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Ancient hub offers inspiration for future

By Li Baofang | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-12 08:00
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The murals in the Mogao Caves are one of the valuable cultural legacies left behind from the city's time as a hub on the ancient Silk Road. [Photo by Chen Yuxiao/For China Daily]

Moutai's chairman Li Baofang articulates vision for better world forged through expanding cultural and economic exchanges

During the third Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo held in the city of Dunhuang in Gansu province on Sept 27-28, Li Baofang, chairman of Kweichow Moutai Group, shared his insights into how to make the world a better place through cultural and economic exchanges.

When we meet in Dunhuang, a historic city that has played a crucial role in the cultural and economic exchanges between China and the world for more than 2,000 years, we feel the expo we are attending - which bears the name of the Silk Road - is an extraordinary event.

The world today has entered a critical period after the ending of the Cold War in the early 1990s. There are increasing uncertainties in global af airs, considering growing trade frictions and a new trend of anti-globalization.

Here in this hub of ancient cultural exchanges, I believe we can profoundly learn from its past experiences.

More than 2,000 years ago, despite various tough conditions, especially in transportation, merchants from countries and regions along the Silk Road overcame all the adversities to trade commodities.

The ancient trade route was also a great channel for cultural exchanges, which we can feel today when taking in the many cultural relics, such as the Mogao Caves or Thousand Buddha Grottoes, and other places of interest in this city.

The theme of this year's expo is to "showcase the cultural fruits of the Silk Road, facilitate exchanges in the humanities and build the world into a better place to live" - and this is exactly the reason why we are meeting here.

Compared with various periods in history, we are now in an era of information, which makes all kinds of exchanges much easier. With an open mind and a global vision, we should have the confidence to build a better future for all human beings.

From the perspective of an entrepreneur, I'd like to share my opinions on this occasion on how to build a Silk Road in the new era

Li Baofang, chairman of Kweichow Moutai Group. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Openness and courage

Building a Silk Road in the new era demands openness, inclusiveness, courage and confidence.

More than 100 years ago the Chinese people still relied on horses and slow boats for transportation. At that time Moutai representatives traveled from the landlocked Guizhou province in southwestern China all the way to San Francisco on the west coast of the United States, for an exhibition at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, an event showcasing the world's latest industrial developments and also celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

The journey to a destination several thousands miles away in San Francisco, where Moutai liquor garnered a gold medal and gained its international reputation, was not easy at all. Behind the success of the brand is our enterprising spirit that is similar to the spirit that motivated the merchants on the Silk Road 2,000 years ago. In addition to this enterprising spirit, our forefathers at Moutai stuck to a humble principle - the competitiveness of products or services comes from the recognition and respect of people in various cultures.

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