This article aims to report the findings from some recent researches on the historical formation of the concept of tianxia and its original meanings. In the light of these findings, I would like to make some comments on the Chinese philosopher Zhao Tingyang's works on the tianxia system. I demonstrate that the concept of tianxia portrayed by Zhao is at odds with the historical concepts of tianxia in many ways, and that the challenge raised by the latter for Chinese nationalism today is unanswered. I also examine Zhao's proposal of the tianxia system and point out that this proposal as a universalist commitment to a philosophy of the world seems to have failed on both the motivational and theoretical levels. In conclusion, I make an observation about a problem which might have a profound but inimical effect on the creativity of Chinese intellectual minds, namely, the urge to make chinoiserie theories at the expense of theoretical coherence and logical consistency.