Advocating Synergy, Rejecting Clashes
Civilizational exchanges and mutual learning will strengthen the momentum of civilizational development and progress
Editorial  ·  2019-05-20  ·   Source: NO. 21 MAY 23, 2019

Asia, a major cradle of human civilizations, boasts three of the four ancient civilizations that developed a rich legacy of art, culture and scientific achievements over thousands of years. Since ancient times, these civilizations were engaged in mutual exchanges and learning through trade routes such as the ancient Silk Road, which promoted the development of all Asian nations.

In today's modern society, technological progress has brought Asia's multiple civilizations even closer, bridging geographical distances and nurturing cooperation in science and technology, education, culture, medical care as well as non-governmental exchanges. It has also expanded the channels and forms of these exchanges and mutual learning, creating and consolidating global harmony and progress.

However, despite the positive gains, a sense of superiority and prejudice still exists in some countries' mindsets, making them chauvinistic about their own cultures and progress. This propagates the clash of civilizations theory, the argument that Occidental and Oriental cultures or diverse cultures cannot live together in harmony but are bound to come into conflict. This negates other civilizations and leads to attempts to reshape or replace them, unleashing wars and other disastrous conflicts.

Such views undermine the mainstream international trend of pursuing peace and development. Against this background, the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, which opened in Beijing on May 15, provided a good opportunity to bring diverse civilizations in Asia, which also have elements of commonality, together for exchanges and mutual learning to contribute to a community with a shared future for humanity. Along with guests from Asia, countries outside the region also attended the event, expanding dialogue and mutual understandings.

In a community with a shared future for humanity, different civilizations can ensure the vitality of the community only by complementing one another through exchanges and mutual learning while upholding equality and inclusiveness. As Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted at the opening ceremony of the conference on May 15, every civilization is rooted in its own soil, which embodies its unique wisdom and spiritual pursuit. There is indeed some divergence among civilizations just as people vary in terms of skin color and the language they speak, but there are no superior or inferior civilizations.

Civilizations need to keep pace with the times and constantly renew their essence. Civilizational exchanges and mutual learning at the conference and in the future will strengthen the momentum of civilizational development and progress and create achievements with lasting influence.

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