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Promoting Mutual Learning Among Civilizations: Jointly Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind

——Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 6th Annual Conference of Taihu World Cultural Forum

October12,2021

Wang  Chen

 

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Comrades, Friends,

Good morning!

Today, friends from all over the world gather in person or online at the permanent site of the Annual Conference of the Taihu World Cultural Forum--Bengbu Ancient Residence Expo Park, Anhui province, China, to jointly promote mutual learning among civilizations and cultural cooperation. First of all, I wish to extend my heartfelt congratulations on the opening of the conference, and my sincere welcome to friends and guests from all over the world present here.

In his congratulatory letter to the 5th Annual Conference of the Taihu World Cultural Forum in October 2018, President Xi Jinping pointed out, “China advocates a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation and calls on all countries to join hands in building a community with a shared future for mankind. As greater exchanges and mutual learning enrich civilizations and make them more colorful, we look forward to working together with the rest of the international community to encourage respect and harmony among civilizations and make inter-civilization exchange a positive force for building the community with a shared future for mankind. By sharing development opportunities and jointly facing up to common challenges, let us make our world a better place.” The profound elaborations on strengthening the culture exchange and mutual learning, promoting to build a community with a sharedfuture for mankind given by President Xi Jinping, fully demonstrated China’s firm determination and sincere desire to adhere to the diversity of human civilization, promote the world to coexist in peace and win-win cooperation, has important guiding significance for us to promote dialogue and exchanges among civilizations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades, Friends,

Taihu World Cultural Forum as a high-level, unofficial international cultural forum established in China, is dedicated to promoting cultural dialogue and cooperation between China and other countries. After years of development, the Forum has become an important platform for exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations. It will continue to play its unique role and contribute to enhancing cultural exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, promoting harmonious coexistence and drawing a picture of common civilizations. Under the theme of “Mutual Learning Among Civilizations: Jointly Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind”, numerous Chinese and foreign guests will share their views on promoting exchanges and mutual learning among world civilizations and discuss methods to advance the development and progress of human society. We are confident that through candid exchanges and in-depth discussions, this annual conference will produce fruitful results and continue to make positive contributions to promoting dialogue and exchanges among civilizations.

The world today is under the combined impacts of major changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic, human survival and development faces challenges: the armed conflict in the global range has never stopped, the pandemic remains rampant and poses threat to human security, a cloud of cold war and power politics still lingers, global challenges such as environmental issues, energy crisis and terrorism are becoming more and more serious. At the same time, the trend towards multi-polarity, economic globalization, IT application, cultural diversity, scientific and technological innovation remains unchanged. Countries are increasingly interconnected and interdependent. Peace and development have become the common aspiration of people around the world.

In the face of ever-increasing challenges and risks, where should the human society go? To jointly meet the challenges, usher in a better future, and bear in mind the development of mankind and the future of the world, China has given the answer that conforms to the trend of the times and serves the common interests of the people of the world –“Building a community with a shared future for mankind”. Since President Xi Jinping first put forward the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind in 2013, as a major country, China and the 1.4 billion people have been united in their efforts to actively implement this vision of build a community with a shared future for mankind.

--China has put forward the “Belt and Road” Initiative (BRI) on cooperation to promote common prosperity of the world. As of June 23, 2021, 140 countries and 32 international organizations have signed 206 documents on Belt and Road cooperation with China. In the face of the impact of COVID-19 on the world economy, the construction under the BRI has not stagnated, but bucked the trend and shown strong vitality. In 2020, more than 12,000 China-Europe Railway Express travelled, up 50 percent year on year. In the first quarter of this year, the number of freight trains increased by 75 per cent year-on-year. So far, more than 41,000 freight trains have run between China and Europe, and the cumulative trade volume between China and BRI partners has exceeded 9.2 trillion US dollars.

--China is firmly determined to fight against the epidemic and work for the health of people around the world. At home, China has put the people and life first, quickly and effectively mobilized resources and forces across the country, and achieved major strategic results in the fight against the epidemic through arduous efforts. In the face of the new situation of the epidemic, China has been committed to scientific and targeted epidemic prevention and control, effectively promoting the “simultaneous progress” of epidemic prevention and control and the resumption of work and production. Globally, China has been shouldering its responsibilities as a major country and supporting the global fight against COVID-19. While actively sharing its experience and providing medical supplies to the international community, China has firmly upheld COVID vaccines as a public goods “above anything else” . So far, China has provided more than 1.4 billion doses of vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organizations.

--China strives to eradicate poverty and actively promotes global poverty reduction. Since reform and opening up, 770 million rural Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty based on current poverty standards. According to the World Bank's international poverty standard, China accounted for over 70 percent of the global population lifted out of poverty during the same period, and has reached poverty reduction targets in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. In February this year, China won a comprehensive victory in the battle against poverty. The achievement of China's poverty alleviation goal means that one fifth of the world's population has been lifted out of poverty, creating a miracle in the history of poverty reduction.

--China has strengthened ecological progress and actively responded to global climate change. In recent years, China has resolutely declared war on environmental pollution and made all-out efforts to protect blue skies, clear water and clean land. In 2020, the proportion of days with excellent air quality in cities at prefecture-level and above in China has increased to 87.0 percent, the elimination proportion of black and fetid water bodies in built-up areas of cities at prefecture-level and above in China has reached 98.2 percent, and the target of reducing heavy metal pollutant emissions in key industries by 10 percent has been exceeded. At the same time, China stays committed to the belief that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, accelerating green and low-carbon development, promoting a comprehensive green transformation of economic and social development, and contributing to global environmental governance.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades, Friends,

This year marks the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan. At this new historical starting point, China stands ready to work with the international community to overcome difficulties and build a community with a shared future for mankind. Here, I propose the following suggestions to share with you.

--We should respect each other instead of seeking one’s own supremacy. The world is a unity of diversity. Without diversity, there would be no human civilization. The cultures created by all nations in the world have their own unique values. There is no difference between them, all of which should be respected. Only with mutual respect and equality can world cultures learn from each other and live in harmony. River and sea are vast because it refuses no streams. Only by being inclusive and open,, can we flourish and prosper. A world of peaceful development should bear different forms of civilization. To advance human civilization and improve human well-being, we should be inclusive and broad-minded, respect diversity, seek common ground while shelving differences, and let all civilizations flourish in the garden of the world.

--We should uphold mutual learning and oppose hegemony. Openness and connectivity are the trend of the times and the only path leading to human development and progress. The practice of "cliques" and "new cold war" in the international community, and the practice of isolation, technological blockade and immunity gap, is an attempt to divide the world and run counter to the spirit of multilateralism. We should learn from each other rather than stand aloof, remove barriers rather than erect walls. We should foster a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, build bridges of mutual understanding and amity, and create a future of common development and prosperity.

--We should stick together in times of difficulty and oppose going it alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has once again shown that there is only one earth for mankind, and countries are bound together through thick and thin. We need to discuss ways to address global challenges and strengthen global governance with unprecedented unity and coordination. History and reality have proved time and again that it is difficult to go alone, and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach will lead mankind into a blind alley. We advocate exchanges, mutual learning and harmonious coexistence among civilizations, strengthen the cultural foundation for international solidarity and cooperation to overcome difficulties, and jointly promote world peace, stability, development and progress of human civilization.

--We should adhere to extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and oppose zero-sum game. In today's world, the development of all countries is closely linked, and we all stand to gain and lose together. Faced with complex and severe global challenges, no country can stay aloof or fight alone. We are going to transcend the outmoded patterns of zero-sum game or winner-takes-all, rise above the difference dominated by any party, or draw lines of division, insist that all the country, big or small, are equal, take care of each other's concerns, and adhere to the matters of the world shall be discussed by the people of the world together, responsibility of our times shall be borne by each country, development fruits shall be shared by everyone, make efforts to promote more open, inclusive, generally beneficial, balanced, win-win situation of economic globalization.

--We should strengthen public support and oppose isolation. Amity between the people holds the key to state-to-state relations. The closer people-to-people exchanges are, the more solid the foundation for state-to-state friendship will be. Thousands of years ago, vast oceans, lofty mountains and desolate deserts did not stop people of all countries from seeking friendly exchanges. The world today is like a global village. Connectivity and interaction among civilizations represent the trend and the people's will. Any operation that obstructs normal exchanges or incites confrontation between public opinion will inevitably fail because it runs counter to the interests of the people. We need to respond to the call of our people and build bridges for exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations. We need to carry out cultural activities in a wide range of fields and in a variety of forms. We need to increase exchanges between non-governmental organizations to enhance people-to-people ties and lay a solid public support for building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades, Friends,

History never moves in a straight line. Throughout the long history of the world, we can see that wars and conflicts, big and small, have gone on and on, and natural disasters and plagues have left us with painful memories on more than one occasion, but they have not changed the general trend of civilization progress. Peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the common values of all mankind. Intelligent, courageous, innovative and indomitable human beings will make unremitting efforts to achieve this goal.

The long rivers of civilizations have converged, and mankind has shared weal and woe. Looking into the future through history, building a community with a shared future for mankind, and building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity are increasingly in line with the call of the times.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends,

It is difficult to rise alone, but easy to follow. To promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations on an equal footing and to build a community with a shared future for mankind, the Chinese people are on the move and will work with people of other countries to make new and greater contributions to world peace, global development and human health and well-being.

I sincerely hope that all of you, both in person or offline, will speak out your mind and share your insights on the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere invitation to friends from all over the world and welcome them to visit the Huai River. Anhui boasts a long history, rich people, beautiful mountains and rivers, full of innovation and vitality, with outstanding advantages, and is striving to promote high-quality development and speed up the construction of a modern and beautiful province in the new stage. Bengbu, the “City of Pearl”, is a bright and beautiful pearl of culture, the pearl of Huai River and the pearl of economy. The land of JiangHuai is a thick soil with a long history of culture, a pure green land with beautiful ecology and a fertile land of open and inclusive development. I am convinced that the dialogue and exchange here will leave you a beautiful memory.

To conclude, I wish the annual conference a complete success. I wish all the distinguished guests all the best in your work, a happy life and a good health.

Thank you!

 

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