People visit the Yongdingmen Gate in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
To know China, one must know about its splendid civilization, the solid foundation for China to stand in the world.
BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping called for shouldering new cultural missions and building a modern Chinese civilization at a meeting on cultural inheritance and development on Friday.
Xi said the cultural missions in the new era are to further advance cultural prosperity, to build a leading country in culture and to foster the modern Chinese civilization.
Overseas experts said that the Chinese culture has not only promoted China's development, but also contributed Chinese wisdom to the development of world civilizations.
UPHOLDING CULTURAL CONFIDENCE
Xi emphasized that the Chinese civilization has a long and continuous history stretching back to antiquity, and said that a comprehensive and profound understanding of that history is essential to promoting the creative transformation and development of fine traditional Chinese culture more effectively, and to developing modern Chinese civilization.
Noting that history tells people that nations holding their cultures strongly got progress and development, Abid Ghafoor Chaudhry, chairman of the department of anthropology at PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan, said China's strong economy and the ability to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty are closely related to "the depth of Chinese civilization and culture."
People work on the construction site of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC)'s Central Business District (CBD) project in Egypt's New Administrative Capital, about 50 kilometers east of Cairo, on June 1, 2019. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
"We find that all the initiatives proposed by President Xi, including the Belt and Road Initiative, Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, Global Civilization Initiative, building a community with a shared future for mankind, and others are all drawing the correct path for mankind and the international community at all different levels," said Mohsen Fergani, professor of Chinese language at the Ain Shams University in Cairo.
"The Chinese policy is created from its deep-rooted culture that is based on the spirit of cooperation, participation, persistence, and modest and continuous work," Fergani said.
INCLUSIVENESS AND EXCHANGES
Xi pointed out in his remarks that the Chinese civilization has consistency, originality, unity, inclusivity and a peaceful nature.
The openness and inclusiveness of the Chinese culture to the world civilizations are especially praised by experts around the world.
The mutual learning of human civilizations should not take a commanding position or assume a position, but should understand each other's cultural achievements from each other's perspectives, so as to be inclusive, said Choi Chang-won, director of the Institute of Chinese Culture and Art at Chungwoon University in South Korea.
Taking the history of cultural exchanges between South Korea and China as an example, Choi said that the two countries are close in terms of geography, culture and people-to-people exchanges, and Confucius' sayings such as "it is always a pleasure to greet a friend from afar" have been widely recognized and echoed by the South Korean people.
The long-term cultural exchanges between the two countries have been making contributions to the innovative development of their civilizations, Choi said.
Cultural exchanges are the "bridge and bond" that bring people together in different countries, said Mazen Shamieh, former assistant minister for the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.
A large number of translations of quality Chinese and Arab books and films in recent years have greatly contributed to mutual understanding and friendship among people, while cultural exchanges becoming increasingly close, Shamieh said, adding that this is an important part of the positive development of Arab-China ties.
A woman visits a photo exhibition showcasing the friendly exchanges and cooperation between China and Arab countries in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 7, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)
In the eyes of Fergani, cultural exchanges between Egypt and China have taken a "big leap" in recent years.
The number of Chinese language learners in Egypt and the Arab nations has continuously increased, and a large number of students have tended to work in translation of the Chinese literature and art, Fergani said.
The cultural exchanges have brought people from both sides closer together and helped the Arab people learn and benefit from China's development experience, Fergani said.
FACING GLOBAL CHALLENGES
In the face of pressing global challenges, from the outstanding characteristics of Chinese civilization, as well as the strengths built by Chinese culture for China's progress and prosperity, experts in many countries see hopeful solutions to the issues.
Despite the differences of cultures, human civilizations share certain common values which hold the key to successful interaction among civilizations, said Cavince Adhere, a Kenyan international relations scholar.
"Drawing from these values, cooperation among different countries is possible and solutions to key global challenges can be generated," Adhere said.
"China's effort to promote both material and spiritual civilization is one of the enduring elements of its cultural innovation. Helping people to focus on material things while also strengthening their moral and spiritual wellbeing is an important art in creating a wholesome, balanced, and sustainable society," he said.
To know China, one must know about its splendid civilization, the solid foundation for China to stand in the world, Shamieh said.
A man views an exhibit at an exhibition of pottery artworks entitled Echoes of Majiayao in Delft, the Netherlands, on May 14, 2022. (Xinhua/Sylvia Lederer)
Quoting the old Chinese saying "a single flower does not make spring," Shamieh called on the international community to advocate the respect for the diversity of civilizations, the common values of humanity, the importance of inheritance and innovation of civilizations, and robust international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, which are also underlined in the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by Xi.
The Global Civilization Initiative takes into account the characteristics of different civilizations on the basis of building consensus, said Chea Munyrith, president of the Cambodian Chinese Evolution Researcher Association, adding that the new situation of cultural integration and people-to-people exchanges will make new and important contributions to promoting world peace and development as well as building a community with a shared future for mankind. ■