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Understanding China through Keywords
Prevailing terms help to expand understanding of China
 NO. 51 December 22, 2016

Learning keywords is one of the best ways to keep abreast of the latest developments in a country. The China Academy of Translation, a research institute affiliated with the China International Publishing Group, the country's leading international publisher, regularly analyzes prevailing Chinese terms in various sectors and translates them into a number of foreign languages ranging from English to Arabic. In each issue, Beijing Review presents a selection of these keywords to help readers know more about China.

Exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations

China promotes exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations. Such exchanges and mutual learning are necessitated by the diverse nature of civilizations, premised on the principle of equality, and propelled by a healthy dose of inclusiveness.

While the world we inhabit is characterized by diversity in terms of culture, ethnicity, skin colors, religions and social systems, people across the world increasingly find themselves in a community with a shared future, with their interests interlocked. It is therefore crucial to promote mutual respect and harmonious coexistence between civilizations. Exchanges and mutual learning can be a bridge of friendship between peoples, a driver of progress for humanity and a bond of world peace. There is great promise in tapping the wisdom and power of world civilizations to find moral support and cultural inspiration for our joints efforts to address challenges facing humanity.

The Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the proposal to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. During his visits to Central and Southeast Asia in September and October 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the plans to implement this initiative in cooperation with related countries. The five pillars of the concept are policy coordination, connectivity of facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and strengthened people-to-people ties.

A steering group has been set up in China to facilitate the implementation of this initiative, and close consultation has been ongoing with the countries along the land and sea Silk Roads. A white paper titled Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road was published in March 2015.

The Spirit of the Silk Road

The historical trade route known as the Silk Road was also a platform for people-to-people and cultural exchanges, where people from various ethnic, racial, religious and cultural backgrounds met and assimilation occurred. Embodying peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, eagerness to learn from each other, and mutual benefit, the spirit of the Silk Road has been passed down through generations for thousands of years. China and other countries along the Silk Road have all along supported and helped each other in their efforts to defend national dignity and sovereignty, explore approaches to development, and bring about national renewal. By learning from each other, they have benefited from expanded people-to-people and cultural exchanges and national cultural revitalization drives.

President Xi Jinping proposed a new initiative to promote the Silk Road spirit in the new era to boost interaction and exchanges between civilizations. The initiative calls for respect for the chosen approaches to development of individual countries, and promotion of peace through mutually beneficial cooperation and dialogue.

Copyedited by Chris Surtees 

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