The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) is attracting attention worldwide as topics such as the theory of the clash of civilizations have spurred serious discussions during side events. Global Times reporters Wang Wenwen, Zhao Yusha and Zhang Ao interviewed CDAC delegates to get their ideas on the issues and how the conference, which started Wednesday in Beijing, will help promote mutual understanding and knowledge sharing.
Director of EU-China Programmes at the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE)
CDAC is important because it constitutes a platform of cooperation among different civilizations in Asia.
Although the focus is on Asia, the message is international because civilizations have no borders and their beauty is shared by citizens of the world.
President Xi Jinping has elaborated on his vision on the creation of a common shared future for humanity in Asia and beyond.
This contradicts the clash of civilization theory that had been successful in interpreting international relations after the September 11 attacks [in the US in 2001].
The clash of civilizations theory was a useful frame explaining the ire in the international arena that often led to terrorist activities.
It implied civilizations failed to collaborate due to stereotypes and superiority-inferiority comparisons.
President Xi concentrates on the importance of peace and prosperity that are closely interlinked. He also advocated for mutual respect for diversity and acknowledged that all civilizations are different.
Shared win-win results, safeguarding security and economic survival of people are key for the realization of this vision.
CDAC needs to continue and develop toward this direction. Trust is required, especially where countries with different interests negotiate.
In that regard, mutual exchanges and learning, as President Xi proposes, will facilitate the process.