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June 19, 2014

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Forum looks at how soft power promotes peace

PROMOTING world peace and strengthening cultural soft power were on the agenda when 500 delegates from some 20 countries and regions gathered in Shanghai yesterday for the Third Annual Conference of the Taihu World Cultural Forum.

Among those gathered for the 2-day non-government organization event are politicians, academics, business leaders and media professionals.

China will give more attention to cultural development, which has already been made a national strategy, to boost its soft power, and expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges with other countries to open up larger room for reciprocal and win-win cooperation in the world, vice Premier Liu Yandong said as she delivered a speech at the opening ceremony.

The forum is a non-governmental organization founded in China to promote development of the Chinese culture and cross-cultural communications between China and other countries.

The conference is held in response to increasing globalization, said organizers of the forum.

Liu proposed all nations respect each other and get rid of zero-sum thinking to ensure various cultures co-exist in a harmonious way.

 The nations should also lay a solid foundation for cooperation and ensure their people support, participate in and benefit from their friendly relationship, Liu said.

Through considering cultural soft power interaction, the event also seeks to assuage fears concerning the development of China on the international stage.

One big problem for the promotion of Chinese cultural in the world is a lack of self-confidence, Shirley Young, chairwoman of US-China Cultural Institute, cultural associate of the Chinese American organization Committee of 100, told Shanghai Daily.

“China has a unique and rich cultural to share with the world. It is a key element of its soft power,” she said.

As cultural differences cause conflicts all over the world, events such as the Taihu World Cultural Forum build bridges and promote dialogue between cultures, said Dominique de Villepin, former prime minister of France.


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