Chinese president calls for peaceful coexistence of civilizations
May 15, 2019 04:16 PM NPT
BEIJING, May 15: Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged various countries to treat each other as equals for the peaceful coexistence of civilizations.
The Chinese president made the remark during the opening ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing on Wednesday, Xinhua News Agency reported. "Various civilizations are not destined to clash," Xi said.
The Chinese side has said that this is the Asia's first-ever grand gathering themed on inter-civilizational exchanges and mutual learning for a community with a shared future.
Thousands of people from 47 Asian countries and nearly 50 countries outside the region attended the conference in the Chinese capital. "The intensifying global challenges humanity are facing now require concerted efforts from countries across the world," Xi said, highlighting the role of culture to cope with common challenges.
The conference comes at a time when certain countries have resorted to the "clash of civilizations" argument, bullying, unilateralism and an inward-looking mentality, Xinhua said in its report.
Qian Chengdan, a professor at Peking University, told the media in Beijing that the Xi-proposed event is highly relevant in the current political environment. "It will boost understanding among different civilizations and pave the way for a brighter future for humanity," Xinhua quoted Qian as saying.
Chinese President Xi noted there would be no clash of civilizations as long as people were able to appreciate the beauty of all civilizations.
"It is foolish to believe that one's race and civilization are superior to others," Xi said. "It is disastrous to willfully reshape or even replace other civilizations."
On the occasion, the Chinese president has put forth a four-point proposal to consolidate the "cultural foundation" of jointly building a community with a shared future for Asia and humanity: treating each other with respect and as equals; appreciating the beauty of all civilizations; adhering to openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning; and keeping pace with the times.
Equality, reciprocality, diversity and multi-directionality are underscored in exchanges among civilizations. The exchanges, Xi said, should neither be compulsory or forced, nor one-directional.
Asia, with two-thirds of the global population, is a major birthplace of human civilization and home to vibrant cultures. There are 47 countries and more than 1,000 ethnic groups on the continent. Asians expect a peaceful, stable, open and integrated continent with common prosperity, Xi said.
The week-long event includes an opening ceremony, panel discussions, an Asian Culture Carnival and Asian Civilization Week involving more than 110 activities to showcase the diversity and charm of Asian civilizations.