Each and every civilization has its own unique and distinctive characters both in its origin and trajectory. Diverse civilizations have made our world colorful. As an important member of the world's family of cultures, the Chinese civilization enjoys a long and rich history that has never been interrupted. Today's China is a natural extension of the historical China. In recent years, China has undergone enormous changes in the political, economic, cultural, social and other areas. Such words as China Mania, Chinese Road and Chinese Dream have aroused widespread interest around the world. In a world of economic globalization and growing cultural diversity, the Chinese civilization has been increasingly asked to come up with valuable references for a world of sustainable development and peaceful coexistence. At the same time, the need for it to go for its own enrichment and renewal in the course of candid exchanges and interactions with other civilizations has never been greater.
China's Soong Ching Ling Foundation, acting in the spirit of the late Honorary President's belief in universal peace and cooperation and her desire to tell China's true stories to the world in the faithful service of truth, and in complete agreement with the concept of Inter-civilization Dialogue, has decided to organize once again twelve scholars from prominent Chinese universities and research institutes to participate in exchanges and discussions at the Forum.
Furthermore, at the request of the Forum sponsors, the Foundation will hold an open Roundtable at the Rhodes Forum, entitled “Facing the Future: China and the World from Multiple Perspectives.” It is designed to introduce China to the participants from various angles and dimensions, and to explore possibilities in China's future development.
The Roundtable will contain two parts: presentations by Chinese scholars and interaction between them and other participants.
In the first part, Chinese scholars will speak on topics such as Chinese traditional culture, China's economy, China's religion and society, family and education, and human rights. They will address such points as how the Chinese people think and do things, explain China's ties with the outside world, particularly with countries in the neighborhood in the context of China's foreign policy, including the background of some international disputes and their complexity, and China's commitment to peaceful development and friendship with other countries.
In the second part, the Roundtable will provide a chance for Chinese scholars and other participants to exchange views on a wide range of issues. Given China's rapid development and many problems associated with it, Chinese scholars may offer candid observations and proposals based on their knowledge of Chinese history and culture. Views from international participants on issues concerning China's past, present and future will be particularly valued as it serves to enhance dialogue, exchange and mutual understanding.