January 27th, 2023

Sixth Zhenghe Forum held in Kuala Lumpur

(From chinareport.com, Correspondent Li Chuanjun) From January 10 to 12, 2023, the sixth Zhenghe Forum, jointly organized by the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC-IIUM), Zhenghe International Peace Foundation (ZIPF), Asia Pacific Strategic Dialogue Organizing Committee (APSDOC) and Malaysia-China Friendship Association (MCFA), was held at ISTAC-IIUM in Kuala Lumpur.

Xiao Wunan (first from left) delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony

Over a hundred of dignitaries, scholars and guests from around the world, including Zambry Abdul Kadir, Malaysian Foreign Minister, Naiyl Latypov, Ambassador of the Federation of Russia to Malaysia, Tang Rui, Minister of Chinese Embassy in Malaysia, Haiyun Ma, President of Zhenghe International Peace Foundation, Dato Abdul Majid, President of Malaysia-China Friendship Association, Osman Bin Bakar, Prof. Datuk in ISTAC-IIUM, attended the conference. Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation (APECF) and Secretary General of APSDOC, and Ge Fen, Executive Deputy Secretary General of APSDOC, were also invited to attend the conference. Xiao Wunan delivered an opening speech and a keynote speech for the conference.

Tang Rui (first from left), Minister of Chinese Embassy in Malaysia, Dato Abdul Majid (second from left), President of Malaysia-China Friendship Association, Xiao Wunan (thrid from left), Secretary General of Asia Pacific Strategic Dialogue Organizing Committee, Osman Bin Bakar (fourth from left), Prof. Datuk in ISTAC-IIUM, Zambry Abdul Kadir (fifth from left), Malaysian Foreign Minister, attend the opening ceremony.

The theme of the forum is to explore the deep-rooted and historical ties and exchanges between India and the Pacific coastal region. The conference focused on the historical, economic, trade and cultural exchanges between China and the countries bordering the Indian Ocean. The main topics of discussion included: the far-reaching significance of Zhenghe’s voyage to the dialogue of global civilizations, moving towards the Asia Pacific cultural exchanges and dialogue, Zheng He and the history of Islamic culture in Southeast Asia, Zheng He’s legacy and its impact on China-Malaysia relations, etc.

Zambry Abdul Kadir (right), Malaysian Foreign Minister, and Mr. Xiao Wunan are in the meeting

In his opening speech, Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman of APECF and Secretary General of APSDOC, highly affirmed the positive contribution of Zhenghe Forum in promoting mutual understanding, tolerance and respect in the Indo-Pacific region based on his long-term experience and practice in regional cooperation, and expounded the importance of building a human community that embraces diversity and shares a common destiny through people-to-people exchanges. In the same time, he mentioned the origin of many people-to-people exchange activities with Malaysia, such as the international seminar on Rohingya and donation activity held in 2015, which was the first time organized and promoted by institutions and personnel with Chinese background. In the same year, Xiao Wunan, in his capacity as the International Chairman of the Temple of Understanding (ToU) - United Nations NGO, with the response of a number of agencies, jointly held the activity “To Promote World Peace through Communication among Civilizations” in Kuala Lumpur, which received great response and was recommended as the action agenda of the United Nations by the President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Naiyl Latypov, Ambassador of the Federation of Russia to Malaysia (left) and Mr. Xiao Wunan are in the meeting

At the symposium, Xiao Wunan shared this views on the current situation and prospects of people-to-people exchanges in the Asia Pacific region, explained the vision of promoting the integration of world cultures from the perspective of Chinese culture, and believed that the three characteristics of Chinese culture can play a constructive role: firstly, do not do to others what you do not want, describing the principle of respect; secondly, the gentleman is harmonious without uniformity, expressing the concept of inclusiveness; in addition, benefit all the people in the world, showcasing a compassionate spirit. Xiao Wunan’s speech was highly praised and warmly discussed by the participants. The conference received high attention from the international community and was reported by the Xinhua News Agency, the People’s Daily, the Wenhui Daily and many mainstream media around the world.