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Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited the headquarters of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris. In a speech to UNESCO, Xi Jinping says the organization plays an "irreplaceable" role in promoting international understanding and cooperation. As the international situation is currently undergoing profound and complex changes, and mankind is facing increasing common challenges, President Xi Jinping notes that under such circumstances it is necessary to enhance understanding and strengthen cooperation among countries and peoples.
UNESCO director General Irina Bokova welcomed President Xi and spoke about the cultural cooperation achievements made between China and UNESCO."There are two hundred countries and regions, and 2,500 ethnic groups and a multitude of religions in the world today. We can hardly imagine if the world had one lifestyle, one language, one kind of music and one style of clothes. Victor Hugo once said, "There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul". Indeed, we need a mind that is broader than the sky in our pursuit of different civilizations.
Xi Jinping delivers speech at UNESCO headquarters in Paris
Xi: We should encourage civilizations to respect one another
Civilizations are like water, moistening everything silently. We need to encourage different civilizations to respect one another and live together in harmony while promoting exchange of mutual learning as a bridge of friendship among people, a driving force behind human progress and a strong bond to human peace. We should seek wisdom and nourishment from their civilizations to provide people with spiritual support and comfort, and work together to tackle challenges facing mankind.
Xi: We should try to learn about cultural significance
In 1987, 20 exquisite pieces of colored glaze were excavated from an underground chamber of the Fa Men temple in China’s Shaanxi Province. These east Roman and Islamic relics were brought to China during the Tang Dynasty. Marveling at these exotic relics, I thought hard and concluded that as we approach the world’s different civilizations, we should not limit ourself to just admiring the exquisiteness of the objects. Rather, we should try to learn the cultural significance behind them. Instead of satisfying ourselves with artistic presentations of people’s lives in the past, we should do our best to breathe new life into its spirit.
Xi: Education helps people appreciate different civilizations
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, Napoleon Bonaparte once said that there are two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit. We should develop education more actively. Education can open people’s minds, impart knowledge and cultivate temperament. The continued process of learning can help people better appreciate the value of different civilizations. In this sense, education is an effective vehicle for the continuation and creation of civilizations.
Xi: Cultural exchanges help broaden our horizons
We should develop science and technology more vigorously. Scientific advancement and innovation can help people understand themselves and the world and be in a stronger position to change their society for the better. The continued process of exploiting nature will enable our people to master still more knowledge and skills in science and technology for the benefit of mankind. We should promote cultural undertakings more energetically. Cultural exchange can help open our hearts to each other, broaden our horizons and build greater consensus among us. The continued process of moral and intellectual cultivation will heighten the accomplishments of humanity. In this sense, culture is a big booster for human progress.
Xi: Chinese people striving to realize the Chinese dream
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the Chinese people are striving to fulfill the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The Chinese dream is about prosperity of the country, rejuvenation of the nation, and the happiness of the people. It reflects both the ideal of the Chinese people today, and our time honored tradition, to seek constant progress.
Xi: Chinese dream to be realized through balanced development
The Chinese dream will be realized through balanced development and mutual reinforcement of material and cultural progress. Without a continuation and development of civilization, and without the promotion of a flourishing culture, the Chinese dream will not come true...
Forefathers of the Chinese nation yearned for a world of great harmony in which people are free from want and follow a high moral standard.
In the Chinese civilization, the pursuit of culture has always a part of people’s spiritual lives and social ideals. So the realization of the Chinese dream is a process of both material and cultural development.
Xi: China continues to make economic & social progress
As China continues to make economic and social progress, Chinese civilization will keep pace with the times and acquire greater vitality.
A civilization carries on its back the soul of a country or nation. It needs to be passed on from one generation to the next, and more importantly, it needs to keep pace with the times and innovate with courage.
As we pursue the Chinese dream, the Chinese people will encourage creative shifts, and innovative development of the Chinese civilization in keeping with the progress of the times.
Xi: Chinese civilization offers cultural guidance
We need to inject new vitality into the Chinese civilization, by energizing all cultural elements, the trends of time, space and national borders, and that posses of both perpetual appeal and current value.
And we need to bring all collections in our museums, all the heritage and exhibits across our lands and the records in our classics to life.
In this way, the Chinese civilization, together with rich and colorful civilizations created by the people from other countries will provide mankind with the right cultural guidance and strong motivation.
Xi looks forward to future achievements made by UNESCO
Madam Director general, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, as an old Chinese poem goes, when a glass at the visage of vernal breeze, I know that thousands of flowers of purple and red set spring aglow.
UNESCO will mark its 70th anniversary next year, and I’m confident, under the stewardship of the director general Irina Bokova, the organization will make still more achievements in its effort to promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and advance the course of peace in the world. Thank you all.