China, through holding the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations to be held later this month, is trying to unite efforts for achieving comprehensive development of Asia and the world, said Helmy al-Namnam, the former Egyptian Minister of Culture.
In an interview, al-Namnam noted that such conference will bring Asian countries together in a constructive manner to cope with existing conflicts.
Focused on exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilisations and a community with a shared future, the conference includes an opening ceremony and six sub-forums.
“China is currently carrying out an important comprehensive development program. To carry out this program, China is remarkably following peaceful ways away from military conflicts and wars,” al-Namnam said.
Al-Namnam said that Asia comprises most of the ancient civilisations, such as Iraq, Syria, India, China, part of Russia and Southeast Asia, stressing that these regions have ancient civilisations and must “meet together because what unites them is much greater what might separate them.”
What fuels conflict and leads to armed conflict is the absence of real dialogue, al-Namnam said, “but China’s initiative to hold a major conference of the dialogue of civilisations in Asia is a very important move to pave the way for the language of dialogue over the language of conflict.”
The conference will invite state leaders from Asia and other regions, heads of international organisations, and representatives from various fields of humanities. Other activities such as an Asian cultural carnival, Asian civilisation week and Asian food festival will also be held during the event.
“I believe that this initiative will be a great success and might be an important start to ending many of the differences in Asia,” he pointed out.
China has an interest in the cultural aspect, and the Chinese people have great desire to employ the cultural side in practical aspects of life, al-Namnam said.
“In China, people pay great attention to heritage because they realise that heritage cannot be isolated from contemporary life,” the former Minister said.
Al-Namnam also noted that China is an ancient country with a great civilisation like Egypt, which greatly helps elevate communication between the two countries.
He said that the bilateral relations are deeply-rooted since the beginning of the Silk Road.
“I consider myself lucky because preparations for the Chinese-Egyptian cultural year in 2016 started when I assumed my post as a Minister,” al-Namnam revealed.
In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi attended the celebration marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations and the opening ceremony of the Chinese-Egyptian Culture Year in Luxor, Egypt.
“I believe that the continuation of cooperation between Egypt and China is very important,” al-Namnam said, adding that China has a very successful development experience that can be followed by Egypt.
Since the upgrading of relations between China and Egypt to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014, cultural exchange has been at its peak as demonstrated by frequent mutual visits between artists as well as cultural and musical delegations.
Both countries hope to boost friendly ties through the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which has promoted deeper understanding between the two countries.
Al-Namnam also said that the Belt and Road Initiative is a very important experience, noting that if this initiative succeeds, humanity will see a new history.
“It is not only focusing on the developmental aspect of the economic dimension, but also the cultural aspect that the Chinese leadership is well aware of,” he said.