Deepening Mutual Learning Among
Civilizations For a Shared Bright Future
H.E. Zhao Zhiyuan
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The world today is moving toward greater multi-polarity, economic globalization and cultural diversity, and is becoming increasingly information-oriented. All this points to promising prospects for the future. Meanwhile, instability and uncertainties are mounting and the global challenges faced by humanity are becoming ever more daunting, calling for joint responses from countries around the world.
Tolerance, coexistence, exchanges and mutual learning are needed among different civilizations to advance humanity’s modernization process and make the garden of world civilization flourish, as the future of all countries is closely connected nowadays. At the opening ceremony of the Communist Party of China in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting on March 15 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed for the first time the Global Civilization Initiative with four “advocates”, pointing out the way forward for humanity’s civilization progress and world’s peaceful development.
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.
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, and refrain from imposing their own values or models on others and from stoking ideological confrontation.
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, expand avenues of cooperation to promote mutual understanding and friendship among people of all countries, and jointly advance the progress of human civilizations.
“A single flower does not make spring, while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden.” All civilizations created by human society are splendid. They are where each country’s modernization drive draws its strength and where its unique feature comes from. They, transcending time and space, have jointly made important contributions to humanity’s modernization process. Chinese modernization, as a new form of human advancement, will draw upon the merits of other civilizations and make the garden of world civilizations more vibrant.
Both China and Ethiopia are world-known ancient civilizations. The 53 years of our diplomatic relations have witnessed remarkable achievements of the exchanges and communication between our two civilizations, a fortune that deserves to be cherished. Since China and Ethiopia signed an agreement for cultural cooperation in 1988, there have been frequent mutual visits of cultural delegation and art groups. Interactions in cultural sectors promote mutual understanding. Universities and colleges on both sides have conducted many exchanges. Amharic has been a university major in China, and two Confucius Institutes have been set up in universities and colleges in Ethiopia. Mutual learning of languages brings closer people’s hearts. Ethiopia is designated as the first African country as Chinese young volunteers’ destination and an approved destination for Chinese group tourists. China is among the most popular foreign tourism destinations for Ethiopian friends. Flow of tourists connects our people-to-people bond. China is now advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. This provides China’s wisdom and solution for all countries that strive for modernization. Mutual learning of experience further strengthens the relations between our two countries.
We are convinced that the Global Civilization Initiative will definitely deepen the exchanges and mutual learning between China and Ethiopia as two great civilizations, and promote our comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Under the guidance of the initiative, our two countries will bring more colors to the garden of world civilizations, and will walk hand in hand into a beautiful spring of prosperous civilizations!