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Updated: 2021-10-14 11:39 ( China Daily )
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Norodom Sihamoni, king of Cambodia

The annual conference of the Taihu World Cultural Forum is an international event on cultural exchanges of worldwide interest, providing a high-end platform for people with vision from different cultural backgrounds to jointly respond to the challenges of the times in a friendly, open and inclusive manner. The forum has long been advocating and practicing cultural exchanges and mutual learning, which greatly promote common respect and trust in the international community as well as the peaceful development of the world.

Yang Jiemian, chairman of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies' Academic Affairs Council

The current world is undergoing a dichotomy of development. On the one hand, the tangible and intangible bindings of the international community become increasingly intertwined, thus not only making the world an Earth village, but also an integrated entity.

On the other hand, there are also forces pulling the world apart and making the international community fragmented and piecemeal.

Moreover, some worrisome trends are arising, such as unilateralism, protectionism, extremism and xenophobia. These phenomena also teach us that physical power is far from enough to combat the current and future challenges to mankind. Indeed, to meet these challenges we need to synchronize both physical and cultural strength.

Irina Bokova, former secretary-general of UNESCO

I have always firmly believed that culture has the infinite power to heal, to rebuild, to unite people's hearts and minds, which helps enhance our confidence, courage and wisdom in solving global challenges, in shouldering historic responsibilities. The example of China is extraordinary. China has showed us once again that when a nation wakes up, it always starts with cultural awareness. China has found that culture is now an important source of national cohesion and creativity, a pillar of social economic development.

Ye Xiaowen, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and vice-chairman of the CPPCC Culture, History and Learning Committee

Today, viruses are still torturing human beings globally. Humans should not be (like) a virus and should never become (like) a virus, because the biggest difference between humans and a virus is that viruses can indiscriminately attack humans, but humans can cooperate without discrimination and trust each other and defeat viruses with the power of culture. Despite the color and the continent of the people, we can work together to defeat viruses.

Kim Seung-ho, consul general of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai

International collaboration is the most vital element in global prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic. That collaboration could not operate where a my-country-first sentiment is dominant. An export ban and hoarding basic protective products have instigated and propagated fear worldwide. Where fear prevails, there is not much room for reasonable behavior. Finding a scapegoat has led to xenophobia and racism. Many countries reserved vaccines several times more than their populations, while low-income countries still lack even the minimum number of doses for survival. What is the point of sealing off one's cabin while the Titanic is sinking?

Wu Weishan, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and director of the National Art Museum of China

Three things are important in cultural communication: cultural diversity, a faithful heart and a soul that cherishes and safeguards world peace. Culture is the most fundamental driver for gathering people from all over the world. With our faithful heart and wise creations, we can help to build a community of shared future for mankind.

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