TAIZHOU, China, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This is a report from China.org.cn:
The 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture was held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday.
Themed with “Hehe Culture and Global Civilization Initiative,” the forum aimed to implement the initiative, showcase the Chinese culture of peace and harmony, or “hehe” as pronounced in Chinese, and promote exchange and mutual learning among civilizations.
The event comprises four parallel sessions, exploring the relationship between Hehe Culture and dialogue, cooperation among civilizations, the guidance of common values, and family harmony, as well as the protection, inheritance, and innovation of Hehe Culture. In addition, an ambassadors’ roundtable discussion and a Hehe Culture salon for global youth were also held.
Zhang Xuewei, vice chairman of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said at the forum that the culture of Tiantai Mountain, characterized by a pursuit of harmony, kindness, and progress, reflects the significant values of harmony, peace, and coexistence in Chinese culture. “Hehe Culture belongs not only to China but also to the world,” he said.
Zhang added that Zhejiang is dedicated to leveraging its geographical, human, and cultural advantages, with robust academic achievements and creative theoretical contributions, to study Hehe Culture from multiple perspectives and explore its historical and cultural values, contemporary relevance, and global significance.
In his speech, Yukio Hatoyama, former prime minister of Japan and president of the East Asia Community Institute, said Hehe Culture captures the essence of the peaceful nature of the Chinese nation and can help steer a world suffering from wars and disputes to the road of peace and stability.
The former Japanese leader emphasized that in the face of the current dire and complex global trends and humanitarian crises, nations need, more than ever, the spirit of peace and fraternity from Hehe Culture. These principles should guide efforts to promote mutual respect, understanding, assistance, and mutual survival and prosperity, he said.
In a speech delivered via video links, Du Zhanyuan, president of China International Communications Group, said that peace is a prominent feature of the Chinese civilization. Hehe Culture contains rich Chinese wisdom, and peace is one of its core essence, he said.
Du said peace and security are the most basic need for human survival and the common aspiration of people of all countries since ancient times. The realization of world peace requires correct decisions and actions by governments and international organizations, as well as efforts from the media and think tanks to build global consensus for peace and development, he said.
Du said China International Communications Group has long been committed to promoting Chinese culture on the international stage and facilitating exchange and mutual learning between Chinese and other civilizations. It is also dedicated to advocating cultural exchange with a global perspective, promoting cultural progress with mutual learning, promoting exchange among the younger generation with a future vision, and forever passing on the spirit of peace and harmony.
In her speech at the opening of the forum, Irina Bokov, former director-general of UNESCO, said that Hehe Culture contains the values of “harmony between nature and man,” “harmony,” and “kindness.” She said it advocates genuine multilateralism, respects the differences between different civilizations, and upholds win-win cooperation and humanism, which is in line with the purpose of UNESCO.
Noting that the forum is being held at the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, Bokov said that, for thousands of years, the ancient Silk Road has shown the world how great civilizations have intermingled and influenced each other, proving the existence of mutual respect, dialogue on an equal footing, and cultural interactions between the East and the West.
Bokov said that, at a time when conflicts are intensifying in the world, the Global Civilization Initiative offers profound inspiration to respect cultural diversity and promote exchange and mutual learning among civilizations.
Li Xikui, vice president of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said he believes Hehe Culture is an important idea of Confucianism and an approach to civilizational progress for human beings. The concepts of Hehe Culture such as peace being the most valuable, harmony in diversity, harmony and co-existence, have become the cultural identity and value pursuit of Eastern civilizations, and also contain important inspiration and wisdom to solve the problems facing mankind today.
Li said his association is willing to work with friends from all walks of life in all countries to seek a path of harmonious coexistence and win-win cooperation, and build a dialogue platform for green and low-carbon development and a clean and beautiful world. He added that the association will continue to build platforms for cultural and people-to-people exchange and mutual learning, and expand the breadth and depth of people-to-people exchange and cooperation.
In his speech, Xu Shaogang, academic dean of the Academy of Chinese Culture, said that cultural diversity not only constitutes the basic form of human society, but also provides guarantees for countries to sustain their civilizations.
Xu added that Hehe Culture underscores the importance of “maintaining balance and achieving harmony” to promote the inheritance and innovation of civilization. “We should fully explore the contemporary value of the historical and cultural heritage of various countries, and help promote the creative transformation and innovative development of their excellent traditional cultures in the process of modernization, thus continually contributing cultural and civilizational strength to the prosperity and development of the world,” he said.
Hussam Al Husseini, ambassador of Jordan to China, pointed out that the development of any civilization cannot be separated from its interaction with others. The advancement of human history and the peace and development of the world are propelled by exchange and mutual learning among different civilizations.
He noted that the Chinese and Arab civilizations have enjoyed a long history of friendly exchange, which have laid a solid foundation for the steady development of China-Arab relations. The development of modern science and technology, especially the development of communications and information technology, has created wider opportunities for these two civilizations to enhance their interactions and jointly foster exchange and mutual learning among civilizations.
Husseini added that, at present, peace and stability in many regions are still under threat, and there is a strong global longing for peace and development. In these times, there is an urgent need for the principles and spirit of peace and harmony to prevail. He expressed confidence that Hehe Culture can bring new hope to regions still facing threats to peace.
Li Yueqi, secretary of the Communist Party of China Taizhou Municipal Committee, said that Taizhou is the symbol and cradle of Chinese Hehe Culture, which originated from the harmonious thought of Tiantai Mountain. The harmonious coexistence of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism here gave birth to the core gene of Hehe Culture, he said.
Li said that, to build the city into the hometown of Hehe Culture, Taizhou has continuously held the Global Forum on Hehe Culture, and actively promotes the concept of Hehe Culture to become a broad global consensus.
Lu Cairong, vice president of China International Communications Group, chaired the opening ceremony of the forum. Lu said that, to carry on Hehe Culture, different countries and nations should enhance mutual understanding, build mutual trust, forge friendship, and strengthen cooperation, to jointly inject positive energy into world peace and development and the development and progress of human civilization.
Lu said that human society should continue to advocate core Hehe spirit of peace, harmony, and cooperation, oppose the mindset of conflict, confrontation, and division, and blaze a new path of civilizational progress featuring win-win cooperation, joint contribution, and shared benefits.
The forum was jointly hosted by the Information Office of Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government, China International Communications Group, the Academy of Chinese Culture, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and the Taizhou Municipal People’s Government.
The event was attended by about 500 people from China, the U.S., Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Bulgaria, and other countries, including political figures, representatives of international organizations, diplomatic envoys, as well as experts and scholars from think tanks, universities, and research institutions.
Forum promotes Hehe Culture to foster global community of shared future