Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations slated for May 15 in Beijing, a Senior Official said Thursday.

Xu Lin, Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Director of the State Council Information Office, made the announcement at a Press Conference.

“Participants from 47 Asian countries and some other countries outside the region include government officials and renowned figures from cultural and educational institutions, film and television, media and tourism.

Altogether more than 2,000 people will attend the opening ceremony and various sub-forums of the conference,” said Xu.

“The conference will release documents to showcase its fruits and is looking forward to the prospect for exchanges and development of Asian civilisations. There will be agreements on media, think tanks, tourism, movies, cultural relics protection and further reports on implementing them,” he added.

Belt & Road: A Road to Connect Different Civilisations

Kong Xuanyou, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, believed it is an attempt to help build the Belt and Road into a road connecting different civilisations.

In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), we should ensure that when it comes to different civilisations, exchange will replace estrangement, mutual learning will replace clashes, and coexistence will replace a sense of superiority, Kong said.

We hope the dialogue would boost mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust among different countries, as it will focus on themes of exchange and mutual learning of Asian civilisations, and a community of a shared future, the vice minister added.

Similar genes in civilisation deepen Sino-Japanese friendship

Thanks to the joint efforts of the two sides, China-Japan relations have returned to the right track and have continued to present a sound momentum since last year, with steady progress in practical exchanges and cooperation achieved in various fields, Kong said.

Under the theme of exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilisations and a community with a shared future, the conference is expected to promote mutual learning and mutual benefit, demonstrating China’s deep thinking and responsibility for promoting the development of civilisations in Asia and the world, he added.

A Grand Event of Cultures & Arts

With representatives from 47 Asian countries gathering in Beijing, the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations also provides a great opportunity for cultural and artistic exchanges, as well as tons of activities for the public.

According to Zhang Xu, Deputy Minister of Culture & Tourism, a number of performances, exhibitions and other celebrations will be held during the conference, including a parallel forum on culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges, and exhibitions on culture and tourism, relics, and arts.

So far, at least 360 representatives from domestic and overseas organisations have confirmed their attendance to the exhibition on culture and tourism of Asian countries.

At least five art exhibitions will kick off this month, showcasing over 300 pieces of cultural relics and artworks from more than 20 countries.

Meanwhile, performances including concerts, dramas and dancing will be held at art centres in Beijing, and hundreds of artists are expected to bring their programs to the Asian Cultural Carnival and Asian Civilisation Parade.

Event for Public

One of the most important parts of the event is to ensure that more members of the public could have a chance to get to know the different cultures in Asia, said Du Feijin, head of publicity for the Beijing Committee of the Communist Party of China.

According to Du, the Asian Civilisation Parade and Asian Cuisine Festival will be held from May 16 to 22 at the Beijing Olympic Park. Every day, there will be two performances, and about 13,000 visitors are expected.

Visitors will be able to taste different cuisines from Asian countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. Such food activities will also be held in six commercial centres in Beijing.

Meanwhile, 7,000 tickets are available for booking online for the public, and anyone interested in the activities would have a chance to participate.