Xi Continues Dialogue of Civilizations Policy at ‘Development of Asian Civilizations’ Conference
May 14, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Chinese media is placing major emphasis on this week’s May 15-16 meeting in Beijing, the Conference on Development of Asian Civilizations (CDAC), which will be keynoted by President Xi Jinping and attended by top representatives from 47 Asian nations as well as other international guests. CGTN television’s Liu Xin last night devoted her English-language program “The Point” to a discussion of how the CDAC was being under-reported in the Western media, perhaps intentionally so. And Xinhua today carried a lengthy article headlined: “Feature: Xi Jinping, Champion of Dialogue of Civilizations.”
The Xinhua piece begins by emphasizing the importance of the CDAC, which was “initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote cross-civilizational exchanges and mutual learning across this culturally diverse continent, and build an Asian community with a shared future.... He (Xi) maintains that exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations have empowered human progress as well as world peace and development.”
The article concludes forcefully asserting that one of the major global threats to security “is the thinly veiled sense of superiority held by some in the West, who are in the midst of resurrecting an outdated ‘clash of civilizations’ theory.” This is a reference to the bestial, Hobbesian policy most associated with Harvard’s Samuel Huntington, but which actually originated with the high-level British diplomat and intelligence agent Bernard Lewis.
The bulk of the Xinhua’s article is dedicated to a review of Xi’s lifelong dedication to the issue of a dialogue of civilizations. “Over 40 years ago [Xi as] a teenager was fascinated by [Goethe’s] Faust.... It was towards the end of the 1960s, an age of scarcity with little to read, when Xi was sent from Beijing to work as a farmer in a poverty-stricken village in China’s northwestern Shaanxi Province. An avid reader of not only Chinese but also foreign literary works, Xi read whatever books he managed to find during his seven years there, from old Chinese textbooks to plays written by William Shakespeare. ‘To be or not to be,’ Xi pondered the question on the barren plateau, and eventually made up his mind to dedicate himself to serving his country and the people.”
The article noted that the Belt and Road Initiative is also centered on this idea: “A priority in Xi’s signature initiative is to build a road connecting different civilizations, where mutual respect will replace discrimination, exchanges will replace estrangement, and mutual learning will replace clashes.”