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The WDSI is a measure of sustainable development in countries/economies. It is a sustainable development index built on the Confucian concept of "Wang Dao." In Confucianism, the expression, "Wang Dao," transcends its literal meaning of the "dao" ("the way") of kings and is invoked as a principle and approach that is antithetical to despotism. In this context, "Wang" (kingly) draws not on its connotations of royalty and dictatorial rule, but rather invokes the kingly as open to the ceaseless integration and intercourse among heaven, earth, and humanity. The concept of "Wang Dao" thus traces back to the original spirit of Confucianism and is rooted in "benevolence" (ren) as its core value. It is dedicated to the notion that "the people are fundamental" and is opposed to tyranny. It is the anti-thesis of authoritarianism and profoundly infuses the worldly spirit of practical affairs with humanistic concern.

Starting from the five core elements of the Wang Dao precept, and with sustainable development as the objective, we construct three principal domains:

Benevolent Governance (derived from Confucian ideas of benevolence) and Empathy (derived from the Confucian formulation of the Golden Rule, and its elucidations of forbearance and human-heartedness) constitute core ideas. When these two are combined with the idea of Counter-hegemony, they form the domain of “Global Ethics”. When they are combined with the element of People-orientedness, they form the domain of “Inclusive Development”; and when they are combined with the idea of Sustainability, they form the domain of “Environmental Equilibrium”.

We have confidence in the WDSI of universal value and practicality that will conduct us to broadening the horizons of sustainable development, pointing the way forward, and providing a vision for the future.