How Chinese modernization offers new outlook on civilization

Under China's advocacy, the Alliance for Cultural Heritage in Asia (ACHA) was officially established at the General Assembly of the ACHA in China's historic city of Xi'an in April.

Chinese modernization is the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement, according to the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

China is also committed to offer development opportunities for the world as it advances Chinese modernization.

Addressing the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), calling for the promotion of the diversity of civilizations and cultural exchanges, as well as the inheritance and innovation of civilizations.

Promoting inheritance of civilizations

In recent years, China has cooperated in 11 projects involving historical sites' protection and restoration in six Asian countries, and has carried out more than 20 joint archaeological cooperation projects with 14 Asian countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia.

It is hoped that the establishment of the ACHA will further help protect cultural heritage and deepen exchanges among different civilizations.

The members will jointly promote the protection and restoration of important historical sites, contribute to urgent post-disaster repair, and crack down on illegal transportation of cultural relics and facilitate the return of looted relics, according to a joint declaration released at the assembly.

The assembly also launched the Asian Fund for Cultural Heritage Conservation, which has raised 88 million yuan (about $12.08 million) to support the cultural heritage protection projects launched by China and other member countries.

In 2022, the restoration of Nepal's nine-story Basantapur temple complex was completed with help from China. It was China's first large-scale cultural heritage foreign assistance project in Nepal.

Since every civilization confronts a different environment, it is not only important for one country to create a path that best fits its conditions for modernization, but it must also respect the inheritance and innovation of other civilizations, and the GCI was proposed at the right time, Xin Ge, associate professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, wrote in an opinion piece for CGTN.

China's outlook on civilization

Addressing the opening of a study session at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, Xi said the unique worldview, values and outlooks on history, civilization, democracy and ecology in Chinese modernization are a major theoretical and practical innovation in the modernization of the world. They break the myth that modernization equals Westernization and provides humanity a new choice for achieving modernization, he added.

When proposing the GCI, Xi called for staying committed to exchanges among civilizations and mutual learning.

"One flower alone cannot make a beautiful spring; only blossoming of a rich variety of flowers can bring spring to the global garden. It is precisely because of their differences in history, culture and system that all countries need to interact with one another, learn from each other, and advance together," he said. 

Miguel Ángel Moratinos, UN Alliance of Civilizations' high representative, told CGTN he envisioned collaboration between the UN and the GCI. He endorsed the GCI's focus on values and culture, as well as the human dimension in the society, deeming the initiative "wise" and "visionary" during the interview. 

To promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, China has hosted events such as Dialogue on Exchanges and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations.

Nearly 400 party leaders, renowned scholars, cultural figures and representatives of non-governmental organizations from various countries attended the dialogue in July.

Participants from all sectors voiced their active support for the GCI, and noted that Chinese modernization effectively promotes world peace and development.

(Cover: A man works to restore the quake-hit Nine-Storeyed Basantapur Palace complex in Kathmandu, Nepal, July 15, 2022. /Xinhua)

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