3rd Asia Cultural Forum, Quanzhou, China

The 3rd Asia Cultural Forum was held at the Quanzhou Guesthouse, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. The forum focused on building a high-level platform for cultural exchange and communication among Asia countries, provide more channels and opportunities for Asian experts, scholars and art organisations to increase their mutual understanding, trust, communication and cooperation. The 3rd Asia Cultural Forum was an integral part of the 14th Asia Arts Festival held by the Ministry of Culture of China.

The forum was jointly organised by the Division of Asian Affairs, Bureau for External Cultural Relations, Ministry of Culture of China and the Chinese National Academy of Arts. It was held under the theme of the “Belt” and the “Road” and cultural dialogues in Asia, with its three-sub-forums discussing (I) The role of culture in Asian cooperation, (II) The interpretation of “One Belt, One Road” cooperation form the cultural perspective of Asia, and (III) The road to cultural partnerships and win-win outcomes in Asia.

The Secretary General addressed at the opening ceremony highlighting three concepts of culture in Asia. Firstly, he pinpointed the significance and relations of culture and globalisation. He stated that cultures may fall under the influence of globalisation but it could be prevented by finding alternative ways and means to balance local cultures from the fall to mainstream culture. Secondly, as a consequence of finding alternatives, the Secretary General pointed out that the New Silk Road initiative revived by H.E. Xi Jinping is an appropriate alternative to globalisation. The cultural dimension of the Belt and the Road will play a very important role to increase regional harmonisation. Lastly, he proposed that the Asia Cooperation Dialogue is an essential mechanism to accelerate social progress. Along with the spirit and culture of the Silk Road, the cultural bridge could be created to connect people of different religious beliefs and backgrounds. He believed that the role of ACD in cultural cooperation will be vital to help accelerate the collective approach in gathering and garnering support to empower the Asian Culture. Finally, the Secretary General concluded by calling for a constructive engagement, interactions despite diversities and a collaboration between the One Belt One Road and the ACD forum as a dialogue partner to forge a stronger bond between distinctive civilisations, strengthen Asia to counter the hegemonic globalisation and eventually bring about sustainable economic prosperity in the region.