Oriental Civilization Forum Spotlights on Civilization Exchange and Mutual Learning to Bring East and West Together

Published July 25, 2023

On July 23, 2023, the 4th Oriental Civilization Forum was held in Beijing. Guests had heated discussions on the value of Mencius' thoughts for modern challenges, sustainable development, civilization rejuvenation and mutual learning, Confucianism and a community of a shared future for mankind.


On July 23, 2023, the 4th Oriental Civilization Forum was held in Beijing, hosted by the Mencius Foundation, the China Institute of Ergonomics, GCC International Music Competition Organizing Committee, co-hosted and sponsored by the Speaker Bureau and Zoucheng Mencius Cultural Research Association. Titled as "civilization exchanges and mutual learning: the importance of Mencius' wisdom in our society", the Forum attracted more than a hundred guests and scholars from home and abroad in the field of politics, culture, art, humanities, economics as well as media. Participants discussed heatedly on values of Mencius' thoughts for modern society, sustainable development, revival of civilization and mutual learning, Confucius' thoughts for a community with a shared future of mankind etc.

Jeffrey Meng, Chairman of the Mencius Foundation, delivered a welcoming speech for the forum, mentioning that Mencius' ideas such as "the goodness of nature", the kingly way and benevolent government, conscience, passion-nature maintenance, "the benevolent has no enemy" as well as social harmony are not only inspiring for constructing a harmonious socialist society in this new generation of globalization, but also help promote the building of a community with a shared future, enhance China's cultural presence, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between oriental and western civilizations, improving access to inclusive globalization.

Supachai Panitchpakdi, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Mencius Foundation, former Secretary-General of UNCTAD and former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, sent his congratulations on the 4th Eastern Civilization Forum from Thailand. He mentioned that with the rise of Asia, oriental wisdom and civilization would take on the central stage of interest around the world. He believed that the 4th Oriental Civilization Forum will further enhance the penetration of oriental civilization and wished the forum a great success.

Jeffrey Sachs, Economics Professor at Columbia University, attended the forum and delivered a wonderful speech. He mentioned that our world was interconnected but it was not harmonious globally and there must have global values and ethics to guide a deeply interconnected world. He was deeply gratified President Xi Jinping launched the global civilizations initiatives, making this emphasis that China champions a dialogue of world, civilizations to deepen understanding and cooperation across the world. The Oriental Civilization Forum is an important part of finding a way to make the global harmony and understanding.

Mencius and Aristotle, greatest thinkers of China and the West, were born in the same age. Though they did not know each other, they shared the same idea about the potential of human beings, good politics and to live together in peace. That's the spirit that brings the east and the west together.

Yu Hongjun, former Vice Minister of International Department, Central Committee of CPC and Senior Researcher of Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies, believed that Confucianism left rich legacies and practical wisdom in terms of national character shaping, way of thinking, behavioral habits, etiquette and fashion, regulation of social order, orientation of state governance and response to emergencies, giving examples for modern Chinese society and characterization of contemporary Chinese nation.

Li Jianjun, President of the China Institute of Ergonomics, said that the ergonomics originated from the writings of Mencius, in which he elaborated the idea of "unity of heaven and man".

Wang Jie, Professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC (National School of Administration), illustrated that Mencius' idea of filial piety not only refers to providing parents with materials but also satisfying their mental and emotional needs. He extended his idea of filial piety from family to society, developing traditional Chinese virtues of respecting and loving the aged.

Liang Tao, Vice President of the College of Chinese Ancient Civilization Studies, Renmin University of China, emphasized that in this generation of globalization, the culture of Confucianism to advocate the benevolent government, oppose hegemony, win people with virtues, and keep the world as one community are good references for building a community with a shared future of mankind.

Zhang Tao, Director of the China Institute of I Ching Study and Culture of Beijing Normal University, said that rethinking the question of whether Mencius knew I Ching or Book of Changes is an important inspiration for development of Confucianism in the new era, especially for creative transformation and innovative development of Chinese traditional culture today.

Liao Moxiang, Deputy Director of Research Center for Chinese Ancient Civilization Studies of Nankai University, said that in the face of profound changes unseen in a century, Chinese people shall never stop absorbing wisdom of ancient masters like Mencius, maintaining passion-nature to empower themselves, contributing for rejuvenation of China and renaissance of oriental civilization.

According to Chen Xiaoxia, President and Researcher of the Mencius Institute, Mencius' ideas of "being benevolent and loving" and "people-oriented" and the established system of "benevolent government" are of great importance to China's democratic politics, economy and people's livelihood, scientific education, social security and cultural-ethical modernization.

Ding Sixin, Professor of the Philosophy Department at Tsinghua University, elaborated the philosophy of Zisizi on the basis of Five Elements and Golden Rule, believing that the philosophy of Mencius is to deepen and develop that of Zisizi.

Zhao Jingang, Associate Professor of the Philosophy Department of Tsinghua University, from the perspective of Confucianism, reckoned that respecting cultural diversity is the key to cultural prosperity across the world. Only by maintaining the diversity can world cultures become more colorful, full of vitality and vigor, and thus we can achieve the universal harmony.

In addition, Ms. Liu Junni, Member of Zoucheng Municipal Party Committee Standing Committee, Head of the Publicity Department and Vice Mayor of Zoucheng Municipal Government, attended the forum. Mr. Meng Chun, Researcher of the Development Center of the State Council, Mr. Yan Zhijun, Founder of Confucian Merchant Special Fund under the Mencius Foundation, Mr. Meng Xianxin, President of Zoucheng Mencius Cultural Research Association, and Ms. Tian Linzhi, Chairman of Shanghai Sinowind Technologies (Shanghai) Co. gave speeches respectively on implications of Mencius for modern merchants etc.

The Forum also read out the Traditional Chinese Medicine Initiative and opened the launching ceremony of International Qin Composing Competition and the 12th GCC (Global Changsha Guitar) Festival, followed by ritual and musical performances, such as Qin playing, Qin singing and a shadow puppets play.

The "Oriental Civilization" series forums aim to disseminate thoughts of Confucius and Mencius, improve understanding of different civilizations, address bias and misreading issues, expand common ground, to live and let live, contributing for longer peace and common prosperity of the world.

Contact Info:
Name: Wanger
Email: Send Email
Organization: Mencius Charity Foundation
Website: http://themenciusfoundation.com/

Release ID: 89103106

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