(Question from East and West) Han Xing: What will influence the shaping of the new order of world civilization?

  China News Service, Zhengzhou, December 8th, title: What will influence the shaping of the new order of world civilization?

  Author Han Xing, professor of the National School of Renmin University of China, director of the International Confucian Federation, and director of the Chinese Confucius Institute

  Today China and the world are facing major changes unseen in a century.

Which will affect the shaping of the new order of world civilization is a major practical issue concerning the future of China and the world.

I think the dialogue between civilizations and the mutual learning between China and the West are of great significance to shaping the new order of world civilization.

In May 2019, the "Great America Asia-Asian Civilization Exhibition" was held at the National Museum of China.

This exhibition brings together all 47 countries in Asia, including China, and two ancient civilization partners, Greece and Egypt, with a total of 451 groups of cultural relics.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Du Yang

  The basic feature of world civilization is diversity.

The German historian Spengler divided the world civilization into 8 types, while the famous British historian Toynbee divided the world civilization into 26 types.

  Globalization has continuously strengthened the contacts and ties of diverse civilizations in the world. How do diverse civilizations get along?

Dialogue or conflict?

Cooperation or confrontation?

This has become a major issue concerning the future and destiny of mankind.

Some Western scholars still have a deep Western-centrism complex and dual antagonistic thinking mode.

In the 1990s, the famous American scholar Huntington put forward the "Clash of Civilization Theory", who believed that the world split after the Cold War was mainly between the West and the non-West, and that Western civilization would conflict with Confucian civilization and Islamic civilization.

  Western civilization that originated in Europe in modern times has expanded to the world, promoting human society into a modern civilized society.

However, due to various reasons, Western civilization has failed to solve the problem of how multiple civilizations coexist and grow together in peace.

Two world wars, dominated by the Western world, occurred in the 20th century, causing unprecedented disasters.

Although there has not been a world war since, regional conflicts and local wars of different scales have occurred frequently, and peace is still the desire and ideal of mankind.

In May 2019, "Across the Road-Asian Art Exhibition" opened at the National Art Museum of China.

The exhibition exhibited 130 works from 41 Asian countries (including Russia), showing the unique features of the cultures of Asian countries, as well as the cultural origins of symbiosis among Asian countries.

The picture shows the Lebanese sculpture "I am in China (Chengdu)".

Photo by China News Agency reporter Du Yang

  Entering the 21st century, the pace of globalization is accelerating, the "global village" has more contacts with diverse civilizations, and conflicts are frequent. Human society is facing a crisis of a new civilization order.

How to get out of the current chaotic and disputed situation and shape a new order of world civilization?

  Many people of insight in China and the West have proposed to replace "civilization conflict" with "civilization dialogue", and put it into practice by organizing different levels of dialogue activities between civilizations.

In 1993, the World Religious Conference was held in Chicago, the world’s major religious leaders tried to find an ethical principle and ethical code of conduct that were generally highly recognized by people through dialogue, and finally adopted “do not do to others what you do not want to do” as the global ethics. "Golden Rules".

In 1998, the United Nations declared 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. On November 9, 2001, Resolution 56/6 adopted the "Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations", emphasizing that all civilizations must celebrate the commonness and diversity of mankind, and adopted Dialogues among other civilizations enrich and develop themselves, while emphasizing that despite obstacles such as intolerance and aggression, there have always been constructive exchanges between civilizations.

  Since 2012, the United Nations has included dialogue among civilizations as an important mission and has continued to promote it on corresponding occasions.

Every civilization is a treasure in the treasure house of human civilization.

Different civilizations should respect each other and be harmonious and different. In the enlightenment of history and the manifestation of reality, we should surpass the superiority of civilizations with multiple coexistence, surpass the conflicts of civilizations with harmonious coexistence, and surpass the barriers of civilizations with integration and sharing, discard the theory of civilization conflicts, and explore civilizations. The way of self-knowledge, mutual understanding, mutual tolerance and harmonious coexistence among diverse civilizations.

In May 2019, the Chengdu Panda Asian Food Festival "Tianfu Family Banquet" was held. The dinner with 16 dishes of Sichuan cuisine was mouth-watering.

As a supporting event for the Asian Civilization Dialogue Conference, the "Tianfu Family Banquet" honored the guests with a sense of local culture and interaction.

Photo by China News Agency reporter An Yuan

  Dialogue among civilizations is about whether to continue globalization or regress to a state of self-government or even seclusion.

At present, the various global challenges facing mankind are becoming more and more severe, and it is necessary for countries large and small in the world to discuss and cope with them together.

  Today's world-wide civilization communities are mainly the "four major civilization circles", namely, the Western Christian civilization circle, the Middle East Islamic civilization circle, the South Asian Indian civilization circle and the East Asian Chinese civilization circle. Among them, the Chinese and Western civilizations or the Eastern and Western civilizations can affect the world.

How do eastern and western civilizations exchange and learn from each other?

Westerner Toynbee and Easterner Daisaku Ikeda set an example.

Beginning in the 1970s, the two had intermittently engaged in a chatty dialogue for nearly two years, the subject of which was the future of mankind in the 21st century.

They set aside barriers, narrow-mindedness and prejudice, and explored the development trend of world civilization in a panoramic manner in an atmosphere that transcends the barriers of civilization and freedom of thought.

In the dialogue, Toynbee believes that the product of the combination of Eastern and Western culture, which is based on Chinese culture, will be the most beautiful and eternal new culture for mankind in the future.

He also expressed his boundless expectations for Chinese civilization in the 21st century. He believed that the hope of mankind lies in East Asia, and that Chinese civilization will provide endless cultural treasures and intellectual resources to human society in the 21st century.

  The Chinese civilization is the only great civilization in the world that has continuous and continuous cultural forms.

In history, there have been the rise and fall of countries and the change of dynasties, but not only did cultural China not perish, it also expanded from southern Shanxi during the Yao and Shun period to the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, the Yangtze River valley, and even beyond the mainland of China. The structure of the "Chinese Cultural Circle" in East Asia.

It was not until the entry of Western colonial forces into East Asia in the 19th century that it changed the pattern of East Asian civilization centered on mainland China and centered on Chinese culture.

In September 2021, Beijing "China International Fashion Week" will hold the "Changan Dream" fashion conference.

Tang Dynasty elements are still one of the symbols of East Asia's "Chinese Cultural Circle".

Photo by China News Agency reporter Sheng Jiapeng

  The Chinese civilization is open and inclusive. It can absorb heterogeneous civilizations in opening up, digest heterogeneous civilizations in inclusiveness, and renew and develop in exchanges and mutual learning.

Throughout the history of the development of Chinese civilization, although there have been periods of seclusion and arrogance, the overall trend is open, and they have continued to learn from the outside world in history.

  There is a long history of exchanges and mutual learning between Eastern and Western civilizations.

The famous ancient Greek historian Herodotus mentioned in "History" that "the East is the cradle of all cultures and all wisdom". The "Bible · Old Testament" recorded that "these came from Qin...", proving that the Qin culture has already Spread to the west.

In the Western Han Dynasty, Zhang Qian sent an envoy to the Western Regions to Central Asia, yet he had not been able to directly contact Greece.

The Eastern Han dynasty and the Western Regions sent Gan Ying to visit the Roman Empire.

Nestorianism (Nestrian Christianity) was introduced into China in the Tang Dynasty.

Since the Yuan Dynasty, there has been more direct contact between Chinese and Western civilizations. European missionaries and businessmen introduced European history and culture to China, and at the same time spread Chinese history and culture to the West. "Marco Polo's Travels" opened a window for the West to understand ancient Chinese civilization.

In August 2019, Kashgar, a famous historical and cultural city in China, known as the "Pearl of the Silk Road", held an entrance ceremony in the ancient city of Kashgar, welcoming tourists from all directions in a place where Eastern and Western civilizations meet.

The picture shows historical figures such as Zhang Qian and Ban Chao welcoming guests in front of the city gate at the ceremony.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Sun Zifa

  Missionaries represented by Matteo Ricci entered China in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, setting up a bridge between Chinese and Western thought, science, and culture, and realizing the two-way interaction between "western learning" and "western learning": on the one hand, western learning spreads to the east. , Aroused the enthusiasm of some Chinese scholar-officials to learn from the West; on the other hand, they introduced "high schools" to Europe, translated a large number of Chinese historical and cultural classics into Latin, etc., and also wrote articles about China and published them in Europe.

In the 17th-18th centuries, the "Chinese craze" formed in Europe. Leibniz, Voltaire, Quesnay and other enlightenment thinkers carefully studied the Chinese ideological and cultural materials of missionaries, and drew nourishment from them, and contributed to the European Enlightenment and The French Revolution provided moral wisdom.

  The missionaries after Matteo Ricci had a "ritual dispute" with China, and cultural exchanges between China and the West were interrupted for a while.

Modern China was invaded by Western ships and guns. In the humiliation, the Chinese felt the backwardness of their own civilization. They realized that if the Chinese civilization did not exchange and learn from other civilizations in the world, such as the West, the country would be subjugated and extinct.

This sense of crisis was an important cause of the Chinese New Culture Movement in the early 20th century, and from this it began to learn from the West on a larger scale and strode towards modernization with difficulty.

In April 2019, the "May 4th Live" exhibition hosted by the Beijing New Cultural Movement Memorial Hall was held in the Red House of Peking University.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhang Qin

  After 40 years of reform and opening up, after the initial modernization of economy, science and technology, and national defense, Chinese civilization has begun its historical journey of overall rejuvenation. While continuing to learn, absorb and digest Western civilization, it also pays attention to reflect on the shortcomings of Western civilization and pay attention to adjusting the development path of civilization. The direction is to rebuild the subjectivity of Chinese culture, re-study and explain the commonality with other civilizations in Chinese civilization, and explore the universal ideological resources for shaping the new order of human civilization.

During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the "Bird's Nest" (National Stadium) set off fireworks to welcome visitors from all directions.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Du Yang

  The West should also realize that China learning from the West does not mean becoming the West, and not becoming the West does not mean threatening the West.

Facing Western civilization, Chinese civilization has always opened the door to dialogue and exchanges.

Only through exchanges and mutual learning between Western civilization and Chinese civilization can it take root on the land of China and grow the flower of Chinese and Western civilization.

The renaissance of Chinese civilization is not to replace Western civilization and dominate the world, but to draw on the advantages of Western civilization on the basis of mutual understanding between Chinese and Western civilizations, to develop its own potential, and to promote the shaping of a new order of world civilization.


About the Author:

  Han Xing is a professor of the National School of Renmin University of China, a director of the International Confucian Federation, an executive director of the Chinese Confucius Institute and the vice chairman of Dong Zhongshu Research Association, and the vice chairman of the Chinese Society of Practical Science.