Commentary: Diversity of civilizations deserves respect
www.chinaview.cn 2009-11-08 05:15:42   Print

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivers a speech at the headquarters of the Arab League in downtown Cairo Nov. 7, 2009. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
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    by Xinhua writers Lin Liping, Feng Jian

    CAIRO, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Delivering a speech at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, capital of Egypt, on Saturday, visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao described the world as full of colors and with different civilizations which constitute cultural diversity.

    The history of human civilization has testified that cultural diversity is necessary for human prosperity, and dialogue, exchange and integration among different civilizations have formed an irreversible historical trend and a necessity for the improvement and continuous development of civilizations.

    "Dialogue, exchange and integration among different civilizations form the powerful current of human civilization surging ahead ceaselessly," Wen said.

    Today's world is home to over 200 countries and regions, more than 2,500 ethnic groups and 6,000-plus languages, the Chinese premier cited just a few numbers to demonstrate the diversity.

    Under the current international circumstance which is undergoing profound and complex changes featuring increasingly deepened world multi-polarization and economic globalization, peace and development remain the two main themes facing the human society.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) stands with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa at the headquarters of the Arab League in downtown Cairo Nov. 7, 2009. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
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    The maintenance of world peace and the pursuit of social stability and common development have become the common and shared aspiration of all peoples. Therefore, dialogue on equal footing between different civilizations is of great practical significance.

    Dialogue among civilizations as conducive to enhancing mutual understanding and harmonious co-existence among peoples, to promoting constant progress of human society, to promoting the establishment of a just and rational new international order, and to promoting diversification of the world and the sharing of human civilization.

    In 1956, seven years after its founding, the People's Republic of China established contacts with the Arab League. Over the next few decades, mutual understanding and support gained momentum. In the recent decade, the two sides have witnessed even closer ties and have maintained coordination and mutual support in international affairs.

    In January 2004, during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, China and the Arab League announced the establishment of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.

    In the following several years, a variety of cultural exchange activities has deepened understanding between both sides, and the forum became a new platform for promoting China-Arab friendly relations.

    With an accelerated pace of globalization, peoples of different cultural backgrounds have the urgent need for mutual understanding and learning from each other, only through which a solid foundation can be laid for sustainable cooperation between different nations.

    China and the Arab countries are all developing countries, which share a common aspiration of peace, stability and development. In recent years, both sides have continued to strengthen economic and trade exchanges, high-level visits and cultural exchanges.

    Both sides, therefore, have every reason to believe that through more dialogue and exchanges, the Chinese civilization and Islamic civilization will be able to continue to enrich themselves, respect each other, co-exist harmoniously and develop together in a world that embraces diversity, and both sides will adopt a strategic perspective and proceed from the long-term interests of the peoples on both sides to unswervingly promote the stable and comprehensive development of the China-Arab relations and open a new chapter for the China-Arab friendly and cooperative relationship. 

Special report: Wen visits Egypt, attends China-Africa forum

Editor: Yan
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