Cultural exchanges key to improving understanding


Cultural exchanges and mutual learning are key to improving understanding among people from different nations, especially at a time when the world is undergoing profound changes, said speakers from home and abroad at parallel panels during the 2023 Beijing Culture Forum on Friday.

Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, stressed the need to jointly build platforms for exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, carry forward the Silk Road spirit and promote shared values for all mankind so as to allow the world to better understand Chinese culture and advance the progress of human civilization.

Stelios Virvidakis, president of the Steering Committee of the Center of Greek and Chinese Ancient Civilizations and a professor at the Department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens, said in a video speech that he hoped mutual learning and cooperation between Greece and China can be further enhanced and the study of each other's languages, culture and history better promoted.

In February, Virvidakis received congratulations from President Xi Jinping after the professor and four other Greek scholars introduced the preparatory work of the Athens-based center to Xi in a letter.

Virvidakis said Greek universities will have more Chinese language courses and Sinology classes in the near future.

Nobel laureate Mo Yan highlighted writers' roles in promoting Chinese culture to the world. For him, quality literary works transcend time and space, and the ultimate goal of authors and playwrights is to show human nature and shape vivid human images through stories and other artistic measures. "When a writer has composed a good work, its introduction to foreign readers will be a natural process," he said.

More than 50 project agreements concerning publishing, filmmaking, scientific technology, cultural heritage and other cultural undertakings were signed during the two-day forum which began on Thursday.

Art Exhibitions China, the country's major institution in charge of organizing cross-border exchange exhibitions, announced during the forum that a large-scale cultural heritage exhibition introduced from Egypt will arrive in China next year.

After its debut in the National Museum of Classic Books in Beijing from May to August 2024, it will also tour Guangdong, Jiangxi and Liaoning provinces.

"We'll actively advance projects echoing the Global Civilization Initiative," Li Qun, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, said at the forum. "Through enhanced dialogues among various cultures, we can turn mutual learning into a strong impetus to build a world of shared prosperity."

Zhao Shengliang, head of Gansu province's Dunhuang Academy, proposed a wider range of cooperation in studies and conservation of the caves and precious manuscripts found at the Mogao Caves.

Katherine Tsiang, associate director of the Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago, urged enhanced coordination and collaboration in the digitization and research of Chinese relics that have been lost overseas.

China Daily