This photo taken on Oct. 17, 2023 shows a decoration for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation near the China National Convention Center in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Chen Bin)
BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- An interesting pattern depicting three racing rabbits, with each two sharing one ear, is vividly presented in caves of the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northwest China.
What's more interesting, the unique picture is also seen on chinaware of Egypt, on the clocks of some churches in Germany, and on tile paintings in the United Kingdom -- all thanks to the ancient Silk Road that connected China with places afar.
"The pattern was first found in Dunhuang in the 6th century. It flowed to Central and West Asia through the Silk Road between the 9th and 11th century, and entered Egypt and European countries from the 13th to 16th century," said Zhao Yanlin, a researcher at the Dunhuang Academy.
The city of Dunhuang in northwest China's Gansu Province was a pivotal hub on the ancient Silk Road. Through the road, camel caravans and commercial fleets boosted the exchange of goods, which also stimulated diverse civilization exchanges between the East and the West.
Passing on the tradition of the Silk Road, today's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is also committed to promoting mutual understanding, respect, and admiration among different civilizations.
"The BRI is a very comprehensive platform for global cooperation in human history, and it is a great civilization project," said Stephan Ossenkopp from Schiller Institute, a German think tank.
China proposes building the BRI into a road connecting different civilizations, replacing estrangement with exchanges, replacing clashes with mutual learning, and replacing a sense of superiority with coexistence, thus boosting mutual understanding, mutual respect, and mutual trust among different countries.
Over the past decade since the BRI was put forward, diverse cultural exchanges among BRI countries have been flourishing.
By the end of June, China had signed cooperation with 144 BRI countries in the sector of culture and tourism, while alliances of Silk Road-featured theaters, art festivals, museums, galleries, and libraries had been established.
At the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that concluded in Beijing last week, foreign guests were impressed by the glamour of traditional Chinese culture.
"Chinese culture is open and inclusive, and the BRI has pushed forward the mutual learning among civilizations as well as cultural integration and innovation," said Gulzhan Ramankulova, a journalist from Kazakhstan who covered the forum.
At the forum, China pledged more detailed measures to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges, as it announced eight major steps that it will take to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
The measures include hosting a special forum to enhance civilization dialogue with BRI partner countries, launching the International Tourism Alliance of Silk Road Cities, and continuing with the Chinese government scholarship Silk Road Program.
China also released an initiative to promote people-to-people bonds among BRI countries and announced the setting up of a public fund.
While visioning for joint pursuit of BRI, China also put forward building a community of a shared future for humanity and introduced the Global Civilization Initiative, one of a series of far-sighted conceptions, for the benefit of the world's civilization development.
"No civilization is superior to others, whether it is from the East or West," said Luis Rafael Gonzalez Hernandez, director of Center for Analysis and International Studies of the University of the Caribbean.
"An important implication of the joint pursuit of Belt and Road cooperation is to realize that all civilizations can live and thrive in diversity," he said.■