Coexistence among civilizations emphasized
Participants in the first Liangzhu Forum take a selfie on Sunday in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Themed "Implementing the Global Civilization Initiative, Promoting Exchanges and Mutual Learning Between Civilizations", the forum was attended by over 300 guests from China and abroad. LI ZHENYU/FOR CHINA DAILY
President Xi Jinping stressed on Sunday the need to promote harmonious coexistence and mutual achievements among different civilizations and to facilitate friendly interactions, understanding and affinity among people of all countries, in a congratulatory letter sent to the first Liangzhu Forum.
Xi said the ruins of Liangzhu ancient city in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, are a demonstration of the over 5,000-year history of the Chinese civilization and are among the treasures of world civilizations.
Throughout history, Chinese civilization has stood out with its unique innovations and perseverance. It has been open and inclusive, continuously enriching itself, and drawing on the essence of other civilizations, greatly enriching the garden of world civilizations, he said.
Xi said in the letter that mutual respect, unity, harmony and coexistence are the right path for the development of human civilization.
He encouraged all parties to fully utilize the platform provided by the forum to advance the dialogue on civilization with partner countries of the Belt and Road Initiative, implement the Global Civilization Initiative and promote exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations.
Xi also called for efforts to promote a civilization view that features equality, mutual learning, dialogue and mutual accommodation, thus helping different civilizations live in harmony and reinforce one another.
The main event of the forum, themed "Implementing the Global Civilization Initiative, Promoting Exchanges and Mutual Learning Between Civilizations", took place on Sunday in Hangzhou.
Li Shulei, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, read out Xi's letter and made a keynote speech at the ceremony.
Yi Lianhong, Party secretary of Zhejiang province, said that Xi's letter further points the way forward to deepen dialogue among countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and promote prosperity of the world's diverse civilizations.
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit sent a speech to the forum, which was conveyed by his representative Hossam Zaki, the assistant secretary-general.
He emphasized the importance of fostering dialogue between Arab nations and China to strengthen mutual respect and understanding, opposing the "clash of civilizations" theory put forward by US political scientist Samuel Huntington.
He highlighted the joint efforts to deepen the relationship between the two sides, as evidenced by the signing of a joint statement on implementing the Global Civilization Initiative by China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Secretariat of the League of Arab States during the forum.
Styliani Chrysoulaki, general director of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Greece, said that artists and museum experts should shoulder their responsibility to build friendships between nations and civilizations and contribute to lasting peace and sustainable development.
Wang Wei, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Academic Division of History, told China Daily, "We expect the world to know more about the great effort that was needed to build the ancient city of Liangzhu and the excellent techniques involved to realize it."
He added that the forum, held near the UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back 4,300 to 5,300 years, helps promote Liangzhu culture as proof of the over 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization.
More than 300 domestic and overseas officials and cultural experts attended the forum. Subforums featuring Sinologists and artists emphasizing the importance of cultural exchanges were held on Friday and Saturday.