On December 21, 2017, CCTSS and the Nepal Embassy in China jointly held the "Echo of Civilizations – China-Nepal Culture Salon" in Beijing. Representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Chinese Culture Development Committee, United Front Work Department, the State Administration for Religious Affairs, and other ministries and commissions; the Afghan Embassy, the Singapore Embassy, and 14 other embassies; Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing Publishing House, China Translation and Publishing House, Rong Bao Zhai Publishing House, and other Chinese organizations were present at the Salon. With the theme of "cultural exchange and mutual learning among civilizations", attendees explored cultural exchange, development, and cooperation between China and Nepal. China Daily, China Radio International, Global Times, Beijing Time, and other media outlets provided on-the-spot reporting of the event.
Innovative Exchange Model – Realistic Cultural Cooperation and Development
The "Echo of Civilizations – China-Nepal Culture Salon" introduced the "Embassy Book Exhibitions" and "Ambassador Book Recommendations" models, innovated cultural exchange and cooperation mechanism between China and countries and areas along the Belt and Road route, promoted bilateral cultural exchange and learning between civilizations, and helped build friendly relations between China and Nepal.
Expert scholars in attendance engaged in advanced, penetrating, friendly, and harmonious discourse regarding wisdom and practice via Salon participation, open discussion, and academic investigation. Salon attendees reached wide consensus on topics such as spreading culture, shared learning, publishing, and translation, thus taking the first steps in establishing multiple models of cooperation. The Salon made progress in bringing Chinese and Nepalese people together and promoted communication and cooperation between the two countries.
In order to deepen cultural exchange between the two countries, the opening ceremony combined a Chinese-Nepalese art exhibition and book exhibition, which displayed multiple dimensions of the fruits of each country's culture. Painters Mi Jinming and Yang Qun expressed traditional Chinese culture in their paintings. Their work reflected that the cultures of both China and Nepal have been deeply influenced by Buddhist culture. The exhibition of ancient blue and white porcelain pieces from Wuxi confirmed the long history of friendly communication between China and Nepal.
Recommending Literature – Creating a Bidirectional Communication Platform
At the Salon, Chinese representatives introduced outstanding Chinese authors and works to foreign sinologists. The Nepalese embassy in China recommended outstanding Nepalese authors, works, and publishing organizations, and introduced excellent Nepalese cultural works to China. This created a bidirectional communication platform, and used cultural exchange to advance understanding and friendship between the people of China and Nepal.
On the day of the Salon, famous Nepalese authors presented books to the embassy and CCTSS. Hiranya Lal Shrestha's book Trans-Himalayan Silk Road and Ajaya Aloukik's book Unique China caused quite a stir. Chinese publishers recommended the books The Story of New China, I Love Tibet: 30 Bronze Buddhist Statues, and String Beads From Ming-Style Furniture Timber, which were very well-received. Nepalese representatives expressed their desire to translate these books into Nepalese and English and promote them in Nepal.
During the book recommendation process, Nepal ambassador to China Paudyal, Leela Mani noted that Nepalese people have an intense desire to understand works of literature that display Chinese history, society, culture, and other aspects. Paudyal, Leela Mani hopes that Chinese and Nepalese readers can communicate directly, and that excellent Chinese cultural works will continue to be released in Nepal so that the Nepalese people can truly understand China and learn about Chinese culture. Paudyal, Leela Mani also hopes that more Nepalese culture works can be introduced to Chinese readers via CCTSS, and be widely accepted by Chinese readers.
Dialogue between Chinese and Nepalese Ambassadors – Bringing the People Together
During the Salon, Nepal ambassador to China Paudyal, Leela Mani, former Nepalese ambassador to Russia Hiranya lal Shrestha, and former ambassador to Nepal Li Debiao engaged in a millennia-spanning dialogue about the Chinese and Nepalese civilizations with the theme of "similarities and differences in spreading culture". China and Nepal are friendly neighbors connected by mountain and water. Differences in language cannot hinder close cultural exchange between China and Nepal. Both Chinese and Nepalese representatives expressed that they hope to uncover cultural commonalities within an international context to allow cultural exchange to become a regular, long-term, and long-lasting form of exchange, thus passing on the ancient cultures of China and Nepal.
Nepal Academy Chancellor Ganga Prasaad Uprety, Ramesh K. Dhungel of the Muktinath Foundation, Beijing Language and Culture University Professor Gao Jinping, and Beijing Foreign Studies University Professor He Mingxing explored Chinese-Nepalese cooperation under the theme of "academic cultivation and shared wisdom". China and Nepal have 2,000 years of friendly relations. In recent years, Chinese-Nepalese cultural exchange events have become more richly colorful, and bilateral trade and the scale of investment is continuously increasing. Especially under the impetus of the Belt and Road Initiative, cultural exchange cooperation between the two countries is growing by the day, which plays an important role in enhancing understanding, respect, friendship, and cooperation between the people. The countries' relationship depends on cultural exchange, and regional organizations help propel bilateral communication and cooperation. Attendees hope that the "Echo of Civilizations – China-Nepal Culture Salon" acts as a window to Chinese-Nepalese cultural exchange and continues to promote cooperation between both sides.
Makalu Publishing House representative Basu Dev Dhakal, Fan Jun of the China Press and Publication Academy, and China Translation and Publishing House chief editor Zhang Gaoli discussed the sharing of experiences and learning regarding literature between China and Nepal under the theme of "publishing in practice, connecting the people". Whereas in the past culture was transmitted via speech, it is now disseminated via books and print media. The translation of cultural works now plays a fundamental role in cultural exchange. Representatives from both China and Nepal expressed their desires to boost translations of cultural works of both countries, provide a platform for exchange and cooperative practice between Chinese and Nepalese specialists, promote outstanding cultural works, connect the hearts of Chinese and Nepalese readers, and truly realize the linkage of the hearts of the people.
The report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pointed out promoting the establishment of the power to international dissemination; presenting China to the outside world; depicting a real, three-dimensional, comprehensive China; and enhancing China's soft power. The "Echo of Civilizations – China-Nepal Culture Salon" aimed at progressing cultural exchange between China and Nepal, implementing the national Belt and Road Initiative. The Salon provided a platform for sharing and communication between Chinese and Nepalese cultural organizations and specialists, thereby promoting deep cooperation and an exchange of experience regarding Chinese and Nepalese literature, publishing, and translation, and advancing the international promotion of Chinese culture.