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Civilizations Forum Highlights Inheritance, Development of Yangtze River Culture

By SHIHAN YANG|Sep 13,2023

Chongqing - The 2023 Forum for Yangtze River Civilizations held on September 12 in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has built an academic exchange platform to pool wisdom worldwide to protect, inherit, and carry forward the Yangtze River culture.

The 2023 Forum for Yangtze River Civilizations was held in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on September 12. (Photo/Su Si)

Since 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping has held three symposiums on the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt in Chongqing, Wuhan, and Nanjing, which are respectively located in the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The keywords have changed from "promotion" to "thorough promotion" and then to "comprehensive promotion," which defined the development path of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

The Yangtze River stretches for thousands of miles and boasts a thousand-year history. Different regional cultures, including Bashu culture, were exchanged and integrated here, contributing to the prosperity of the Yangtze River culture. Chongqing sits in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, which traverses the municipality with a flow path of 691 kilometers, accounting for 10.9% of the total length.

This year's Forum for Yangtze River Civilizations was themed "Inheritance and Development of Yangtze River Culture," aiming to protect, inherit, and carry forward the Yangtze River culture, maintain historical features, and strengthen cultural confidence. It gathered nationally renowned experts, scholars, and representatives of universities, social science institutions, and museums along the Yangtze River. They shared opinions on cultural inheritance and exchanges around "Exploration of the Origin of the Yangtze River Civilization" and "Millennium Culture: From Mountains and Rivers in Bashu to Water Towns in Jiangnan." The guests present strived to inherit the culture that has developed for thousands of years.

During the Forum, a signing ceremony of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement between the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Chongqing Municipal People's Government was signed to facilitate the construction of a new Chongqing in advancing Chinese modernization. Both parties will deepen cooperation in discipline construction, academic exchanges, decision-making consultation, practical innovation, and talent training to harvest shared benefits and win-win results.

In recent years, Chongqing has taken cultural construction as an important mission, striving to build a cultural powerhouse that "carries a thousand years of cultural lineage, casts a humanistic spirit, creates a new style of the times, and strengthens the quality of innovation."

Baiheliang (White Crane Ridge) inscription site in Fuling District, Chongqing. (Photo/Hu Jianzhong)

Chongqing has pushed forward the Three Gorges Cultural Relics Protection Project on an unprecedented scale. A total of 966 cultural relics protection projects have been implemented. Protection projects of the Baiheliang inscription site, Shibaozhai, and other cultural relics have become a model in China. 17 comprehensive public museums, including the Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum, have been built, making Chongqing an important window for the protection and inheritance of Yangtze River culture.

The beautiful scenery of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River. (Photo/Chongqing Municipal Commission of Culture and Tourism Development)

Chongqing has also promoted archaeological research on the culture of the Yangtze River. 603 archaeological excavation projects have been carried out, and among them, the Daxi site in Wushan has been selected as one of China's "Hundred Greatest Archaeological Discoveries of the Century." Furthermore,  the city has established the only complete Neolithic cultural genealogy in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, filling a gap in the archaeology of southwestern China and even China.

Next, Chongqing will leverage the 2023 Forum for Yangtze River Civilizations to strengthen exchanges and collaboration with provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities along the Yangtze River, systematically protect cultural relics and heritage of the Yangtze River, study and explain the rich connotations of the Yangtze River culture, and drive its creative transformation and innovative development.

At the same time, the municipality will give full play to the important role of the Yangtze River culture in stimulating the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, vigorously promote the Yangtze River culture to educate and benefit the people, and contribute to promoting cultural progress in pursuing the Chinese modernization, building a modern Chinese civilization, and continuously enhancing the spread and influence of Chinese civilization.


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