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Mutual respect the right attitude toward different civilizations


Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 30 Juin 2019 modifié le 30 Juin 2019 - 08:32

Only by embarking on this right path can we compose a beautiful chapter in which civilizations have their own beauty and enjoy diversity, work together to achieve a bright future for a community of common destiny of mankind and build a world of peace and tranquility, development and prosperity.


By Zhong Sheng

The "clash of civilizations" argument drummed up by certain people in the international arena was a huge mistake, said Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Such remarks are a timely warning for certain people against the current backdrop.

Today’s world is a community with a shared future in which the interests of countries are closely knitted. But some people in the US are hyping up the “clash of civilizations” narrative again and again.

Kiron Skinner, Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, described the US-China relationship as a "clash of civilizations" and said the US’ conflict with China is “the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian.”

The repetition of such cliché by some American politicians has reflected the deep-rooted attitude of civilization superiority in them.

For a long time, some people in the US were obsessed with civilization superiority, and were unable to refrain from changing other civilizations. They, full of ignorance and prejudices against different civilizations and ideologies, have deliberately distorted the national policies of some countries, and placed unfounded accusations against the political systems that are different from theirs.

In fact, the "civilization superiority" claim is just a prelude to the hegemonic practices of some US politicians.

History has repeatedly proved that there was no success for those Americans trying to change other civilizations. Instead, such conducts only led to countless riots, trauma, and troubles. The craze for hegemonic status and the obsession with the Cold War mentality have made some Americans unable to give up misconceptions and become troublemakers that disrupt the progress of human civilization.

The diversity of civilizations is the basic feature of the world and the exchange and mutual understanding between different civilizations are the driving force for human progress.

All civilizations are rooted in their unique cultural environment. They embody their own wisdom and visions and are valuable for being uniquely themselves. Diversity spurs interaction among civilizations, which in turn promotes mutual learning and their further development.

Thanks to the exchange of civilizations and mutual learning, and the integration and innovation of civilizations, the wisdom of mankind could continue to shine. This has not only injected vitality into human civilization, but also created strong energy for the continuous progress of the society.

Civilizations are equal, and mutual respect is the proper attitude towards different civilizations.

Civilizations only vary from each other, just as human beings are different only in terms of skin color and the language used. No civilization is superior over others. The thought that one's own race and civilization are superior and the inclination to remold or replace other civilizations are just stupid. To act them out will only bring catastrophic consequences, said Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) in May.

The Chinese proposal to promote dialogue and harmony among civilizations has been widely recognized by the international community.

In fact, the initiative to convene the CDAC reflects the deep thinking and responsibility of China to promote the development of Asian civilizations and lead the progress of the world civilizations.

The thinking and responsibility are rooted in the values of the Chinese civilization to pursue amity and good neighborliness, deliver prosperity and security to the people, keep pace with the times through reform and innovation, and achieve harmony between man and nature.

They also come from the profound practice of the Chinese civilization in the 5,000-year history featuring inclusiveness and mutual learning. In a word, they have deep foundation, the power of truth and long-lasting vitality.

Italian theorist Umberto Eco once said that to understand others does not mean to prove that they are similar to us, but to understand and respect their differences from us. German political scientist Harald Müller said that the dialogue between civilizations, not the conflict of civilizations, is the real prospect of the development of the world now and in the future.

All countries in the world should promote exchange and mutual understanding among civilizations based on equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness, further pool consensus for the creation of prevailing opinions, and create a sound environment for peaceful global civilization development.

Countries should replace superiority with coexistence, clashes with mutual learning, estrangement with exchange, and vested interests with common prosperity.

Only by embarking on this right path can we compose a beautiful chapter in which civilizations have their own beauty and enjoy diversity, work together to achieve a bright future for a community of common destiny of mankind and build a world of peace and tranquility, development and prosperity.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name used by People's Daily to express views on foreign policy.)