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The Third Taihe Civilizations Forum was concluded on September 8 in Beijing

(People's Daily Online)    11:25, September 09, 2019

On September 8, 2019, Taihe Civilizations Forum initiated by Taihe Institute was successfully concluded in Beijing. This forum upheld the fundamental purpose of “exploring common values, seeking harmonious development”, and the theme of “Science and Culture, Future Ethics and Common Values”. Aiming at promoting the exchange and mutual learning of civilizations among countries and regions, and pushing forward the harmonious and sustainable development of human society, it focuses on the symbiosis and sharing of human civilizations, exploring and studying the root causes of contradictions, and pursuing the solutions of settling and resolving conflicts. In the three-day forum, centering on the four major fields of International Relations, Education and Culture, Disruptive Technologies, as well as the Security and Development of the Belt and Road, over 200 guests including former leaders, well-known experts and scholars from both China and abroad, have made suggestions and shared their wisdom.

Experiencing the profound shifts unseen in the past 100 years, the oriental wisdom and China's solution are required

In the session of The International Relations, when discussing “the present and future of Sino-US relations”, Cui Liru, senior researcher at Taihe Institute, believes that the domestic political and economic development of China and the United States has an important impact on the development of Sino-US relations. Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center believes that China's rise is a historic and successful transformation. To improve bilateral relations, China and the United States need to bring bilateral relations back on track and clarify their respective national interest." Wang Wen, Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, and Vice President of Silk Road School at Renmin University of China, said there were many areas for China and the United States to cooperate, such as the North Korean nuclear issue, drug regulation and cultural exchanges. In the topic of "the evolution of the international order and the ‘community with a shared future for mankind’", Ding Yifan, senior researcher at Taihe Institue, suggested that Asian countries could resolve conflicts by building a community of interests, which would become an example of building a community with a shared future for mankind. For Thomas Gomart, Director of the French Institute of International Relations, he believes that the world needs to defend the multilateral and pluralistic international order, instead of the traditional China-US-Russia strategic triangle. Tang Shiping, Distinguished Professor at Fudan University, believes that “the world is becoming more globalized (at least economically) and more regionalized, and overlapping regional order will become a key component of any future international order.”

Creating our modern world requires hundreds of millions of high-quality workers, and thus the Vocational Education calls for international cooperation

In the session of Education and Culture, on the topic of 5G era and vocational education innovation, Zhang Xinsheng, Secretary-General of the Communications Science & Technology Commission of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, believes 5G has a wide range of application scenarios in the field of education, which may promote greater development of education. Martin Riordan, Honorary Senior Fellow of the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership and Management at University of Melbourne, said the mismatch between talent demand and the professional quality of higher education graduates was a global phenomenon, and China's vocational education reform was facing great opportunities. Li Ying, Director of Center for Pension Industry of Medical and Health Care at Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC), argued the application of 5G technology in the healthcare sector would greatly improve basic medical services in rural and underdeveloped areas. For Robert Xiao, CEO of Perfect World Group, he agreed 5G would drive the development of the digital cultural industry for the next decade. Business models, content needs and consumer experiences are opportunities and challenges for the future of the creative industry. Hu Xi, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Law School believes enterprises should increase investment in the training of digital skills to adapt to future industrial development. Fang Xiao, researcher of Changjiang Education Research Institute talked about the leading role of vocational colleges in the certification of professional talents, and called for the improvement of the infrastructure of vocational education systems to eliminate conceptual barriers. Liu Jinghui, senior researcher at Taihe Institute, called for strengthening cooperation between Chinese and foreign vocational education and providing more favorable soft support for the Belt and Road. Liu Yipei, President of Polus International College, insisted in the process of cultivating new industry talents, government should provide greater policy support to private education.

Whether science brings happiness or disaster depends entirely on people themselves

Discussions in the Disruptive Technologies Session focused on the theme of “the cooperation, competition or conflict in the development of disruptive science and technology.” Thorsten Jelinek, Europe Director of Taihe Institute, said that the application of disruptive technologies had two aspects: good and evil. Wendell Wallach, Director of Science and Technology Ethics and Ethics, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale University, stated that technology was like automatic driving, and that it was now sitting in the driver's seat and would influence the development direction of the future of mankind. Zhang Jianwei, Professor at University of Hamburg, Germany, talked about seven balances which needed to be paid attention to during the process of research and development of AI. Both Fei Lianghong, Chief Advisor of Cloud Computing Technology at AWS, and Shi Minyong, Dean of Computer Science at Communication University of China, argued that technological breakthroughs would cause unavoidable short-term imbalances, and that rules of human society faced the challenge of reconstruction. Zhang Yu, Head of Business Intelligence Team of the Department of Strategy & Innovation of Nokia Shanghai Bell Co., Ltd., said that the development of China's 5G+ industrial Internet faced ecological competition, standard competition and speed competition among countries. Participants all agreed that all countries must cooperate unremittingly and creatively in the field of ethics, conflicts and governance of disruptive technologies in order to ensure that the disruptive forces of technologies benefit our world instead of harming it.

In line with the trend of the times of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, we will be able to maintain the bottom line of security

The Session of the Security and Development of the Belt and Road focused on three issues. In the discussion of “Security Challenges” issue, Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, believed that the growing intensity of global situation and increasing conflicts in some regions threatened the development of Belt and Road. Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001-2002), Zlatko Lagumdzija, indicated that the Belt and Road Initiative was a powerful tool for avoiding conflicts and seeking peace, and that countries along the route should work together to overcome the challenges. Ahcene Boukhelfa, Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the People’s Republic of China, said that accurately and comprehensively interpreting the Belt and Road Initiative was an important issue for Chinese government. Fu Mengzi, Vice President of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, claimed that the world order was in the process of overturn and reconstruction, and that we must pay special attention to the risks brought by changes of national political situation.

In the discussion of “Response Mechanisms” issue, Liu Guijin, Chinese Government’s Special Representative for African Affairs (2007-2012), called for countries along the route to strengthen alignment of strategy and political mutual trust in order to effectively overcome the comprehensive challenges of traditional security and non-traditional security issues. Secretary-General of China Africa Industrial Forum, Cheng Zhigang, suggested that China and the countries along the route should jointly build a regional security system and comprehensively improve their ability of overseas security precaution.

In the discussion of “China’s Programs” issue, Wu Sike, Special Envoy of the Chinese government for the Middle East (2009-2014), stated that Chinese government’s promotion of the Belt and Road with the idea of “promoting safety through development” would continuously exert unique “Chines influence”. Zhai Kun, professor of Peking University, pointed out that the Belt and Road presented a situation of global expansion, nationwide development, full-service coverage and civil participation. China should actively communicate with foreign countries and achieve mutual development.

The world is faced with profound shifts unseen in a century, Hegemonism and Power Politics remain, while Protectionism, Unilateralism and Populism continue to rise……Cooperation or Confrontation, Openness or Closure, Win-Win or Beggar-thy-Neighbor? Thick mountains could not stop the river from flowing into the sea. The three-day Taihe Civilizations Forum ended and elites from all over the world gathered at the foot of the Great Wall. “Hold all mountains in a single glance” and “ascend a height and compose new poems”. Under such circumstance, we should insist on the principle of “being strict and objective, international-oriented, forward-looking, and practical”, focus on the symbiosis and sharing of human civilization, excavate and study the root causes of contradictions and seek the way for resolving conflicts peacefully.  

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