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2006 Cross Culture Forum Held in Beijing

The 2006 Cross Culture Communication Forum, organized by China Foreign Languages Publishing and Distribution Administration, also known as China International Publishing Group (CIPG), was held Thursday, August 31, 2006, in Beijing. Attending the one-day forum on "cross culture exchange and soft power building," are 12 well-known writers and entrepreneurs.

In his keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony this morning, Cai Wu, Director of the Information Office of the State Council said: "The forum will undoubtedly deepen our understanding of cross culture exchange and soft power building, which is the focus of China's external publicity work and an important component of the broader publicity strategy. It is China's major task to build soft power by facilitating cross-cultural communication and exchange and promoting the country's cultural attractions and influence. As part of its opening-up program, China should carry forward the rich culture of the nation, give full play to its cultural advantages and embrace the impact of external cultural exchange upon cross-culture communication."

The forum will deepen the understanding of strategic, pressing, and long-standing issues in China's soft power building in the spirit of "peaceful development and a harmonious world," the fundamental requirement of external publicity. It will also be a platform for participants to exchange the latest research findings, to raise questions and to make suggestions to relevant departments under the control of the Party's central committee.

Afterwards, Cai Mingzhao, Deputy Director of the State Council Information Office, shared the problems and challenges facing China's soft power building with the audience. He says soft power development in China is still rather weak and China still suffers from a heavy cultural deficit. The way China is viewed around the world, particularly by those that subscribe to the 'China threat theory', results mainly from misunderstandings about cultural values between the east and the west, which requires further research and consideration. There are still many problems to be clarified and much work to be done.   

All the guests attending the forum are experts in cross culture communication and exchange. They include Zhao Qizheng, former head of the State Council Information Office and current Dean of the School of Journalism at the People's University of China; Ye Xiaowen, Director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs; Wu Jianmin, former Chinese ambassador to France and current President of the Chinese Foreign Affairs University; Yu Qiuyu, a famous scholar and writer; Yan Lan, Chairperson of Sun Media Investment Holdings Limited; Steve Chan, Chairperson of the board of Coca Cola (China); T.B. Song, Chairperson of O&M Greater China; Shirley Young, former Vice-President of General Motors; Cao Jingxing, a top political critic from Phoenix Satellite and Zhao Qiguang, Director of the Asian Language and Culture Department at Carleton University.

Sponsors say they will hold the forum on a regular basis on various topics according to what is most relevant. Meanwhile, the forum will extend its cooperation and exchange to relevant central and regional departments, media, as well as research institutions both at home and abroad, making it an open forum during which ideas can be freely exchanged.

(People's Daily September 1, 2006)

Breaking down Cross-cultural Walls
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