Cultural coexistence to contribute to harmonous world: Chinese scholar

RHODES,Greece, Oct. 3 — Consensus building, inter-civilization dialogue and peaceful coexistence are tools to build a harmonious world, a Chinese scholar told the opening plenary meeting of the 11th World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” (Rhodes Forum) on Thursday on the Greek island of Rhodes.
Zhuo Xinping, director of China’s Institute of World Religions, addressing the forum’s 600 participants from 60 countries and regions, said increasing “globalization” in the present-day world has heightened our awareness of cultural coexistence and he appealed all the people on earth to work concertedly for a peaceful and harmonious world.
Zhuo said the need to survive and live on harmoniously requires the mankind to replace confrontation with dialogue, chaos with harmony, and all-lose with all-win in a world of human coexistence.
“While already living intimately in a rather cozy global village, the last thing one can do is to pursue a ‘bagger-my-neighbor’ policy. What we should do is to advocate good-neighborliness, love, sharing and affinity. In an international community that is already globalized, we must work vigorously to resolve disputes, stop wars and give the reins to peace and tranquillity as much as possible,” said Zhuo.
However, he said a harmonious world does not mean that all human civilizations should become one in the end. In contrary, they should be kept as diverse and pluralistic as before.
“Sharing beautiful cultures, nurturing a commonality of all civilizations and identifying their universally recognized characters — this is the responsibility and mandate for all of us, ” Zhuo stressed.
He said the meeting, communication, dialogue and understanding between cultures require one not only to self-consciously respect, appreciate and preserve the culture of his own, but also to learn and appreciate other cultures which may very well have peculiar and equally proud advantages.
Zhuo is among the 12 Chinese scholars attending this year’s forum. They will exchange ideas with other participants on the current global challenges in international politics, economics, social relations and culture in the forum which will last until Oct. 6.
The forum was co-founded by Russian politician-cum-businessman Vladimir Yakunin with C. Kapur of India and N. Papanikolao from Greece/United States.
It unites various nongovernmental organizations, representatives of public and state institutions, civil society organizations and faith-based groups, academics, members of diverse civilizations and cultural traditions, and individuals.
The main goals of the forum are to protect the spiritual and cultural values of humankind and to create a space for constructive dialogue among the major civilizations of the modern world.
The first annual session of the forum took place in September 2003 on Rhodes, about 430 km southeast of the capital Athens.[db:内容2]