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China Daily Global / 2023-07 / 28 / Page016

Ethnic harmony key to Chinese civilization

By FANG AIQING | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-07-28 00:00

The creation of Chinese civilization is the result of the joint efforts of all the nation's ethnic groups, and the Communist Party of China particularly emphasizes the solidarity, equality and mutual support between ethnic groups, says Xing Guangcheng.

Xing, director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, the Chinese Academy of History, was speaking at a press salon event, under the theme Building Modern Chinese Civilization, hosted by the All-China Journalists Association in Beijing on Monday.

He introduced the key points of President Xi Jinping's remarks made during a symposium on cultural inheritance and development on June 2 and answered questions from domestic and foreign media.

At the symposium, Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, summarized five prominent features regarding Chinese civilization, namely, consistency, originality, uniformity, inclusiveness and peacefulness, and elaborated on the course of combining the basic tenets of Marxism with China's specific realities and fine traditional culture.

Xing says that Xi's remarks provided a comprehensive summary of Chinese civilization and its distinction from other civilizations. In building a modern Chinese civilization, the mission in the new era is to promote cultural prosperity and make China a leading country in culture.

The expert was among six speakers who delivered presentations at the June symposium.

During Monday's event, Xing reviewed the development of the concept of "Chinese nation".

In the 1980s, sociologist Fei Xiaotong (1910-2005) concluded the pluralistic and integrated pattern of the Chinese nation. Under the notion of the Chinese nation, all ethnic groups live with their own characteristics and hold mutual respect for each other's cultural traditions, which, in Xing's words, displays the key points of the aforementioned feature "inclusiveness".

Facing new situations after more than 40 years of reform and opening-up, when he addressed a central conference on ethnic affairs in August 2021, Xi stressed on consolidating the sense of community and properly dealing with the relationships between the overall interests of the Chinese nation and the interests of all ethnic groups.

Xing says that ethnic culture has been well protected and inherited since the founding of New China in 1949, exemplified in the endeavor to rescue and preserve the Manchu script. His institute has been putting efforts into sorting out Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) archives written in Manchu script, too.

It was on the culturally unified land that our ancestors lived together, and on the basis of which the sense of community of the Chinese nation was formed, he says. National unification, therefore, in Xi's words, remains at the heart of China's core interests and the fate of people from all ethnic groups depends on a strong and unified country.

Xing says, historically, there were temporary conflicts between ethnic groups, but peace and unification was the general trend. Cultural traditions and "originality" are valued in reconciling domestic relations and sustaining the consistent and peaceful nature of the civilization.

He notes that these features not only define the significance of reunifying Taiwan with the motherland from a civilizational point of view, but also show the Chinese concepts formed through more than 5,000 years of history that take peaceful coexistence as the highest level of dealing with relations between civilizations.

However, it's hard, but necessary, for us to make known China's path of peaceful development is deeply rooted in its traditional culture.

"China's path is well-defined in features of the Chinese civilization, which is imprinted on our brain and blood. We won't run out of it," Xing says.


The site of Bashbaliq City, or Beiting ruins, in Jimsar county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), was a key witness to the national unification of China. CHINA DAILY



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