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This article appears in the May 31, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]


Peace and Development
Remain the Call of Our Times

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Xinhua/Wang Ye
Chinese and foreign leaders and guests before the opening of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, at the China National Convention Center in Beijing, China on May 15, 2019.

May 26—The “Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations,” held in Beijing, China on May 15, 2019, was attended by 1,352 representatives including the 47 countries of Asia, other parts of the world, and international organizations. Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening of the conference stated, “Various civilizations are not destined to clash.” He further underscored the danger of the idea of a necessary clash of civilizations, saying, “The intensifying global challenges humanity are facing now require concerted efforts from countries across the world,” and highlighted the role of culture in coping with common challenges.

This conference was Asia’s first-ever grand gathering themed on inter-civilizational exchanges and mutual learning for a community with a shared future. The following consensus was reached at the conference and released to the public.

The 2019 Beijing Consensus of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations

We believe that the ancestors of Asian nations have created splendid civilizations, promoted cultural progress, raised living standards and developed diverse social systems. Today, Asian civilizations are conducting exchanges with openness and thriving as a result of mutual learning. The flowers of Asian civilizations are in full bloom in the garden of world civilizations. The peoples of Asian countries should build strong confidence in their own civilizations and endeavor to achieve greater splendor in the future.

The world is undergoing major development, transformation and adjustment, but peace and development remain the call of our times. Meanwhile, we are facing a number of severe global challenges. An effective response to these challenges requires not only economic, scientific and technological strength, but also the power of culture and civilization. The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations provides a broad platform for promoting dialogue, exchanges and mutual learning on an equal footing, and for the development of civilizations in Asia and the world at large.

We believe that the diversity of civilizations is an essential feature of our world. Every civilization, with its unique appeal and roots, is a treasure of humanity. Diverse civilizations should respect each other in a spirit of inclusiveness and mutual learning. In light of history and reality, we should ensure that respect for diversity will replace a sense of superiority, harmonious coexistence will replace clashes, exchanges and sharing will replace estrangement, and joint progress will replace isolation. In this way, all civilizations can appreciate each other’s beauty while valuing that of their own, and achieve common development.

We believe that all peoples aspire for peace and tranquility, common prosperity, openness and interconnectivity in Asia and the world at large. Exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations act as a major driver for world progress, peace and development, and hold the key to building a community with a shared future for mankind. We need to strengthen dialogue and promote mutual understanding and trust, as well as people-to-people exchanges between countries, ethnicities and cultures. In doing so, we will lay solid cultural and social foundations and cement public understanding for building a community with a shared future for Asia and all mankind.

We hope that the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations will provide Asia and the international community with a new starting point for conducting more extensive and in-depth intercivilizational dialogue, and building a diversified communication mechanism and a multi-level dialogue platform. We should pursue development through innovation and keep pace with the times while maintaining our cultural traditions, so as to maximize the driving forces for cultural progress. We should promote cooperation among different countries in the fields of culture, tourism, education, media, think tanks, health and nongovernmental exchanges. We should look out for each other and work in solidarity. We should join hands to provide Asia and the world with wisdom and the impetus for peaceful development, and build a better future for Asian and world civilizations.

We highly appreciate China’s contribution to promoting dialogue among Asian civilizations and its excellent organization of this conference. We will join China in pushing forward exchanges and mutual learning among all civilizations.

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