A road of connected civilizations

Updated: Aug 21, 2019 China Daily Print
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Editor's Note: China published a report elaborating on the progress, contributions and prospects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in April. The document, prepared by the office of the leading group for promoting the BRI, was released ahead of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing. The following is part of the text under the theme of prospects.

In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should ensure that with regard to different civilizations, exchange will replace estrangement, mutual learning will replace clashes, and coexistence will replace a sense of superiority. This will boost mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust between different countries.

The ancient Silk Road facilitated interactions between countries and between ethnic groups as well as advances in human civilization. The Belt and Road Initiative is rooted in profound civilizations and inclusive cultures. It provides a platform for participating countries to approach each other and enhance mutual learning. It enables deeper exchanges between peoples from different countries, cultures and historical backgrounds. It allows peoples, regardless of their ethnicities, cultures, social systems and religions, to communicate, blend and connect with each other from a new height, in joint efforts to build a global community of shared future. The Belt and Road Initiative encourages the countries involved to conduct extensive cooperation in education, technology, culture, health, sports, media and tourism. It facilitates exchanges among political parties, youth organizations, civil society organizations, think tanks, women's associations, and local authorities. A development trend toward common prosperity of all civilizations is apparent, highlighting harmony without uniformity and unity in diversity.

China, together with other B&R countries and related international organizations, is willing to establish a multitiered mechanism for cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and build more cooperation platforms and channels. We should boost educational cooperation, increase the number of exchange students, and improve the performance of cooperatively run schools. We should develop the Belt and Road Studies Network and the Belt and Road News Alliance. We should cooperate more in protecting historical and cultural heritage, providing foreign aid in cultural relics protection, and promoting joint archaeological activities and exchanges between museums. We should jointly develop tourist products with distinctive Silk Road features. We should enhance exchanges between political parties, NGOs, women and youth to promote inclusive development. During the second Belt and Road Forum for Inter-national Cooperation, China will launch a cooperation initiative on "Accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals for Children through Shared Development" in B&R countries with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Civil society organizations in China will start the "Silk Road Community Building" program to promote cooperation between civil society organizations in all B&R countries to improve people's lives. China will continue to provide affordable support and assistance to other developing countries under the initiative.

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