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Xi Jinping Attends the Opening Ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) and Delivers a Keynote Speech

2019/05/15

On May 15, 2019, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) at the China National Convention Center in Beijing, and delivered a keynote speech titled "Deepening Exchanges and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations For an Asian Community with a Shared Future", pointing out that the great Asian civilizations have a special place in the annals of world civilizations. The Asian people hope to see peace, stability and common prosperity across Asia, as well as an open and better-connected Asia. We need to respect each other and treat each other as equals. We need to uphold the beauty of each civilization and the diversity of civilizations in the world. We need to stay open and inclusive and draw on each other's strengths. We also need to advance with the times, explore new ground in development, and strengthen popular support for jointly building a community with a shared future for both Asia and humanity as a whole. Xi Jinping emphasized that Chinese civilization, as an inclusive and integrated whole, has become what it is today through constant interactions with other civilizations. In the time to come, China will open its arms wider to embrace the world and contribute the dynamic achievements of Chinese civilization to a better world in the future.

Wang Huning attended the opening ceremony.

At around 10:30 a.m., Xi Jinping and foreign leaders walked into the venue together. Amidst warm applause, Xi Jinping walked onto the rostrum and delivered a keynote speech.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the world today is moving toward greater multi-polarity, economic globalization and cultural diversity, and is becoming increasingly information-oriented. All this points to promising prospects for the future. Meanwhile, instability and uncertainties are mounting and the global challenges faced by humanity are becoming ever more daunting. To meet our common challenges and create a better future for all, we look to culture and civilization to play their role, which is as important as the role played by economy, science and technology. The CDAC is convened just for this purpose, as it creates a new platform for civilizations in Asia and beyond to engage in dialogue and exchanges on an equal footing to facilitate mutual learning.

Xi Jinping pointed out that Asia is home to one of the earliest human settlements and an important cradle of human civilizations. In building our civilizations over the course of several millennia, we the people of Asia have made splendid achievements. Thanks to exchanges and mutual learning among themselves and with other civilizations in the world, Asian civilizations have grown from strength to strength. The great Asian civilizations have a special place in the annals of world civilizations, and they have added to the diversity of human civilizations. We should have greater confidence in our civilizations. We may build on the rich heritage of our forefathers, stay engaged with other civilizations and increase mutual learning. By doing so, we will add new glory to Asian civilizations.

Xi Jinping stressed that we Asian countries are closely connected and share a natural bond of affinity. We went through similar historical trials and hold the same dream for the future. Going forward, we need to see where the world is going, ride on the trend of the times and turn our people's longing for a better life into reality. We Asian people hope to see peace and stability across Asia. We hope that all countries will respect and trust each other, live in harmony, and interact with each other in a manner that transcends national boundaries, time and space, as well as the difference between civilizations. We should work together and jointly safeguard peace, something that is even more precious than gold. We Asian people hope to see common prosperity in Asia. We hope that countries will work together to promote economic globalization and make it more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. Doing so will enable us to eradicate poverty and backwardness that still plague people in some countries. It will make life carefree for our children. We Asian people hope to see an open and better-connected Asia. We Asian people hope that all countries will uphold openness and promote policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity. This way, we can jointly foster a community with a shared future for both us Asians and all humanity.

Xi Jinping underlined that diversity spurs interaction among civilizations, which in turn promotes mutual learning and their further development. We need to promote exchanges and mutual learning among countries, nations and cultures around the world, and strengthen popular support for jointly building a community with a shared future for both Asia and humanity as a whole. To that end, Xi Jinping put forward four propositions:

First, we need to respect each other and treat each other as equals. Civilizations only vary from each other, just as human beings are different only in terms of skin color and the language used. No civilization is superior over others. What we need is to respect each other as equals and say no to hubris and prejudice. We need to deepen understanding of the difference between one's own civilization and others' and work to promote interaction, dialogue and harmony among civilizations.

Second, we need to uphold the beauty of each civilization and the diversity of civilizations in the world. The aspiration for all that is beautiful is a common pursuit of humanity that nothing can hold back. We should keep our own civilizations dynamic and create conditions for other civilizations to flourish. Together we can make the garden of world civilizations colorful and vibrant.

Third, we need to stay open and inclusive and draw on each other's strengths. Exchanges and mutual learning will sustain the development of a civilization. Such exchanges and mutual learning should be reciprocal, equal-footed, diversified and multi-dimensional; they should not be coercive, imposed, one-dimensional or one-way. We need to be broad-minded and strive to remove all barriers to cultural exchanges. We need to be inclusive and always seek nourishment from other civilizations to promote the common development of Asian civilizations through exchanges and mutual learning.

Fourth, we need to advance with the times and explore new ground in development. We need to come up with new ideas to add impetus and inspiration to the development of our civilizations. With these efforts, we will deliver achievements for our civilizations to transcend time and space and have a lasting appeal.

Xi Jinping emphasized that China is ready to work with other countries to protect Asian cultural heritage and better preserve and sustain our civilizations. China is happy to launch initiatives with relevant countries to translate Asian classics both from and into Chinese and promote film and TV exchanges and cooperation in Asia. This will help people in Asia better understand and appreciate each other's cultures and build a platform of exchange and mutual learning for the best of Asian civilizations to spread and be known to more in the world. China is willing to step up exchanges in various areas with other countries, create a network of exchanges and cooperation between think tanks, explore new models of cooperation, and deliver more solid outcomes in diverse forms. Such efforts will boost exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations. China stands ready to work with other countries to implement a plan to promote tourism in Asia. This will further boost economic development in Asia and deepen friendship among the Asian people.

Xi Jinping pointed out that being an inseparable part of Asian civilizations, Chinese civilization has, since its early days, evolved and grown by drawing on its past achievement, exploring new ground and adapting to changes. It represents the profound pursuit of the Chinese nation and provides a rich source of strength for its lasting development. Chinese civilization, as an inclusive and integrated whole, has become what it is today through constant interactions with other civilizations. It has always remained as relevant as ever by drawing on all that is good created by other civilizations. For Chinese civilization, amity and good neighborliness is the principle guiding our interactions with other countries; and to deliver prosperity and security to the people is the overarching goal, to keep pace with the times through reform and innovation the abiding commitment, and to achieve harmony between man and nature the underlying philosophy.

Xi Jinping stressed that China today is more than the country itself; it is very much a part of Asia and the world. In the time to come, China will open its arms wider to embrace the world and contribute the dynamic achievements of Chinese civilization to a better world in the future. It is hoped that we will create an even better tomorrow for civilizations in Asia and beyond.

King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos of Greece, President Halimah Yacob of Singapore, President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Director-General Audrey Azoulay also delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. They said that the world is diverse, and different countries, nations and civilizations together constitute a rich and colorful world. Different civilizations are equal, and no civilization can replace other civilizations and no civilization is superior to other civilizations. We need to respect each other and respect differences, independence and diversity of civilizations. We need to strengthen communication, dialogue, exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations. Only in this way can we achieve lasting peace in the world and prosperity and progress of mankind. The so-called argument of "clash of civilizations" is a huge mistake which will damage or even cut off the bridge for civilization exchanges. It is the cultural stagnation, self-claimed supremacy and extremism that have led to many contradictions and conflicts in the world. They thanked President Xi Jinping for initiating the CDAC, which provides an important platform for dialogue and exchanges among Asian countries and different civilizations. In the current situation, the conference was held exactly at the right time with far-reaching significance. Sharing weal and woe, Asian countries must strengthen dialogue and integration, enhance mutual understanding, and share prosperity in Asia. Asian countries must uphold the values of openness and inclusiveness of Asian civilizations, and enhance exchanges and mutual learning with other civilizations outside the region to build a harmonious world.

Foreign leaders said that the ancient Chinese civilization has left an invaluable asset for the world. President Xi Jinping's great vision of building a community with a shared future for both Asia and humanity is another major contribution made by contemporary China to world peace and human progress. All countries must seize the important opportunity of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative to improve people-to-people connectivity, promote peace, friendship and cooperation, and realize beautiful dreams.

Ding Xuexiang, Sun Chunlan, Yang Jiechi, Cai Qi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others were present.

Huang Kunming chaired the opening ceremony.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Xi Jinping respectively shook hands and exchanged greetings with foreign leaders at the welcome hall. Afterwards, they visited an exhibition of cultural relics, watched fine cultural relics from China, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Greece, Cambodia and Armenia, and took a group photo with representatives of important guests attending the opening ceremony.

Under the theme of "exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and a community with a shared future," the CDAC includes an opening ceremony, sub-forums, an Asian culture carnival and Asian Civilization Week involving more than 110 activities of exchanges among civilizations. About 1,200 Chinese and foreign guests attended the opening ceremony.

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