September 15-16th, Multiculture Coexistence, Harmonious Symbiosis and Sharing Future: Songshan Forum 2018

In the morning of September 15, 2018, the Opening Ceremony of Songshan Forum 2018 was held in Dengfeng City, at the foot of Songshan Mountain. During the two-day forum, more than 100 guests, including multicultural experts at home and abroad, senior officials of Overseas Chinese media and delegates from the financial sector, will conduct in-depth discussion around the theme of “Multicultural Coexistence, Harmonious Symbiosis, Sharing Future”.

The Songshan Forum 2018 consists two parts: the Cultural Sub-Forum and the Overseas Chinese Media Sub-Forum. It is sponsored by the China International Cultural Exchange Center, the Institute of Chinese Relics, the Institute of Advanced Humanities Studies of Peking University and the Henan Foundation for the Inheritance and Innovation of Chinese History and Civilization. The Secretariat of the Songshan Forum and the Henan International Cultural Exchange Center are responsible for the organization. In the next two days, more than 60 cultural scholars from home and abroad will focus on the theme of ” Multiculture Coexistence, Harmonious Symbiosis and Sharing Future”. They will conduct group discussions on ” Respecting Difference: Dialogue and Inclusiveness”, ”  Humanity and Propriety: The Modern Transformation of Tradition”, ”  The Development of A New Humanism and Its Mission” and other activities to launch a new dialogue of Chinese and world civilizations.

At the same time, more than 20 senior officials of Overseas Chinese media will deliver keynote speeches around “Promoting Culture, Exhibiting Features and Accelerating the Construction of Henan’s International Communication Ability”, and work to build a platform of wisdom by bringing together the four main forces of the government, overseas media, think tanks at home and abroad, and mainstream enterprises, with inheriting and innovating Chinese history and civilization as the spiritual link, so as to speed up the construction of Henan’s international communication system and promote Henan to better integrated into the “one belt and one road” to serve the construction of a community of human destiny. Some experts in the financial field will also attend a round table conferece on “Cultural and Financial Innovation in the New Era”.

The opening ceremony of the Forum was presided by Wang Yao, Director of the Ethnic Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee of Henan Provincial People’s Congress. Zhang Junfeng, Deputy Director of the Organizing Committee of the Forum, Standing Committee of Zhengzhou Municipal Committee, Minister of Propaganda; Zhang Guangzhi, Director of the Organizing Committee of the Forum, former Vice-Chairman of Henan Political Consultative Conference; Professor Tu Weiming, Dean of the Institute of Advanced Humanities Studies of Peking University; Wang Xuejun, Deputy Secretary-General of the Cultural Exchange Center, delivered speeches successively. Professor Siddheshwar Rameshwar BHATT, Chairman of the Indian Philosophical Research Association; Professor Zhang Shuguang from Department of Philosophy and Sociology, Beijing Normal University; Professor Alexander Chumakov, Principal Researcher and Professor of the Institute of Philosophy of Russian National Academy of Sciences; Professor Fan Heping from School of Humanities of Southeast University, Vice-President of Jiangsu Acade and deputy director of the World Ethics Center of Peking University, and Bing Ling, Chairman of New York Business Media Group delivered keynote speeches successively.

In his speech, Zhang Guangzhi, on behalf of the Organizing Committee of Songshan Forum, warmly welcomed the guests from home and abroad. He said that since its inception, the Songshan Forum has adhered to the principle of dialogue among civilizations, provided a high-end academic platform for cultural exchanges, discussion of issues and expresions of opinions, strived to promote cultural exchanges contenting major civilizations, across countries, nationalities and cultural systems, and jointly constructed a community of human destiny with symbiosis, co-prosperity and harmonious development, and maintained distinct characteristics. He believes that the theme of this annual conference ” Multiculture Coexistence, Harmonious Symbiosis and Sharing Future “, is closely related to the distinct orientation of building a community of human destiny, conforms to the trend of the times and meets the concerns of all parties. He hoped that all the participants can express their insights in the forum, draw a blueprint for the exchange and mutual learning of world civilizations and common progress, and contribute wisdom and strength to the promotion of the construction of a community of human destiny.

In his speech, Professor Tu Weiming, Dean of the Institute of Higher Humanities of Peking University, pointed out that the Songshan Forum is not only discussing the characteristics of Chinese culture, but also the common values for current human beings. Mr. Tu recalled the themes of the previous forums since 2012. He pointed out that the Songshan Forum had paid attention to the diversity of human civilization since its first session, and advocated that human civilization should not follow nationalism or narrow anthropocentrism. Successive Songshan Forum has discussed the topics of “dialogic civilization”, “ecological consciousness”, “unity of heaven and human”, “harmony through diversity”, “building a community of human destiny” and “building a world civilization” on the basis of “learning to be human”. The theme of this year’s Forum – ” Multiculture Coexistence, Harmonious Symbiosis and Sharing Future ” is a deeper and more comprehensive reflection on the basis of the themes of previous forums.

Prof. Tu also pointed out that besides the dialogue among global civilizations such as Songshan Forum and World Philosophy Conference, we should also reflect deeply on our own culture. In the long-term development of Confucian tradition, we should not only face and accept the reality, but also attach great importance to “learning for oneself” and “self-cultivation as the foundation”. Through personal moral wisdom, we can transform social customs, change and create greater value. In addition, we should enrich ourselves with a attitude of learning, strive to improve our understanding of the diversity of civilizations, and actively engage in equal dialogue with all civilizations in the world.

As a co-sponsor of the Songshan Forum, the IAHS of Peking University, together with the China International Cultural Exchange Center, the Institute of Chinese Relics and the Henan Foundation for the Heritage of Chinese Historical Civilization, is committed to the theme of dialogue between Chinese and world civilizations, adheres to the mode sponsored by non-governmental academic organizations, and persists in building a high-end cultural exchange platform. At present, it has successfully held six sessions, inviting 192 well-known experts and scholars in the field of multiculturalism in the world. The number of academicians of the Academy of International Philosophy who have delivered speeches at the forum has reached 25. The forum has become the forefront of multicultural exchanges, a rostrum for academic experts, a window for dialogue among world civilizations, and a cradle for exploration of harmonious symbiosis.

Liu Gaosheng (Post-doctor of the IAHS)