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Beijing Forum (2017) opens at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse

NOV . 07 2017
 Peking University, November 6, 2017: On November 3, 2017, Beijing Forum (2017), of which the theme is defined as “The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All,” opened at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in the morning. Experts, scholars and other guest from all over the world attended the opening ceremony and shared their ideas on the construction of a new global governance system.


Wang Jiarui, vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consulative Conference, delivered the opening speech in which he appreciated Beijing Forum’s role as a multi-national communication platform and its contribution in promoting Chinese and foreign higher education’s cooperation. Wang believed while conventional values and orders have been challenged by rapidly changing circumstances, peace and development remain the common wish pursued by people all over the world. He thought China and other countries should seek common ground while keeping differences.

António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, sent a congratulating video to the opening ceremony in which he thanked Being Forum and Peking University's long time support for the harmony of civilizations and the United Nations’ undertaking. He appreciated the forum’s theme this year and emphasized that at a time of global challenge, people need mutual understanding.

Lin Huiqing, vice minister of the Ministry of education of China addressed the audiences at the opening ceremony. She first approved Beijing Forum’s accomplishments through all these years and said that the forum has already become one of the city’s celebrated brands. She then quoted Guanzhong, a prominent thinker from China’s Spring and Autumn period, that “people learn about courtesy after their granaries are fulfilled, and they only think of honor and disgrace when enough cloth and food are supplied.” She also mentioned President Xi Jinping’s recent remarks on education in the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, that aside from developing domestic education, opening up China’s education to the world also matters significantly.

Vladimir Petrovich Lukin, former deputy chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly, Russian Federation, said that beautiful harmony doesn’t come in a harmonious way but it’s getting more and more important. He recalled some conflicts and confrontations in the history and pointed out the challenges facing the world today. Finally, he concluded that only by integrating into globalization better and discussing the global order can people finally achieve "beautiful harmony".

The honored guests Essam Abdel Aziz Sharaf, former prime minister of Egyptian Cabinet, Wang Ning, vice mayor of Beijing Municipal Government, Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group and Lin Jian hua, president of Peking University also delivered the opening remarks.

In the next session, four distinguished guests delivered keynote speeches.

Peter Nolan, director of China Centre, Jesus College, University of Cambridge and Founding Director of Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge, talked about the two-edged sword of capitalist globalization. He pointed out that there is no choice other than to grope towards international cooperation if people want to resolve the contradictions of capitalist globalization. He also indicated that Chinese philosophy has the potential to make a rich contribution to resolving the contradictions of the two-edged sword of capitalist globalization.


Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, Gene D. Block also delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. He focused on a profound change sweeping across academic institutions, which is the increased collaboration and cooperation among the world’s universities. He said that the assumption that universities and colleges are sometimes resistant to change is not correct. He pointed out that research and learning, and the dissemination of the fruits of that research and learning, know no borders.

The speech of Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of Dialogue of Civilization Research Institute and Founding President of World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, was entitled “On the Future of Humanity and Global Partnership Among Civilizations”. He pointed out that one of the foundations for the stable development of humanity is its diversity of core values which foster harmony between civilizations. As for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, he supported it and believed that the diversity of civilizational, cultural, traditional, and governmental instruments will be promoted among participating countries.

The speech of PKU Professor Zhu Suli was entitled “Home, Country, and ‘World’, the Chinese Conception and Constitution of Its World.” Zhu shared with the audience his understanding of the values and concept of order of the Chinese nation. He admitted the importance of learning from the past, but he also thought the past should not be learned by rote. He warned people not to be morally or legally obliged to clone history.

In the afternoon and the following two days there would be various panels of Beijing Forum on more specific topics.


Reported by: Qian Kang, Wang Yuxiang & Xie Changli
Edited by: Zhang Jiang