Chairman of the Academic Committee of Dunhuang Academy
2023-12-21 18:05


Distinguished guests,dear friends, good afternoon. I am truly honored to be invited to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. I come from Dunhuang.



Dunhuang, located along the ancient Silk Road, served as a crucial hub where Eastern and Western cultures converged throughout history. The Dunhuang culture, represented by the famous Mogao Grottoes and the cultural relics unearthed from the Sutra Cave, is indeed the crystallization of diverse cultural exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations along the ancient Silk Road.



Over the past decade, the Dunhuang Academy has actively responded to the Belt and Road Initiative. We have gathered high-quality platform resources and engaged in exchanges and collaborations with academic institutions, universities, and various sectors of society in countries along the Silk Road. We are determined to contribute our efforts in promoting the development of the new Silk Road and making contribution to the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.



Firstly, we fully tapped into the value of Dunhuang culture to provide vital cultural support for construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. We have established the Center for Research on the Silk Road and Dunhuang, focusing on research topics such as Dunhuang and the Silk Road, the development and changes of the Silk Road, as well as the ethnic, religious, social, and cultural aspects of countries and regions along the Silk Road. We have published over 100 papers in prestigious domestic and international journals and authored 51 academic works, including the "Dictionary of Dunhuang Art" and the "Dunhuang and the Silk Road Culture Series". These publications provide academic support for the Belt and Road Initiative.



Secondly, we actively established international research platforms for the Silk Road, promoting cultural exchanges and cooperation among countries along the Silk Road. Leveraging platforms such as the Center for Research on the Silk Road and Dunhuang, our institute has organized 11 international academic conferences. We have also facilitated academic visits by six groups of experts and scholars to seven countries in Central Asia and South Asia, achieving significant outcomes that serve the broader national diplomatic agenda. Through these efforts, we strove to foster mutual understanding, strengthen cultural ties, and promote peaceful cooperation along the Silk Road.



We have dispatched experts to participate in international academic conferences in countries such as Serbia, Brazil, and India. These conferences, including the international conference of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on “Shared Buddhist Heritage”, provided a platform for us to deliver keynote speeches that garnered significant attention from the participants. Furthermore, we have produced a documentary titled "Dialogues between Mogao Grottoes and Angkor Wat," which showcases the cultural exchanges and shared destiny between ancient China and countries along the Silk Road through the dialogue between these two world heritage sites.



Building upon our academy's successful experience in mural painting, archaeological sites, and digitization, we have prepared a project proposal for the preservation of ancient castle ruins in Naryn Province, Kyrgyzstan. Additionally, we have undertaken projects such as the restoration of the Thatbyinnyu Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar, and the development of techniques for extracting information from mural paintings. These endeavors provide technical support and Chinese solutions for cultural heritage preservation and research to countries along the Belt and Road, showcasing our commitment to promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding.



In addition, we have also signed cooperation agreements with countries such as Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, and India in various fields, including scientific and cultural research. These agreements aim to facilitate deep collaboration in the preservation of cultural heritage sites, comparative studies of Buddhist art, exhibition planning, talent exchanges, digitization, and more.


三是依托丰富的敦煌文化遗产资源,多角度、多方式弘扬丝路优秀传统文化。我们全方位参与了丝绸之路敦煌国际文化博览会,在历届文博会上举办专题论坛、主题展览等活动 20余项,加强了与“一带一路”沿线国家的文化交流和民心相通。

Thirdly, leveraging on the rich cultural heritage of Dunhuang, we have actively promoted the outstanding traditional culture of the Silk Road from multiple perspectives and through various means. We have fully participated in the Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo, organizing more than 20 activities including thematic forums and exhibitions during previous editions of the expo. Through these endeavors, we have strengthened cultural exchanges and fostered people-to-people connectivity with countries along the Belt and Road.



By fully utilizing digital Dunhuang resources, we have successfully launched 3D high-definition images and panoramic views of 30 ancient caves, the world's first blockchain-based digital Dunhuang open resource library, and the world's first transcendent and interactive digital Sutra Cave museum. These initiatives enable people from around the world to access, appreciate, and utilize Dunhuang's digital resources through the internet.



As of now, the global page views have surpassed 20 million. Through our embassies abroad, our academy has organized Global Linking of Dunhuang Culture events in 10 countries including Germany, Japan, Armenia, and Uzbekistan. These events have provided in-depth introductions to Dunhuang's cultural and artistic heritage, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of Dunhuang culture worldwide.



Throughout this year, we have also launched an online documentary series called "Appreciating Dunhuang Online" consisting of 40 episodes, providing explanations of Dunhuang art in both Chinese and English. This initiative has received positive feedback from the public, further promoting the understanding and appreciation of Dunhuang culture. In summary, Dunhuang culture epitomizes the great achievements of Chinese civilization over thousands of years and its significant contribution to human civilization as a whole.



Therefore, in the future, we sincerely hope and invite experts and scholars from both domestic and international communities to join us in promoting the protection, accessibility, research, and collaboration of cultural heritage. Together, let us contribute to the progress of human civilization. Thank you all.