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Forum speakers offer insight into Hehe Culture

Source: chinadiplomacy.org.cn | 2023-11-08
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Forum speakers offer insight into Hehe Culture

Experts and scholars shared their insights into Hehe Culture at a forum Tuesday, believing that the Chinese culture of peace and harmony will contribute to building a harmonious world.

The 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture was held Tuesday in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province. Themed with "Hehe Culture and Global Civilization Initiative," the event was attended by about 500 people from China, the U.S., Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Bulgaria, and other countries, including political figures, representatives of international organizations, diplomatic envoys, as well as experts and scholars from think tanks, universities, and research institutions.

Lai Yingjie, executive deputy director of the Publicity Department of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, presides over the forum discussions at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

Lai Yingjie, executive deputy director of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Zhejiang Provincial Committee, presided over the forum discussions. He indicated that Hehe Culture has a long, extensive, and profound history, and it is one of the quintessential elements of fine traditional Chinese culture. 

Zhang Liwen, honorary dean of the Institute of Confucian Studies at Renmin University of China, delivers a keynote speech via video at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

Zhang Liwen, honorary dean of the Institute of Confucian Studies at Renmin University of China, echoed this view via video, saying that Hehe Culture is the essence and core of Chinese culture, and it embodies the idea of harmonious coexistence between people and all things. 

Hehe Culture calls for respecting the common development of all ethnic groups and countries so that everyone lives and works in peace and contentment, which conforms to the common well-being of humanity, he said.

Martha Mavrommati, ambassador of Cyprus to China, delivers a keynote speech at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

Martha Mavrommati, ambassador of Cyprus to China, said that as an important treasure of Chinese culture, Hehe Culture promotes peace, amity, and harmony, and offers guidance for improving global governance and tackling the challenges humanity faces. It will help bridge differences among countries and promote the building of a harmonious world characterized by enduring peace and common prosperity, she said. 

She noted that China and Cyprus have always maintained close and friendly relations marked by harmonious coexistence and expressed hope that Hehe Culture will be shared globally, offering viable strategies for bridging civilizational divides and constructing a harmonious world.

Professor Liu Zheng, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of the China Academy of Art, delivers a keynote speech at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

Professor Liu Zheng, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of the China Academy of Art, said that the history of China's international exchanges is full of practices of Hehe Culture. 

Liu said that amid the complicated and volatile international situation, the idea of peace and harmony, based on mutual benefit, coordination, and cooperation, is a source of wisdom for human civilization and will make important contributions to world development.

Yang Honglin, director of the Exhibit Collection and Appraisal Department of the National Museum of China, delivers a keynote speech at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

Yang Honglin, director of the Exhibit Collection and Appraisal Department of the National Museum of China, said that the pursuit and inheritance of the concept of peace, amity, and harmony have been integrated into the cultural genes of the country for generations, laying the philosophical foundation for the continuous development of Chinese civilization.

Yang said that, as China is a major country in the world in terms of cultural relics, there are countless precious cultural relics that embody Hehe Culture. These cultural relics also provide rich resources for telling China's story of pursuing harmony and coexistence, he said. 

Yang added that, in the face of profound changes unseen in a century, Chinese cultural institutions should make greater contributions to promoting Chinese culture to go global and promoting exchange and mutual learning among human civilizations.

David Ferguson, honorary chief English editor of Foreign Languages Press, delivers a keynote speech at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

David Ferguson, honorary chief English editor of Foreign Languages Press, said Hehe Culture originated from the Confucian value of "harmony in diversity," which has been exerting a strong influence since ancient times. Just as in sports events, athletes from different countries and cultures compete fairly in the spirit of "harmony, solidarity, and cooperation," the world needs to create a new multilevel order, with a fair and just institution to uphold the rules, and with every country having the right to make rules and abide by them, he said. 

Ferguson said that Hehe Culture meets the needs of the times for solidarity and cooperation. He said it is of universal significance to convey the voice of world peace and promote mutual understanding among people of all countries.

Einar Tangen, senior research fellow at Taihe Institute, delivers a keynote speech at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

Einar Tangen, senior research fellow at Taihe Institute, said that Hehe Culture is the philosophical key to understanding China. It is the most vibrant cultural core and factor in traditional Chinese ideology and culture, embodying the traditional humanistic ideal of the Chinese people. 

Tangen said the Global Civilization Initiative put forward by China aims to build a harmonious, inclusive and prosperous world. An important dimension of this initiative is to respect the diversity of world civilizations and draw on the fine achievements of civilizations created by different countries and nations. This demonstrates the valuable wisdom of Hehe Culture, he said.

Yang Lingling, secretary of the Tiantai County Committee of the Communist Party of China, delivers a keynote speech at the 2023 Global Forum on Hehe Culture held in Tiantai county, Zhejiang province, on Nov. 7, 2023. [Photo/China.org.cn]

Yang Lingling, secretary of the CPC Tiantai County Committee, highlighted that Tiantai integrates the concept of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation and the culture of peace and harmony into its local industrial development, rural revitalization, and community-level governance. 

She emphasized the commitment to promoting Hehe Culture internationally and supporting Tiantai Mountain's bid for UNESCO World Heritage status.

Lai lauded the wisdom and vision shared by these experts and scholars, saying that their insights into Hehe Culture will help the international community better understand the rich meanings of the culture and the value of the times.

The forum was jointly hosed by the Information Office of the Zhejiang Provincial People's Government, China International Communications Group, the Academy of Chinese Culture, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and the Taizhou Municipal People's Government. 

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