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Remarks by President Xu Jialu

 

In the face of increasingly serious crisis in the human society, more and more people realize that recognition of cultural diversity and consistent dialogues among different civilizations to promote understanding and trust among countries and nations are the best approach to settle problems faced by human beings. Therefore, the United Nations has made an important decision to advocate dialogues among different civilizations in the world. The decision received wide recognition and support from the international communities and the Chinese government. Since the end of the last century, dialogues have been conducted at different levels in many parts of the world. China, as the largest developing and a responsible country, has due obligations to maintain and promote world peace.    

The great philosopher and educator Confucius advocated “Harmony is the most precious” and “Harmony with diversity” in his lifetime. He respected others’ faiths and was open to different cultures. He once said" If three of us are walking together, at least one of the other two is good enough to be my teacher." Nishan Forum, named after Mountain Ni, the Birthplace of Confucius, aims to inherit the spirit of Confucius and serves as an important platform for the dialogues among different world civilizations in the context of globalization.    

     In October 2009, resolution honoring the 2560th anniversary of the birth of Confucius, which was initiated by Mr. Al Green, Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives, was approved by the House with overwhelming majority, which reads "Whereas Confucius counseled introspection, self-cultivation, sincerity, and the observance of respect within social relationships as a means of achieving justice and attaining morality in personal and public life, reflecting a moral fiber of the highest degree; Whereas the teaching of Confucius that ‘what one does not wish for oneself, one ought not to do to anyone else; what one recognizes as desirable for oneself, one ought to be willing to grant to others’ is a model for ethical behavior and for the promotion of harmony among us."    

Since September 2008, experts from home and abroad have attended the "Nishan Forum Preparatory Meeting" for three times. The participating experts and scholars agreed that to hold Nishan Forum in the hometown of Confucius, bringing together experts and scholars all over the world to discuss coexistence and development of various cultures in order to go with the trend of the world. A series of decisions were made on preparation for the Forum.      

The first Nishan Forum is scheduled on September 26 – 27, 2010, in Nishan, Shandong province in China, unveiling the “dialogue between Confucian civilization and Christian civilization ", with the theme of "harmony with diversity” and “the harmonious world" and the slogan of "Harmony, Love, Integrity and Tolerance". Dialogues and exchanges will focus on social responsibility, credit, tolerance and diversity, and harmonious coexistence.    

Confucianism and Christianity are two civilizations with great influences around the world. Dialogue and exchange between the two civilizations are imperative and significant at the moment. Undoubtedly, there are both different and common features between them. The two great civilizations in the era of globalization need to promote communications and understanding so as to establish a new harmonious relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation. The dialogue will be an effort for both Confucianism and Christian civilization to jointly build a new relationship as the world is becoming a global village. In the future, dialogues between Confucianism and Islamism, Confucianism and Judaism, Confucianism and Hinduism will be held to fully promote dialogues and exchanges among world civilizations. 

 

Xu Jialu, President of the  

Organizing Committee of Nishan Forum on World Civilizations

March 16, 2010

 

 

 

As an international cultural and academic exchange event, Nishan Forum on World Civilizations (the "Nishan Forum”) is to be held in Nishan, birthplace of Confucius, the great ancient Chinese thinker and educator. With the theme of carrying out dialogues among world civilizations, the forum aims to promote the Chinese culture, cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world and to build a harmonious world. It is academic, non-governmental, international and open.     

The Organizing Committee of the Nishan Forum decided that the first Nishan Forum would be held in Nishan of Shangdong province in China on September 26-27, 2010.  

 

 

  

Nishan Forum Keynote

 

The Nishan Forum was initiated by Dr. Xu Jialu, Vice Chairman of the Ninth and Tenth NPC Standing Committee. In the three-year's preparation, the Forum received supports from both home and abroad.    

Confucianism, founded by Confucius, disseminated and enhanced by Mencius and their followers, is considered as an important part of traditional Chinese culture and an essential force for the involvement in dialogues of world civilization. To conduct the world dialogues of civilizations in Nishan, birthplace of Confucius, is an important event to fulfill China's solemn commitment to dialogues of world civilizations initiated by the United Nations, leverage the Chinese culture represented by Confucianism in the development of world civilizations, enhance mutual understanding, exchanges and cooperation among world civilizations and promote peace and development of mankind.     

Adhering to the idea of "creating your own beauty, discovering others’ merits, sharing with each other for a harmonious world", the Nishan Forum is facing the world and the future to carry out interactions and exchanges among civilizations, safeguard cultural diversity, promote mutual understanding, respect, harmony and development of culture among different peoples and make due contributions to build a harmonious society and world.

 

 

 

The Institutional Structure of the Nishan Forum

 

 

Organizing Committee

  

President:

Xu Jialu

Vice Chairman of the Ninth and Tenth NPC Standing CommitteePresident of Advanced Institute of Confucian Studies of Shandong University

  

Vice President (In the order of the number of strokes in the surnames):

 Ye Xiaowen, Member of CPPCC Standing Committee, Party Secretary and First Vice-President of the Academy of Chinese Culture, Chairman of China Religious Culture Communication Association

Xing Bensi, Former Vice President of the Party School of the Central Committee of the C.P.C, Former Chief Editor of "Seeking Truth" Magazine, Dean of Marxism College of Tsinghua University

Xing Yunming, Executive vice Chairman of China Association for International Friendly Contact.

Ji Baocheng, President of Renmin University of China

Liu Chuansheng (female), Party Secretary of Beijing Normal University

Liu Changle, The CPPCC national committee, deputy director of the body of education Chairman and President of Phoenix TV

Zhu Zhengchang, Party Secretary of Shandong University

Xu Lin (female), Director of Hanban, Director General of Confucius Institute headquarters

Ru Xin, Former Vice President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Yang Wenchang, President of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs

Li Zhaoxing, Member of National People's Congress Standing Committee and Director of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, Former Foreign Minister, Honorary President of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of China Association for International Friendly Contact

Chen Jian, President of United Nations Association of China, Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dean of International Relations School of Renmin University of China

Wu Jianmin, Honorary Chairman of the Bureau of International Expositions, Vice President of the European Academy of Sciences

Zhao Qizheng, Member of the CPPCC Standing Committee, Former Director of  the State Council Information Office, Director of Foreign Affairs Committee, Dean of School of Journalism and Communication of Renmin University of China

Zhong Binglin, President of Beijing Normal University

Hu Zhanfan, Chief Editor of Guangming Daily 

Xu Xianming, Member of National People's Congress Standing Committee, President of Shandong University

 

 

Executive Directors of the Presidium (In the order of the number of strokes in the surnames):

Ma Jianfei, Deputy Director of Hanban (Headquarters of Confucius Institute)

Ye Qilian, Director of National People's Congress General Office

Liu Wei, Secretary-General of China Religious Culture Communication Association 

Liu Baoju, Deputy Director-General of Publicity Department of Shandong Provincial Committee of CPC

Zhu Xiaojian, Deputy Dean of School of Humanity and Religion Studies of Beijing Normal University

Zhang Xiaoan (female), Vice-President of United Nations Association of China

Zhang Shuping, Deputy Secretary General of the CPC Jining Municipality

Yang Huilin, Vice-President of Renmin University of China, Dean of Institute of Religion Studies of Renmin University of China

Lu Cairong, Member of Editorial Board of Guangming Daily

Chen Zuming, Secretary-General of China Association for International Friendly Contact

Chen Yan, Vice-President of Shandong University, Executive Deputy Dean of the Advanced Institute of Confucian Studies of Shandong University

Zhao Shuguo, Chairman of CPPCC Jining Municipality

Liang Guodian, Chairman of China Confucius Foundation

Huang Xingyuan, Secretary of Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs

Huang Yiyu (female), Party member and Vice President of the Academy of Chinese Culture

 

 

Secretary-General of the Presidium:

Xu Xianghong

Deputy Director-General of Publicity Department of Shandong Provincial Committee of CPC, Vice Chairman of Shandong Association of Social Sciences, Executive Deputy Dean of the Advanced Institute of Confucian Studies of Shandong University

 

 

Deputy Secretary-General:

Chen QingLi, Zhang Chun, Zhang Min,  Zhang Wu, Liang Shu, Mou Feng, Zhu Ruiping, Fu Youde, Yan Binggang, Li Daoxiang, Zhang Fang(female), Li Jianjun, Wang Daqian, Gao Shuqun (responsible for routine work of the Secretariat)

 

 

Executive Deputy Secretary General:

Kong Fanke, Wang Zhong, Wang Mingqiang, Zheng Zhongxun

 

 

Organizers

Organizing Committee of Nishan Forum

Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs

United Nations Association of China

China Association for International Friendly Contact

China Religious Culture Communication Association

Renmin University of China

Beijing Normal University

Shandong University

The Academy of Chinese Culture

Headquarters of Confucius Institute

 

 

Operators

Organizing Committee of Nishan Forum

Advanced Institute for Confucian Studies of Shandong University

Center for Judaic and Inter-Religion Studies of Shandong University

School of Humanity and Religious Studies of Beijing Normal University

Institute of Religious Studies of Renmin University of China

Research Institute of Chinese Culture of the Academy of Chinese Culture

China Confucius Foundation

Jining Municipal People's Government

   

Strategic Supporter

Guangming Daily

 

Academic Committee of the First Nishan Forum

Chairmen: Xing Bensi, Pang Pu

 

 

Secretariat

 

Liaison Division

Director: Wang Mingqiang

Deputy Directors: Zhou Cheng, Gao Yanbing (female)

 

Publicity Planning Division

Director: Kong Fanke

Deputy Director: He Changqing

 

Division of Academic Exchange

Directors: Fu Youde, Yan Binggang

 

Support and Security Division

Director: Qiao Lanshan 

Deputy Director: Dong Yi

 

 

Theme and Topics of the First Nishan Forum

 

The Forum is a platform for the dialogues between Confucianism and Christian civilization with the theme of "harmony with diversity and the harmonious world" and the slogan of "Harmony, Love, Integrity, Tolerance".

The Forum has invited over 70 renowned experts and scholars from 12 countries and regions. It has received 60 papers. The Forum will focus on the dialogues and exchanges on the following four topics:

1. Social Responsibility: to explore the meaning and contemporary social values of social responsibility in Confucianism and Christianity; to analyze common but different responsibilities for different civilizations in building a harmonious world.

2. Social Credit: to explore the ethical origin, meaning and social values of the sense of integrity and social credit;  to analyze how to foster common credit and establish standards of common credit and objectives.

3. Tolerance and Diversity: to explore the ethical origin and practical significance of respect for differences, tolerance and diversity; to propose ideas and measures to maintain the diversities of world cultures and promote mutual understanding and respect among different peoples.

4. Harmony and Co-existence: there are both different and common features between Confucian civilization and Christianity.  Both great civilizations in the era of globalization need to strengthen communication and understanding to establish a new harmonious relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation. The dialogue will be an effort for Confucianism and Christian civilization to jointly build a new type of relationship.

  

 

The Arrangement 

 

In the afternoon of September 25, press briefing;

In the evening of September 25, reception banquet hosted by the government;

In the morning of September 26, participants will pay a visit to Nishan and participate in the opening ceremony and the first high-level dialogue. 

From afternoon of September 26 till afternoon of September 27, 1 high-level dialogues, 1 high-level meetings, 1 academic plenary session, 8 penal sessions, 1 TV-talk and a number of TV interviews;

In the closing ceremony held in the afternoon of September 27, the Nishan Declaration of Harmony will be read and passed;

In the evening of September 27, the invited experts and scholars will attend the opening ceremony of China (Qufu) International Festival of Confucius Culture;

In the morning of September 28, the experts and scholars will be present at the Grand Memorial Ceremony of Confucius, then visit Confucius Temple, Confucius Mansion and Confucius Forest. Then, return in the afternoon.

See the details of the arrangement in the Forum Guidance

 

  

 

Location and Features

 

1.    Academic Style

In the late years of Confucius, he devoted himself to abridging and revising the Book of Odes, the Book of Records, formulating decorum and music, and editing the Book of Change. He gave lectures to his disciples in a place which was later developed into the Zhusi Academy. The ancient Chinese Academy was the location where the Confucian scholars pursued learning and improved themselves. The Nishan Danyu Academy or Nishan Academy, located in Nishan has a history of 670 years. The Nishan Shengyuan Academy, located to the east of mountain Ni, is initiated by renowned scholars and social elites from home and abroad and is a cultural entity which inherits the Chinese culture and engages in academic studies, exchange and training. The venue of Nishan Forum, Nishan Shengyuan academy, is both the historical continuity of ancient Chinese academy culture and the ideal platform for cultural exchanges between the East and the West. 

2. Natural Charm and Rhythm 

Nishan, the birthplace of Confucius, has not changed much over the past 2500 years in term of its landscape and natural ecological environment. As the venue of the opening and closing ceremonies and sessions, Nishan offers an ideal ecological environment that reflects harmony between man and nature.

3. Heritage Context and Setting

The cultural relics under the protection of the state, province or the municipality are scattered throughout Nishan. As a place with rich cultural heritage, Nishan offers both natural and cultural heritages, including ancient village communities, history legends, folk tales and sagas. To choose Nishan as the forum venue is to take advantage of its unique spiritual and cultural position and its rich cultural heritage, laying a solid cultural foundation for the forum on world civilizations.

 

 

Nishan Forum Logo

 

Meaning of the Logo:

The Nishan Forum on World Civilizations adopts the Five Colorful Clouds as its logo. The five clouds represent the five continents, and the five colors represent cultural diversities. The outline of the logo means harmony with differences and the connection of each cloud means dialogues and exchanges among civilizations. The whole picture implies the cultural diversity that is harmonious but different and a colorful world of harmony.   

         Graphic Structure Analysis:

The logo gives a sense of multi-layers and power, using only one graphic element, which carries different meanings in different modes of civilizations. It means "auspicious cloud" in Chinese culture, "ocean" in the Japanese culture, "sun" in the European culture and "God of life" in American Indian culture. The figure has a long history and is frequently found on the cave fresco in many parts of the world. It might be that the figure is simple yet inclusive and even can be completed without any assistance of modern tools. The curve looks comfortable, pleasant and harmonious. Ruyi, as a kind of mascot on jade in ancient China, has this curve, which is the materialized form of luck and happiness.

 

 

 

Nishan Forum Flag

 

The flag of Nishan Forum is the combination of “Five Colorful Clouds” on Logo of Nishan Forum and substrate blue color of the flag of United Nations. It implies that the dialogue of world civilizations is initiated and promoted by United Nations, and China will implement its solemn commitment to support the United Nations to conduct dialogues among world civilizations, and therefore, China hosts for the first time the activities of “World Civilizations Dialogue in Nishan”.

 

  

 

Monument of Nishan Forum on World Civilizations

 

The first Nishan Forum will Opening Ceremony of the Nishan will unveil the monument of Nishan Forum on World Civilizations in the square of Shengyuan Academy of Nishan. The inscriptions on the monument were written by Xu Jialu, vice chairman of the 9th and 10th NPC Standing Committee and chairman of Nishan Forum Organizing Committee and presented by Ouyang Zhongshi, a renowned calligraphy artist. The monument is 9.6 meters long and 1.5 meters high, located at Nishan, birthplace of Confucius, a great thinker and educator in ancient China. The monument is a perfect combination of talents of Xu Jialu and Ouyang Zhongshi. The 266 words in the inscriptions reflect Chairman Xu’s literary gift and rich knowledge about history, highlighting his broad vision of being harmonious yet different. Ouyang’s calligraphy, being fresh and elegant, simple and dignified, is the work of the master. With expansion of high-level dialogues and exchanges among world civilizations, the monument will become a new landmark in Nishan under the influence of the cultural synthesis.

Mr. Ouyang also wrote “Listen to the World, Mutual Communication- A Hymn to Nishan Forum” to express his appreciation of the forum.

 

 

Nishan Declaration of Harmony

 

        All participants from home and abroad to the first Nishan Forum will review the wisdom of the sage who lived 2500 years ago and jointly issue a declaration of human harmony-- Nishan-Declaration of  Harmony, which will be the first declaration on human harmony in the world and an significant achievement of the first Nishan Forum. It will have a far-reaching impact on promoting dialogues and exchanges among civilizations and building a harmonious world.

 

 

Nishan Forum Books

 

A series of books Nishan Forum bookswill be published by Wuzhou Publishing House with Xu Jialu, former vice chairman of NPC Standing Committee, as the chief editor and the secretariat of Nishan Forum Organizing Committee as the editor. The first book of the series “The Day of Dialogues among Civilizations: Voice from China” is a collection of speeches made by renown scholars at the high-level symposium to celebrate the UN Day of Dialogues among Civilizations, namely, Xu Jialu, Xin Bensi, Zhao Qizheng, Ye Xiaowen, Hu Zhanfan, Ru Xin, Wu Jianmin, Zhang Xiaoan, Zhang Qizhi, Li Xueqin, Zhang Liwen, Mou Zhongjian and Wang Zhimin. Xu Xianghong wrote the preface. The book, being the most inclusive book on dialogues among civilizations, is both in Chinese and English with 200,000 words in total.

        The book series will continue to introduce the important academic achievements to act as a platform for ideas and academic studies for Nishan Forum.

  

 

“Nishan Carol” and “Ode to Confucius 

 

The grand folk music Nishan Carol and Ode to Confucius, composed by Liu Wenjin, famous folk music composer and conductor, former president of China Opera and Dance Theatre, will be performed by the Shandong Song and Dance Theatre Folk Orchestra. As the music dedicated to the First Nishan Forum, “Nashan Carol” (The Song without Words) is elegant and precious with unique style, and it will be the first Oriental “Carol” for the birth of Confucius and his birthplace- Nishan. While the lyric of the Ode to Confucius is selected from the classic sentences of the Analects of Confucius, therefore, the climax will come as it is repeatedly sung, which will promote the development of the theme of this music.

The themes of the two music compositions are based on the folk and classical musical elements in Qilu. The composer fulfills the praise to the Confucius by making use of the neo-classicism and romanticism concepts and skills. The musical compositions are brilliant with a moving and far-reaching melody.

 

 

 

Press Coverage

 

Since May, 2010, Organizing Committee of Nishan Forum has done widely advanced publicities and academic warming up activities. A High-level seminar of Nishan Forum to celebrate the UN Dialogue among Civilizations Day and symposiums of Nishan Forum for both domestic and foreign scholars were held in Beijing. The first press conference on Nishan Forum was held at the news room of the State Council Information Office, in which Zhao Qizheng, Ye Xiaowen and Wu Jianmin were invited to answer questions for domestic and foreign medium. It also invited Wu Jianmin, vice-chairman of Nishan Forum Organizing Committee, to make a tour to Nishan to learn about preparation of the Forum. Moreover, World Peace Dialogue Day: Voice from China, which is the first book of Nishan Forum Series, was published. Some other preparatory activities, for example, Nishan Forum Column on the Chinese Studies Page in Guangming Daily, and the opening of official website of Nishan Forum, are also done well. All thses activities have caused great reactions on media both from home and abroad, improved the reputation for “Nishan Forum” and “Nishan”, and created a perfect atmosphere for the media.

The first Nishan Forum will invite reporters from home and abroad for the coverage of the event on site. The press center of the Forum will provide reporters with the all-round services. In addition to organizing coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies, high-level dialogues, the press center will give news briefings on the afternoon of September 25, and arrange interviews for specialists as well as other activities.

 

 

About Nishan

 

Nishan is the birthplace of Confucius, the ancient Chinese thinker and educator. Located 25 kilometers southeast of Qufu, Shandong Province, Nishan is at the junction of Qufu, Zoucheng and Sishui counties with 340 meters above the sea level. It was originally named mountain Niqiu and consists of five small mountains only with the mountain in the middle called Niqiu. According to the "Historical Records", Confucius’s parents prayed on mountain Niqiu for a son. So Qiu became   Confucius’ given name, also known as Zhongni. The later generations renamed the mountain to Nishan to avoid offence to Confucius.     

Nishan mountain enjoys a picturesque scenery and rich cultural atmosphere, with natural and cultural heritage scattered around. It is known as the “Holy Land” in China. At the east of Nishan sits the Confucius Temple and Nishan Academy which are under the state protection. The pavilion, carved beams and cypress trees can be dated back to some 1000 years ago. The cave where Confucius was born, the pavilion where Confucius lamented " Time goes on and on like the flowing water in the river ", the gully, the well where Confucius mother fetched water, the brook of wisdom, Baiyun peak and Changping mountain are all attractions. Nishan mountain is famous for eight historical sites: Wulao peak, Luyuan forest, brook of wisdom, Kunling cave, Guanchuan pavilion, Zhonghe gully, Wende forest and Baiyun cave, and the Nishan reservoir with rippling blue waves, which offers an enchanting experience. Most sagas in Nishan are related to Confucius, including “Nishan Prayers”, "Kirin Jade Book", "Two Dragons and Five Old Men", "Music from Heaven", etc. These can be found in classics and historical books, notes, stone carvings of the Han dynasty, inscriptions on the tombstone, opera literature and folk stories. With significant cultural aesthetic values, they are collections of history and culture.    

Nishan mountain is known for the Confucius. It is believed that Nishan will send immortal voices of multi-civilizations from the world and make great contributions to progress the cultural improvement and harmony of mankind in the coming years.

 

 

 

Secretariat of Organizing Committee of Nishan Forum on World Civilizations

 

Zip Code: 250014

Address: No. 2 Western Road of Qianfo Mountain, Jinan, Shandong Province, China.

Tel:

Liaison Division (0531)81952307 81952311

Publicity Planning Division (0531) 82033974  81952311

Academic Exchange Division (0531) 88361277  88377939Zip

Support and Security Division (0531)81952338 81952332

Fax: (0531)81952300 81952307

E-mail: nishanlt@126.com

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