Dunhuang forums boost cross-cultural exchanges
Dunhuang, a destination for tourism in Gansu province, held a series of forums recently to promote crosscultural exchanges and mutual understanding about diverse civilizations, according to local officials.
Hosted by the Presidium of Academic Divisions of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the General Office of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Gansu Provincial Committee, the Chinese Western Cultural Exchange Forum under the Belt and Road Initiative was attended by some 150 people. They included officials and scholars from such countries as Russia, Hungary, Armenia and South Korea.
Ouyang Jian, chairman of the CPPCC Gansu Provincial Committee, said that Dunhuang, a vital city of Ancient Silk Road, has always been an exemplar of cultural exchanges between the East and the West.
He said that people today should make full use of the platform to strengthen cultural cooperation and promote common prosperity for countries involved in the BRI.
A highlight of the expo was the International Forum on the Conservation of World Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism for Development. Nearly 200 scholars from eight countries participated in the event, sharing the latest achievements in world cultural heritage protection and discussing the important role of heritage sites in bolstering the BRI.
"Cultural heritage is the precious treasure left by history to humans. How to protect the heritage as well as realize its educational and social functions is the question we need to explore in depth," said Zhao Shengliang, head of the Dunhuang Academy.
"We hope the forum can bring new ideas and thoughts to world cultural heritage protection and development."
Foreign scholars also gave speeches at the forum. Martha Demas and Neville Agnew, two researchers of the Getty Conservation Institute, spoke about the issue of excessive tourism, providing their own perspectives and suggestions.
In addition to cultural communications, the expo also paid close attention to economic and trade cooperation among countries taking part in the BRI, promoting the development of regional economies.