Retrospectives and perspectives: Joint Sino-French academic seminar held in Paris

The academic seminar on “Exchanges and mutual enrichment of Chinese and French civilizations: retrospectives and perspectives,” jointly hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO), was held in Paris, France, on May 3, 2024.

During the seminar, Gao Xiang, president of the CASS, said that China and France, the two major civilizations, resemble two bright lights that shine on each other. Enhancing the mutual enrichment of civilizations and cultural exchanges is an intrinsic requirement for the connection of people, the mutual trust and the partnership between the two countries, he said. The two nations should work together to set an example for harmonious coexistence of civilizations and win-win cooperation, especially at a time when some countries, under the complex international situation, have resorted to the “clash of civilizations” argument, he added.

Gao emphasized that both civilizations ought to be cherished and respected during these exchanges and mutual enrichment. One year after the Global Civilization Initiative was put forward, deeper cooperation and exchanges between China and France will surely promote the further implementation of the initiative as well as the sustainable and peaceful development of the entire world, he said.

Gao Xiang, president of the CASS, delivers a speech at the seminar, May 3, 2024. /Xinhua

Gao Xiang, president of the CASS, delivers a speech at the seminar, May 3, 2024. /Xinhua

Jean-Francois Huchet, president of INALCO, said in his speech that France has an academic tradition of attaching importance to China. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the French Republic, the two countries have continued to deepen academic exchanges in the social sciences and expand the research field, including traditional fields such as language and culture as well as contemporary research such as sociology and economics, he said. There is huge potential for bilateral academic cooperation, he added.

During the opening ceremony, China Social Sciences Press and Paris’ Editions You Feng jointly released the French version of the “Understanding China” book series. A special exhibition on “Sino-French academic exchange” was also held during the seminar, presenting books on the fruitful exchange between the two civilizations.