African ambassadors seek cultural bonds with China
Published: Jan 25, 2024 11:46 PM
African ambassadors in China visit the Chinese Archaeological Museum and participate in civilizational exchanges in Beijing on January 25, 2024.  Photo: Qian Jiayin/GT

African ambassadors in China visit the Chinese Archaeological Museum and participate in civilizational exchanges in Beijing on January 25, 2024. Photo: Qian Jiayin/GT

On Thursday, African ambassadors to China and renowned African scholars visited the Chinese Archaeological Museum and held a symposium called "Deeping mutual understanding between Chinese and African civilizations based on fine traditional culture" at the Chinese Academy of History.

"The work that China has done in preserving and exhibiting this long history of civilization is astonishing. As an African and an African ambassador, I am looking forward to continued cooperation between China and Africa," Isabel Domingos, the ambassador of Sao Tome and Principe to China, told the Global Times.

The African ambassadors visited the Chinese Academy of History to explore its precious collection of cultural relics and gain a deeper understanding of the political, economic, and social life in ancient and modern China, from the Paleolithic Age to the present. 

Among them, the agricultural culture of ancient Chinese attracted the attention of the ambassadors. Several ambassadors expressed their astonishment at the exquisite craftsmanship of the primitive agricultural tools and pottery as well as the efforts to preserve them.

After the visit, the ambassadors and domestic scholars held a symposium on the themes "Origin of Civilization," "Integration and Inclusiveness," and "National Awakening." 

Gao Xiang, president of the Chinese Academy of History, said that the common aspiration of Chinese and African historians is to truly return human history to the people and tell the world about it. 

"For a long time, Western countries' historical research has been characterized by ignorance and prejudice toward Chinese and African history," said Gao.

Domingos said that understanding one's own history is crucial, as history can tell people where they come from and where they should go. "China is establishing its own history rather than relying on what the West says, because no one should know us better than ourselves," said Domingos.

African ambassadors said that this visit not only allowed them to once again experience China's long-standing civilization but also highlighted the important role museums play in educating the younger generation about Chinese culture and civilization. 

Education about history is crucial for identity recognition. Africa, being a place with a rich history, hopes to cooperate with China in areas such as technology and professional knowledge to help Africa trace and promote its own history. The history of Africa also fills them with pride.

The civilizations of China and Africa are both splendid flowers in the gardens of world civilizations and have made significant contributions to the progress and development of human civilization. 

This event aims to deepen China-African cultural exchanges in the new era, guided by the principle of mutual learning. It will continue to inject new connotations into the long-lasting traditional friendship between China and Africa and lay a solid humanistic foundation for the construction of a high-level community with a shared future for China and Africa.