SCIO briefing on the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations

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Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, minister of the State Council Information Office (SCIO), vice president of the CDAC organizing committee and executive committee;

Kong Xuanyou, vice minister of foreign affairs;

Zhang Xu, vice minister of culture and tourism;

Du Feijin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Beijing Committee, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Beijing Committee

Guo Weimin, vice minister of SCIO

May 9, 2019

Strait Times:

We have noticed that some people believe China is trying to use this conference to expand its influence. Is China trying to unite Asian civilizations to respond to the pressures from the West?

Xu Lin:

First of all, I want to emphasize that we hold the CDAC not to provoke confrontation between different civilizations, but to promote dialogue, mutual learning and common progress. We have noticed the views on the international stage. Some people are trying to draw the public attention to the so-called competition, conflict, or confrontation between the East and the West. If people believe this because of some misunderstanding, it proves that a dialogue between different civilizations is necessary, valuable and meaningful. But if people spread such views out of ill intentions, trying to provoke conflict and confrontation, then they will lose public support and are doomed to failure.

From the development of China's 5,000-year-old civilization, we can determine that the Chinese civilization is deeply rooted in our land, and has been enriched by other civilizations through communications. The ocean is vast because it admits hundreds of rivers. Throughout our history, we have pursued harmony in diversity and pursued mutual enrichment. We have lived harmoniously with other civilizations, learnt from each other through dialogue, and sought progress together. The world consists of many colorful civilizations, which are equal and inclusive. Regarding different civilizations, we believe in the notion that all countries should respect the interests of others while pursuing their own, and should advance the common interests of all. To show respect to the diversity of civilizations, we should first respect, cultivate and develop our own civilization. Meanwhile, we should respect and appreciate other civilizations. We should pursue common progress through dialogue, integration and mutual learning. Joint efforts to this end will surely promote the sustained peace, prosperity and development of our world, thus building a community with a shared future for mankind.

From the history of human development, wheat was first planted on the Anatolian Plateau in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers basins, rice was first planted in the Yangtze River basin in China, while cotton was developed in the Indus and Ganges. These beginnings and fruits of different human civilizations have become crucial material bases for human survival thanks to exchanges and sharing. That is an example of exchanges, mutual learning and sharing among civilizations. 

China not only advocates cultural exchanges and mutual learning, but also works to promote such exchanges. President Xi Jinping proposed on many important international occasions that different civilizations should pursue inclusiveness, mutual learning, and draw on each other to achieve common progress. The purpose of this conference is to provide a platform to spread progress and carry forward the achievements of the civilizations of Asia and the world, while promoting exchanges and mutual learning among different countries and civilizations, so as to advance the development of human civilization and build a community with a shared future for mankind. In my opinion, it demonstrates that China has lived up to its responsibility as a major country in terms of promoting world peace and development and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. Thank you.

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