Wen calls for respecting diversity of civilizations, vows to promote China-Arab ties
CAIRO: Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday highlighted the diversity of civilizations in the world, calling for respect, dialogue and exchange among different civilizations.
In a speech delivered at the headquarters of the Arab League in downtown Cairo, Wen also pledged efforts to enhance cooperation between China and the Arab world.
Respecting Diversity of Civilizations
"There exist diverse civilizations in the world, just like the existence of diverse species in the nature," Wen said.
The world today is home to over 200 countries and regions, more than 2,500 ethnic groups and 6,000-plus languages, Wen said, adding that "Dialogue, exchange and integration among different civilizations form the powerful current of human civilization are surging ahead ceaselessly."
The Chinese premier said both the Islamic and the Chinese civilizations are treasures of human civilization and both have made indelible contributions to the progress and development of human society.
"Dialogue and exchange between the Chinese civilization and the Islamic civilization date back to antiquity and the world-famous Silk Road offers us the best example," said Wen.
The ever expanding and deepening exchange between China and the Arab has not only enhanced their respective cultural prosperity and economic development, but has also promoted interactions between the Eastern and Western civilizations, he noted.
Civilizations can be different, but no civilization is superior to others, Wen said. "Each civilization embodies the common vision and common aspirations of mankind shaped in the course of development and progress."
"Speaking of respecting diversity of civilizations, we must recognize that diversity of civilizations is largely reflected in ethnic and religious diversity," he said.
It is a basic policy of the Chinese government to implement and improve the system of regional ethnic autonomy, ensure equality among all ethnic groups and speed up the economic and social development of minority ethnic groups and areas inhabited by these groups, Wen explained.
"It is also our policy to ensure freedom of religious belief and bring into play the positive role of religious personages and religious believers in promoting economic and social development," Wen continued.
The Chinese government has adopted a range of policies to support economic, cultural and social development of ethnic minority groups and areas, Wen said.