Participants in the ongoing Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations on Wednesday said that young people in different countries understand each other better and play an important role in safeguarding peace.
Jang Kyung-tae, chairman of the Republic of Korea’s National Youth Committee of the Democratic Party, said there have been conflicts between Asian countries because of political, economic and geographical differences, but the countries share greatness in their religions and cultures.
He said people can never completely understand themselves by studying only their home country.
“We can only truly learn about ourselves when we start to learn about the entirety of Asia,” he said.
Believing it’s the right time to bring efforts together to form a new, more youthful community to represent Asia in the new century, Jang called on youth leaders to learn from each other and create trust.
He made the remarks at a sub-forum about young people’s responsibility to carry forward the heritage of Asia.
The forum, organized by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and the All-China Youth Federation, was aimed at strengthening exchanges and cooperation among youth organizations and young people from different fields, and at guiding young people to understand the history and reality of Asian civilizations. The idea is to gather the energy of young people to create a better future for Asia.
He Junke, first secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of Communist Youth League of China, encouraged young people in Asia to engage in efforts to safeguard and transmit the idea of peace.
“We should respect the diversity of civilization and fight against the clash or superiority of certain civilizations,” he said at the forum.
“We should also boost exchanges among civilizations, increase equal access to education and science, while eliminating estrangement, prejudice and hostility through mutual understanding and collective consensus,” he added.
Kenneth Fok, vice-president of the Fok Ying Tung Group in Hong Kong, said he was born into a lucky generation without the experience of conflict or war.
Such a generation sometimes might mistake peace as something easily gained, while it is not, he said, adding that even without wars, people still face various challenges including environmental issues and terrorism.
“We have to sit together, put these issues on the table and hopefully reach consensus,” he said.
About 300 representatives, including outstanding young talent in fields like culture, economy, media and public welfare from 13 Asian countries attended the forum.
In addition to Wednesday’s forum, they will attend a series of other activities such as a cultural gatherings, art performances and visits to innovative enterprises.