Chinese President Xi Jinping made some ears prick up recently with his speech calling for different civilisations to respect one another.
This was after he said he has visited the different places of many civilisations in the world that are rich in their own unique culture.
And then he name dropped Singapore’s Sentosa as one of them.
Attracted to places of diversity
Rather incredibly, the tourist attraction in Singapore was mentioned alongside the likes of “the central Asian city of Samarkand, the Luxor Temple in Egypt”, as well as the “Wat Phra Kaew in Thailand and the Acropolis of Athens in Greece”.
Here’s what the places Xi mentioned look like:
Sentosa in Singapore
Samarkand city in Uzbekistan
Luxor Temple in Egypt
Wat Phra Kaew in Thailand
Acropolis of Athens in Greece
The Acropolis of Athens and the Luxor Temple are both UNESCO World Heritage sites, while Samarkand is in the World Heritage List.
The world would be dull without diversity: Xi
Speaking at a forum called “Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations” held on Wednesday, May 15, Xi said the world would be a “dull” place if human civilisations were to be “reduced to only one single colour, or one single model”.
“What we need is mutual respect based on equality, and say ‘no’ to hubris and prejudice.
We need to deepen our understanding between one’s own civilisation and others, and work to promote interaction, dialogue and harmony among civilisations.”
Xi also said it is foolish to impose one’s civilisation onto another, and that doing so would have disastrous consequences, to the applause of the audience in attendance, which included Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
Xi’s comments were widely perceived to be directed at the comments made by American State Department policy planning director Kiron Skinner.
Skinner said at a forum a week before this speech that this is the first time the United States (U.S.) is squaring off against a “great power competitor that is not Caucasian”.
According to a video of her speech released by the forum organiser, Washington D.C.-based think tank, New America, she said the “fight” with China is with a “really different civilisation and a different ideology”.
Her comments quickly came under fire from critics.
If accurate, this is a rather appalling, racist-based assessment of the nature of the Chinese threat. And coming from the State Dept. makes it even worse. Apparently the problem is not CN’s system; it’s Chinese culture? We sink to new lows every day. https://t.co/g9vpu80Web
— Michael D. Swaine (@Dalzell60) May 1, 2019
The two superpowers are currently embroiled in a trade dispute that recently escalated after the latest round of tit-for-tat tariff increase following a five-month truce.
Xi is scheduled to meet U.S. President Donald Trump next month at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.