Scholars speak high of Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilization

Mahendra Subedi


With high-end development in the last couple of decades, China is massively expanding its wings of cooperation and mutual learning globally. Being the immediate neighbour, Nepal remains one of the beneficiaries of China’s development effects in every field. With its rising power, China is inviting many global leaders, academicians and experts to have their say on the global issues i.e economy, culture, civilization, IT and so on. On development front, China’s BRI is incorporating many countries and multilateral organizations while Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) also stood a greater platform to exchange ideas on history, arts, languages, literatures, religious faiths and economies from Asia and beyond.

China organized the CDAC in the third week of May in Beijing. The jamboree attended by heads of states and government from Greece, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and many others has offered a strong message for unity and harmony among the civilizations, ruling out tensions taking place in the name of so-called civilizations. The CDAC held under the theme of “Asian Community of a Shared Future” has not only brought the great civilizations of the world together but also spread the message of social harmony and co-existence. Chinese side stated that the CDAC was organised in order to further deepen the ties among different countries irrespective of their size, economy and political ideologies, and offer a platform for them by bringing diverse civilizations in a single stage.

As Nepalis delegates also took part in the conference at different level, they attended and made their presentations in some intercultural dialogue sessions that were heavily focused on exchanges and mutual learning on diverse genres of civilizations. For Nepal, the forum of CDAC remained very fruitful because of the opportunity that we got to renew our message of Lord Buddha, non-violence and peace, and social harmony peace to the global community.

Prof Dr Ramesh Dhungel, who attended the event as an expert on Tibetology, also presented his paper about tripartite relations of Manjushree (Nepal), India and China with some key recommendations to further maintain that relations. Dr Dhungel, however, acknowledged that the prototype dimension of civilizations has been blurred and it should be viewed in a changed context. Against this backdrop, we can take maximum benefits from the forum as Nepal has its central role to play in promoting the traits of Hindu and Buddhism.

The experts, besides sharing their views, also listened to the ideas to ease the frictions taking place in the world in the name of civilizations and also they perceived the message that tension will not prevail in the world civilizations if the core values of the diverse countries were respected. This remained the core theme of Dialogue on Asian Civilization. “Exercise done by China for the cooperation on civilization is highly appreciated. How to develop the relations among the newer civilizations in the changed context is the prime concern,” said Sundarnath Bhattarai, Officiating Chairman of China Study Centre, Nepal.

According to Prof Dr Ramesh Dhungel, importance of the CDAC is immense. China is taking leadership of the civilizations. China is moving ahead with leadership by grasping the common values of the Asian countries. “For us, this topic is of top importance. We are the medium in between two Asian giant civilizations (China and India),” he shared.

“…..civilization has entered into transition. The people in the history lived under the cave and then it came into Stone Age and in the Iron Age. Following the industrial revolution, we have now witnessed communication revolution. So, this is changing every day. Now, we should talk about robotic if we were to talk about civilization. We should talk about internet connectivity.  We should talk about cyberspace. The current trend of civilization has rapidly changed. There should be ‘give and take’ and learning in regard to the relations of our previous civilizations,” Bhattarai added.

A Nepali girl performing during a show in the civilization dialogue

A Nepali girl performing during a show in the civilization dialogue

So, the conference has inspired the countries to create environment conducive for other civilizations to develop while keeping their own vibrancy. The CDAC also facilitated the Asian civilizations like that of Indian civilization, Chinese civilization and other emerging nations to continue writing the new chapters of their societies and to further consolidate the cultural diversities. In regard to Nepal, our presence and the message that the delegates delivered carries a great importance.

Inaugurating the CDAC on May 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping floated the idea to uphold equality and respect and abandon pride and prejudice to promote dialogue and harmonious co-existence among different civilizations. “There are only different civilizations, and there are no superior or inferior civilizations. Those who think their races or cultures are better, and try to change or replace other cultures, are wrong in their mindset and are doomed to fail. Every civilization is rooted in its own soil, which embodies the extraordinary wisdom and spiritual pursuit of a country and its own values,” President Xi said.