An Asian cultural carnival is held during the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) at the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, in Beijing on May 15, 2019.
Asia is a region boasting a long history of civilizations, including the world's existing major civilizations, like the Chinese civilization and Indian civilization. In addition, Asian civilizations demonstrate their diversity and harmonious coexistence. Liu Zhenmin, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, noted: "The world consists of 193 member states, but it is virtually a community of cultural diversity. To catalyze cooperation among countries, we must firstly promote the coexistence of diverse cultures and civilizations, and encourage mutual learning among diverse cultures." Liu pointed out that no civilization is superior to others and there is no civilization that is devoid of any merit. Therefore, the key point lies in whether civilization adapts to a region, a nation, or a country. Liu said: "Asian civilization has made important contributions to the development of Asia. Asian civilization is vitally important to catalyze the development of mankind and also played a significant role in promoting human progress."
"If we reflect on Asian history and the ancient Silk Road, we will realize that globalization virtually started with the Silk Road, which constitutes a regional contribution to globalization," the former president of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remarked.
In the 16th century, the West pursued colonialism around the globe and vigorously promoted the Western development model worldwide. However, “there is a new era, and as the U.S. policies turn increasingly conservative, it is good to see that the last 40 years have made China prosperous and a leader in the world economy. And now what we see is a transitioning of the center of trade from the West to Asia.” Arroyo said.
She pointed out, “We may see the world come around in a full circle back to what it was 2,000 years ago, where the Silk Road was the center of globalization. At that time, we will see a new globalization in the East rather than in the West.”
With the theme of "Exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and a community with a shared future," the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations aims to deepen cooperation among Asian countries.
Asian civilization has always been promoting the continuous progress of human society. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz remarked: “Asian civilization is well known for its innovative drive. We are hard-working, and we are committed. That civilization is helping us move forward."
He noted that Asia's economic development has now become an example for other countries. “Clearly, one of the key countries in Asia which drives growth is China, and China has now become a model of growth. Now, many people from around the world come here to understand the reform, to understand how to conduct policies, so it has begun to share the benefits across the world.” Aziz pointed out.
In fact, different civilizations have been interacting, as some cultures are slowly merging. Liu Zhenmin said: "Rather than a unitary civilization, the Chinese civilization has incorporated varied traditional cultures in Asian region and is a combination of diverse civilizations."
Liu Zhenmin urged Asian countries to further strengthen exchanges and mutual learnings among civilizations in the process of strengthening regional cooperation. Now, the United Nations has established a UN Alliance of Civilizations, with the aim to, according to Liu Zhenmin, "improve understanding and cooperation among nations and peoples across cultures and to reduce polarization at local and global levels. It helps develop more inclusive societies, in which diversity is experienced as an asset."