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Li Keqiang and President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia Jointly Attend Seminar on China-Latin America People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges

2015/05/24

On the morning of May 22 local time, Premier Li Keqiang and President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia jointly attended the Seminar on China-Latin America people-to-people and cultural exchanges held by the cultural departments of the two countries in the San Carlos Palace, Bogotá.

At the Seminar, representatives from literature and art circles of the two countries delivered speeches respectively, focusing on the current literature development of their respective countries, and gave insightful views on China-Latin America and China-Colombia literature exchanges and mutual learning.

After listening attentively to their speeches, Li Keqiang delivered a speech. He said that this year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of China-Colombia diplomatic relations. During this visit, the two countries have yielded a series of achievements in bilateral practical cooperation. China-Colombia and China-Latin America cooperation are not only at the material level but also at the spiritual level, and the latter is worth more of our attention.

First, respect civilization diversity. Yesterday, May 21, was the “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” set up by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) aiming at respecting civilization diversity of human and highlighting peace and unity. Both Chinese people and Latin American people created splendid ancient civilizations. Chinese culture is all-embracing and Latin American culture is inclusive, both being outstanding representatives of harmonious coexistence of diversified civilizations. Chinese and Latin American civilizations respect and learn from each other, indicating that human can live in a splendid and colorful world where different civilizations can absolutely coexist in peace and promote the progress of human society together. China respects the ancient civilization created by Latin American people and the biological diversity of Latin America. China-Latin America cooperation not only promotes cultural integration, but also contributes to harmonious coexistence between human and nature for its high attention to biological diversity and ecological environment protection.

Second, stimulate social creativity. The rapid changing world needs continuous innovation to push forward social development. Literature, as the centralized embodiment of creation, innovation and originality, can free the mind, inspire imagination and creativity across time and space, and stimulate social vitality. We should build a society where the public participate in and share innovation and originality with more creativity and initiative consciousness, which not only creates material wealth but also realizes spiritual pursuit, enriching life, realizing dreams and making the world even better.

Third, give play to the powerful medium role of literature in realizing spiritual communication. Cultural and literature exchanges are important ways of communication among countries as well as an effective path to enhance mutual understanding between peoples. The cultural resonance between China and Latin America across the vast Pacific is the spiritual bond uniting the peoples of both sides. I believe that both sides can, with an open mind, respect each other and facilitate exchanges and mutual learning for common progress so as to establish solid public opinion foundation for continuously deepened practical cooperation.

Li Keqiang said that a famous saying in Latin America goes that “a boat’s power lies in its sail and a person’s power lies in his mind”. I hope that the literature and art workers in both countries can create more excellent works continuously, enhance dialogue and mutual learning, deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and spiritual communication, and jointly cultivate the fertile ground of China-Latin America friendship well, so that the cooperation tree of mutual benefits and win-win results between China and Latin America will continuously bear new fruits.

Juan Manuel Santos said that the Colombian people hold profound feeling towards China and the Chinese civilization with 5,000 years of history. Gabriel Garcia Marquez and many other writers greatly admire China’s broad and profound traditional culture as well as its accurate and refined language and characters. Colombia and China have established close and brotherly friendship with cooperation increasingly deepened in various fields. He believes that strengthening exchange and mutual learning in literary and art circles between the two countries will further deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples and promote better mutual learning and common progress in Colombia-China and Latin America-China relations.

Representatives present at the Seminar held that the fact of rapid economic and social development in China, Colombia, and Latin America has provided the most precious resources for literary creation. Literature and art workers of both sides should keep pace with the times, and carry out more activities in translation of works, mutual visits of writers as well as mutual learning of achievements, so as to facilitate mutual understanding between the two peoples through exchanges.

More than 100 personages in literary and art circles of both countries present at the Seminar responded the speeches of the leaders and their representatives with prolonged applauses.

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