foreigner ever had as deep an understanding of Chinese culture and language as Ricci.

Ricci was a bridge between Chinese and Western civilisations. He produced the first ever map of the world in Chinese. He was responsible for the first ever translation of Chinese classics into a Western language.

Ricci's genuine respect and love for Chinese culture will always be relevant. So many international companies have floundered in China through ignorance of Chinese customs, history and language. For foreigners, imitating Ricci is the way to go in China.