At the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting on March 15th, H.E. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and President of the People’s Republic of China, delivered a keynote speech and proposed the Global Civilization Initiative. This is the third major global initiative presented by China after the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. It fundamentally answers a series of questions of the times, such as “What kind of modernization do we need?” and “How can we achieve modernization?” The initiative has become another important public good provided to the world and will inject fresh and strong energy into the common development and progress of human society in a world fraught with multiple challenges and crises. I would like to introduce the Global Civilization Initiative to Ghanaian friends and help China and Ghana strengthen cultural exchanges and cooperation.
The Global Civilization Initiative puts forward four initiatives – respect for diversity of civilizations, advocating the common values of humanity, highly valuing the inheritance and innovation of civilizations, and jointly advocating robust international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation. It not only covers the basic concepts and principles that different civilizations can tolerate each other, coexist and learn from each other, but also has the source of motivation and a practical path for realization. It is a major initiative that is very constructive, operable and sustainable. It advocates respect for different civilizations and support for their rights to develop, which fully meets the strong needs of the international community. It has shown strong vitality since its inception, arousing enthusiastic responses in the international community.
We advocate the respect for the diversity of civilizations. Countries need to uphold the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations, and let cultural exchanges transcend estrangement, mutual learning transcend clashes, and coexistence transcend feelings of superiority. All countries have the right to develop in accordance with their own culture, civilization and geographical location, but this does not mean that civilizations should be separated from each other. Instead of the conflict, civilizations should put aside their disagreements and disputes, and contribute to the common pursuit of humanity.
We advocate the common values of humanity. Peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the common aspirations of all peoples. Countries need to keep an open mind in appreciating the perceptions of values by different civilizations, refrain from imposing one’s own values or models on others and stoking ideological confrontation, stop pushing a zero-sum agenda to bully and exploit the weak and vulnerable, and playing bloc politics and using democracy as a tool for political ends.
We advocate the importance of inheritance and innovation of civilizations. Countries need to fully harness the relevance of their histories and cultures to the present times, and push for creative transformation and innovative development of their fine traditional cultures.
We advocate robust international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation. Countries need to explore the building of a global network for inter-civilization dialogue and cooperation, enrich the contents of exchanges and expand avenues of cooperation to promote mutual understanding and friendship among people of all countries and jointly advance the progress of human civilizations.
China is not only a “thinker” but also a “doer” in promoting building a human community with a shared future and practice the Global Civilization Initiative. In Africa, more than 60 Confucius Institutes have been established in 46 countries. In Ghana, the Confucius Institutes at the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Coast continue to flourish, and a Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition will be held in the near future to better raise Sino-Ghanaian friendship. There are more than 6,000 Ghanaian students studying in China assiduously, ranking second in Africa.
At present, the changes of the world, the changes of the times, and the changes in history are unfolding unprecedentedly. We have more reasons to expect that the Global Civilization Initiative, together with the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, will constantly inject stability and bring new hope to this world of turbulence and transformation. A single flower does not make spring, while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden. Together, we can make the garden of world civilizations full of colors and life.
BY H.E. LU KUN, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO GHANA