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Experts on how Asian civilizations can break barriers

By Song Wei and Jin Dan | | Updated: 2019-05-16 14:55
Indian film director Aamir Khan [Photo by Akhil Parashar]

Editor's Note: President Xi urged all countries to uphold equality and respect to promote dialogue and harmonious coexistence among different civilizations at the opening ceremony on the Conference of Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC). Four distinguished Chinese and foreign scholars and artists share their views on how to enhance the global influence of Asian civilizations at one sub-forum of CDAC in Beijing on Wednesday. Excepts follow:

Movies one of the best instruments to spread culture

Chen Daoming, actor; president of China Film Artists Association

One important instrument to spread Asian civilizations and culture is movies. In the past, mostly books, images, music, art, etc. were used. But now more vivid mediums TV and movies are utilized. This saves us from traveling all around the world to appreciate diverse cultures. This is a fascinating way to spread culture.

There are 47 Asian countries. Only by cooperation and harmonious coexistence, can we showcase the Asian civilians to the world. European and American cultures impact us mainly through movies and TV. I feel the Asian TV and movies still don't have international influence. There is a lot to do.

China has a lot of talent, great market and film bases, as well as advanced production technology. On more cooperation and convergence, I would like to take this opportunity to show my respect to friends in the movie industry and welcome you to China for more cooperation to together promote the Asian civilizations to the world.

Openness and diversity develop civilizations

Zheng Yongnian, professor and director of the East Asian Institute at National University of Singapore

Conflicts don't create civilization. The civilization of dialogue will nudge civilizations - be it Indian or Chinese - to expand, go out. Earlier today, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulo said that Europeans are looking east. It's not the first time for them to do so.

Many of the Chinese traditions have traveled west. Chinese people were very inclusive during the Tang and Song dynasties. The whole civilization has had great and far-reaching influences on the development of the civilization of Asia.

When I was listening to President Xi's remarks in the morning, I summarized his statement in four words: diversity, communication, mutual learning and development. So for civilizations to develop in the future, they have to be more open and diverse instead of closing up.

Outlook exerts greater influence

Aamir Khan, Indian film director

From the filmmaking perspective, it was never my intention to go global. I was exploring internally actually. I believe in storytelling, the more honest you are, the more hearts it will touch.

Asian civilizations have offered so much-China has offered inventions such as paper and printing, India the concept of zero, and other civilizations other contributions. But I think one of the most remarkable contributions has been the outlook.

For example, Chinese Taoism tells us about life and how should we should be with nature. It's such a beautiful thought. That's what I think is one of the biggest contributions. Same goes for Buddhism and the concept of nonviolence from India. These thoughts, I think, other than inventions, will have a bigger influence on the world.

Exchanges lead to prosperity

Cao Wenxuan, writer, professor of Peking University

The human civilization started with exchanges. The exchanges of communication have brought the civilizations of human beings. The Asian civilizations have made great contributions to human civilizations.

As a member of Asia, China's contribution is like a river's contribution to the sea. China is not only a receiver of human heritages, both materially and spiritually, we are also a will maker. On the list of the will we make, there if a long list of heritage – gunpowder, printing, porcelain, etc.

Prosperity comes from exchanges of communication. If we want to sustain prosperity, we must remember exchanges and communication, without which, it's impossible for human prosperity.

The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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