Este señor es Sun Jiazheng, el actual ministro de cultura de China. Reproduzco a continuación el discurso (está en inglés) que pronunció en el National Press Club de Washington recientemente. Me ha llamado la atención que aparte de la sabida retórica diplomática y las afirmaciones políticamente correctas, sus palabras transmiten una idea de las relaciones humanas y de los pueblos muy válidas y sabias. No elude mostrar los graves problemas a los que China se enfrenta en estos momentos y los retos que el futuro les depara . En su reflexión entronca con el pasado de China y "actualiza" el tradicional ideal de la armonía que las relaciones entre humanos deben tener y el que entre éstos y la naturaleza debe estar siempre presente, también en la política.
Chinese Culture Today: Aspirations and Dreams
(Speech by Sun Jiazheng, Minister of Culture, China; National Press Club, Washington DC, October 3, 2005)
A better knowledge of Chinese culture will help you understand the Chinese people today. The Chinese government is now upholding the principle of "people first," implementing a scientific approach to development, and working hard to build a harmonious socialist society. This is a continuation and advancement of the past twenty years of reform, opening up and development, as well as a basic direction for the future social development of China.
Contemporary Chinese culture is a mirror of contemporary Chinese people's mentality and a reflection of their innermost emotions and aspirations. In the past 26 years since reform and opening up, China's modernization has made great achievements, bringing about profound changes in economic, political, cultural and social life. This is truly a remarkable progress. It is not in line with reality to ignore this progress and exaggerate the problems. Huge differences exist in different regions in China. More than 100 million people still live on less than US$1 per day, among whom about 30 million only have less than US$ 0.50 each day. There are numerous problems in China either left over by history or waiting ahead in our way forward. To solve them and eventually realize the dream of building a harmonious society, we need the efforts of several generations. Since we already know how lofty our mission is, we will never be afraid of the long way we need to go.
From the beginning of the human society, there have always been three fundamental conflicts: between man and nature, within human society, and within man himself. The names of the three major halls in the Forbidden City well reflect this philosophy: "Tai He" (Supreme Harmony) signifies the dialectic unity of heaven and earth, and harmony between man and nature; "Zhong He" (Central Harmony) indicates the state of tranquility and stability in human society; and "Bao He" (Preserving Harmony) refers to the peace of mind and health in body and the balance between the two. The names of these three halls well reflect the values of Chinese traditional culture.
Today, our efforts to build a harmonious world are also in line with China's reality. President Hu Jintao has proposed six requirements in building a harmonious society: "democracy and the rule of law, equality and justice, trust and fraternity, vigor and dynamism, safety and order, and harmony between man and nature." In order to fulfill those requirements, we are attaching unprecedented importance to the value, rights, interests, and freedom of human beings, the quality of life, the potential for personal development, the happiness of the people, and the coordinated economic, political, cultural and social development, as well as the harmonious coexistence between man and nature.
In building a harmonious society, the economy is the foundation, politics the guarantee, and culture the soul. In the course of development in the 21st century, there appears a new awareness to put culture in such an important place and entrust it with such lofty mission, since it is closely related to the character of a nation and impacts every aspect of social life. Its functions to educate, inspire and to bring beauty are more often realized in indirect, far-reaching and subtle ways. Culture is like water, nurturing everything in quietness.
The harmonious society that we're striving to build is one which respects the interests and appeals of all social groups, where people can fully realize their potential, get what they deserve, and live a well-off, peaceful and happy life. In terms of culture, this ideal boils down to safeguarding basic cultural rights and interests of all citizens, and addressing the multi-level and diverse needs for culture of all members of the society. We focus on the prosperity and development of culture, and hope to improve the living standard of our people and boost their self-development through quality cultural products and services. Furthermore, we strive to soothe, inspire and cultivate our people through culture, enriching their inner world, producing a sense of tranquility and happiness for them and fostering their creativity. We are committed to the establishment of a framework for the advancement of culture and the building of a learning society for all.
This framework will comprise an enabling environment for cultural innovation, a comprehensive system of cultural laws and regulations, a widely accessible network of public cultural services, a sound and viable cultural market, and a well-functioning cultural administration and management system that can give impetus to the cultural circles for the creation of more works of excellence and development of more cultural talents.
At the same time, we will continue to earnestly promote international cultural exchanges, and strengthen heart-to-heart communication between the peoples of China and around the world. As Culture Minister, I maintain that culture should be used to satisfy spiritual needs. Our cultural undertakings and enterprises should listen and respond to the humanistic call from the public.
In the two decades since the reform and opening up, China has undergone tremendous changes, which are not just manifested by mushrooming skyscrapers or soaring statistics. The biggest change is the change of Chinese people's outlook on themselves and the world. With a broader mind and heart, Chinese people connect their own well- being and happiness to the peace and development of the world.
China is the world's largest developing country, and the United States is the world's largest developed country. Both our countries have great peoples with kind hearts and immense creativity, and broad markets in which the two economies can well complement each other. We have a lot to learn from each other. "Standing high and seeing far" is the typical Chinese way of thinking, while emphasizing details marks the American people's spirit of pragmatism. Combination of the two can enable us to see more clearly what our peoples' expectations are and where the world is heading, and thus to negotiate on and settle specific issues. "One cannot lift himself up while sitting in a basket." Only through dialogue can we achieve mutual understanding.
The exchanges between China and the US need us to open our hearts and minds. Culture originates in, and in turn speaks to the human heart. And my speech today is aimed at conveying my wish to promote the heart-to-heart communication between our two peoples. What gives me great pleasure is that such a wish is not just my expectation, but has become an ongoing cultural process and an objective historical trend.
Both China and the United States are great countries and our peoples are endowed with great wisdom. 26 years ago, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, where the "Festival of China" has just opened, Deng Xiaoping held an American boy in his arms and said with deep emotion, "Now all the people in China and all the people in the United States are shaking hands!" The little boy in Deng's arms has already grown up. But for more lovely children in China and the US, for the children of the world, for the earth we live on, and for our common dreams, shouldn't we hold our hands even tighter?