2021 Taihe Civilizations Forum launched online, casting eye on past, present and future

(People's Daily Online) 14:34, September 06, 2021

The 5th Taihe Civilizations Forum (TCF) was launched online by Taihe Institute on Sept. 5, 2021.

Wu Hailong, President of the China Public Diplomacy Association, said that while this year's forum is being held amid a changing international landscape, a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, a weak global economic recovery and dramatic climate changes, he hopes the forum participants will be able to share their insights into future trends, explore the relationships between major countries, address the existential threat to humanity posed by climate change, map out the strategies for vocational education revitalization, and guide young people in the right direction.

A Multi-pronged Approach to Carbon Peak and Neutrality

Li Junfeng, First Director of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation and Executive Director of the China Energy Research Society, pointed out that the Chinese government has set its emission peak and carbon neutrality goal. Countries around the world should set aside their differences and seek common ground to explore a path to achieve low-carbon and sustainable growth.

Zhang Xinsheng, Senior Fellow of the Taihe Institute and Secretary-General of the Communications Science & Technology Commission of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, noted that energy conservation and emission reduction, namely, carbon neutrality, is now the biggest challenge China faces in developing information and communication technology (ICT) and digital economy. He also pointed out that ICT and digital technology can be used as powerful tools for achieving carbon neutrality.

Competition and Coexistence between China and the U.S.

Stephen Orlins, President of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, said that over the past year or two, Sino-U.S. relations and the world have both changed a lot. He was very pleased to see that this year's forum covers key topics of common interest in such fields as International Relations, Economy and Technology, and Education and Culture.

Sino-EU Relations: Enhance Understanding and Promote Cooperation

Rashid Alimov, Distinguished Fellow of the Taihe Institute and Secretary General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (2016-2018), said that the world must adhere to multilateralism and seek solutions via global cooperation. COVID-19 has shown that we are closely connected to each other. The whole world is encouraged by Chinese people's solidarity and bravery in the battle against the pandemic. Today, we need decisive joint efforts to fight the pandemic, overcome climate change, establish mutually respectful dialogue, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Susan Thornton, a Senior Fellow at Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, believes that only with constructive international relations and an effective governance system can each country seize the opportunity to tackle the looming challenges and drive our collective globalized future.

The Future of Work in the Digital Era

Yuan Ming, Dean of the Yenching Academy at Peking University and a Professor at the School of International Relations at Peking University, said that it is a huge challenge for humanity to reach a consensus on the diversity of civilizations and of today's world. How should we get across the idea that the world is a diverse place? How can such an idea help countries talk to each other, understand each other, and grow with each other? Yuan hoped that young people, who play a very important role in such matters, can do more through the Taihe Civilizations Forum.

Ismail Serageldin, Co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, said that beyond the values of science, there are other values that contemporary society must adopt, such as empathy, altruism, appreciation of beauty and the arts, benign interaction with the environment, respect for and support to the rule of law, refusing poverty and hunger in the midst of plenty, and so much more. Widespread acceptance of these values could bring to our societies more goodness, beauty, liberty, equality, and justice.

Adapt Vocational Education to Socio-economic Development

Liu Jiantong, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of the Chinese Society for Technical and Vocational Education, said that the 14th Five-Year Plan has made it clear that China will increase the adaptability of vocational education. The country will promote digitization in vocational education and provide more technicians, skilled workers, and craftsmen who are in tune with the digital economy and technology to better serve the high-quality development of China's economy and society.

At the forum, which will conclude on Sept. 11, top scholars and experts from around the world will discuss five topics: "Responsibility and Opportunity- the Technology Driving Force for Peaking of Carbon Emissions and Carbon Neutrality", "Changes to and Future Trends for China-US Relations During the Biden Administration", "How to View the Current Situation and Prospects for China-EU Relations, and Enhance Mutual Understanding and Practical Cooperation", "Future of Work", and "How Vocational Education Enhances Adaptability".  

(Web editor: Guo Wenrui, Hongyu)


Related Stories