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 including 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 without uniformity” 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, is 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."
Confucian civilization and Christian civilization 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 Confucian civilization and Christian civilization. The two great civilizations in the era of globalization need to strengthen communications and understanding so as to establish a new harmonious relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation.
President of the Organizing Committee of Nishan Forum on World Civilizations