The Inter-Civilizational Communication and Global Development Forum commenced in Beijing on Tuesday, marking a significant gathering of around 150 experts from over 30 countries. This three-day event, organized by the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is themed around “tradition of civilization and paths to modernization.” It has brought together a diverse group of participants, including politicians, entrepreneurs, think tank experts, scholars, cultural ambassadors, and diplomatic envoys, both from China and abroad.
The forum’s main objective, as stated by Xie Chuntao, vice president of the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, is to create an international platform for dialogue and exchange. It aims to harness the collective wisdom and efforts of various parties to enhance the interaction and mutual learning among civilizations. This initiative is seen as a crucial step toward building a global community with a shared future for humanity.
Highlighting the importance of open and respectful discourse among different civilizations, Dilma Rousseff, president of the New Development Bank, emphasized during the opening ceremony that such dialogue fosters consensus and cooperation. She underscored the need for the world to adopt a systematic approach to embracing the rich diversity of human civilizations and recognizing the different development models and objectives followed by nations. Rousseff commented on the multifaceted nature of democracy and how a singular viewpoint can sometimes undermine it in many countries.
Former German justice minister Herta Daubler-Gmelin pointed out the importance of cooperation beyond the realms of economics and politics, emphasizing the role of people-to-people collaboration in areas like academia. She advocated for more transparent communication and the recognition that every civilization is dynamic and capable of evolving and interacting with others.
The forum’s relevance was further highlighted by the recent release of a white paper titled ‘A Global Community of Shared Future: China’s Proposals and Actions’ by China’s State Council Information Office. John L. Thornton, chair emeritus of The Brookings Institution and Co-Chair of the Asia Society, quoted this document, stressing the urgent need to identify a guiding principle for the sustainable development of human civilization.
Thornton praised the Global Civilization Initiative and Global Initiative, viewing them as admirable aspirations that, if achieved, could represent a significant step forward for humanity and the world. He remarked on the importance of the forum’s discussions in shaping the kind of world we desire for ourselves, our descendants, and future generations.
The forum will feature three sub-forums focusing on different aspects of civilizational communication: China-Europe, China-Central Asia modernization development and leadership building, and China-Arab civilization exchange and modernization development. Additionally, a round-table discussion will be held, providing a platform for further in-depth dialogue and exchange of ideas.
This event stands as a testament to the growing importance of inter-civilizational dialogue in addressing global challenges and fostering a more interconnected and harmonious world.