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Xi calls for dialogue of civilizations

Updated: 2019-05-15 08:51:34

( China Daily Global )

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President's endeavor

As one of the busiest globe-trotting world leaders, Xi misses no opportunity to promote mutual respect, understanding and learning among different cultures and civilizations wherever he goes.

"What's past is prologue," he quoted Shakespeare - whose works he first read 40 years ago - at the British Parliament during his state visit to the United Kingdom in the autumn of 2015, shedding light on his country's perspective on China-UK relations.

Ahead of his state visit to Italy in March, Xi, in a signed article published by leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, told the story of Chinese emissary Gan Ying sent to search for Da Qin, the Chinese name of the Roman Empire, during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).

Recalling the article, Francesco Sisci, a senior consultant for the Italian Minister of European Affairs, said he "saw in between the lines an amicable and wise leader".

Quoting pearls of wisdom from other cultures has been a hallmark of Xi's speeches on the global stage, which demonstrates not only his art of communication, but also how open the Chinese are toward other civilizations.

Yet his commitment goes far beyond that. His overseas trips have seen him attend cultural events, reach out to the local people and pay visits to landmarks of cultural heritage.

A photo from Xi's 2015 trip to the UK - which went viral - shows the president enjoying a pint of Greene King IPA beer in the company of his British host, then prime minister David Cameron, at a pub near London.

In a speech delivered in 2014 at the headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Xi reeled off his tours of cultural heritage sites from Mexico's Chichen Itza, an archaeological site of the Maya civilization, to Uzbekistan's Samarkand, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia.

"I have visited many places around the world," Xi said, adding "what I like most is exploring the varied civilizations of our five continents".

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