|Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in Paris, France, March 27, 2014. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)|
PARIS, March 27 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for global efforts to boost exchanges and mutual learning among and achieve harmonious coexistence of different civilizations.
Xi, who is in France for a state visit, made the appeal in a speech delivered at the headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.
Inter-civilization exchanges and mutual learning, he said, should be given full play as a bridge of friendship among peoples, a driving force behind human progress and a strong bond for world peace.
"To promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, we must adopt a right approach with some important principles," Xi pointed out.
"First, civilizations have come in different colors, and such diversity has made exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations relevant and valuable," he said.
Exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations must not be built on the exclusive praise or belittling of one particular civilization, Xi said.
"Second, civilizations are equal, and such equality has made exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations possible," he said.
All civilizations have their respective strengths and shortcomings, he noted, adding that there is no perfect civilization in the world, nor is there a civilization that is devoid of any merit.
"No one civilization can be judged superior to another," he said.
"Third, civilizations are inclusive, and such inclusiveness has given exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations the needed drive to move forward," he said.
History shows that only through exchanges and mutual learning can a civilization be filled with vitality, Xi said. "If all civilizations can uphold inclusiveness, the so-called 'clash of civilizations' will be out of the question and the harmony of civilizations will become reality."
With the world consisting of different cultures, ethnic groups, skin colors, religions and social systems, the people of various countries have become members of an intimate community of shared destiny, said Xi.
"We should seek wisdom and nourishment from various civilizations to provide support and consolation for people's mind, and work together to tackle the challenges facing mankind," he said.
The Chinese leader also called on the world to develop education more actively, as education is "an effective vehicle for the continuation and creation of civilizations."
Expounding on the Chinese dream, Xi said the Chinese dream is about prosperity of the country, rejuvenation of the nation, and happiness of the people.
"The Chinese dream will be realized through balanced development and mutual reinforcement of material and cultural progress," he said. "The Chinese people will encourage creative shifts and innovative development of the Chinese civilization in keeping with the progress of the times."
"The Chinese civilization, together with the rich and colorful civilizations created by the people of other countries, will provide mankind with the right cultural guidance and strong motivation," he added.
Founded in 1946, UNESCO is the largest UN agency specializing in educational, scientific and cultural fields. The organization aims to promote cooperation among countries in those fields and contribute to world peace and security.
France is the second leg of Xi's ongoing Europe trip, which will also take him to Germany and Belgium. Before France, Xi visited the Netherlands and attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.