Notable among the attendants were Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) officials and high ranking officials of the ICRO. Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Abolqassemi, who was addressing the conference opening on Saturday, said that the conference had been seeking to promote the scope of mutual understanding and knowledge of two great and ancient Asian countries, Iran and China; “furthering information exchange and dialogue between the two countries is a second focus of the conference; Islamic Republic of Iran, relying upon its long civilization and rich religious tradition and culture, has been a pioneer in peace and friendship dialogue among nations,” he said.
“The ICRO welcomes organizing cultural events and exchange of ideas with countries, cultures and religions in about 70 countries worldwide; this is apart from its official relations internationally,” Abolqassemi asserted.
“Now, with extremism and violence hitting different regions worldwide, cultural dialogue could be an asset in bringing a convergence in road to peace and cooperation between governments and communities; on this premise, the 4th version of Iran-China Cultural Relations Conference was planned and held,” said the International Deputy of the ICRO. “President Rouhani proposed in 2013 revival of ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘Marine Silk Road,’ calling all countries especially hosting the ancient road for cooperation,” Abolqassemi added.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the most stable countries in a region mired on violence and pandemonium, with ample opportunities for investment, which has hosted European delegations after the JCPOA; in reviving the Silk Road, economic relations provides an opportunity for engaged countries for cultural exchange as well, bringing nations of the region a ground on which to know and appreciate their unique Asian common identity vis-à-vis the onslaught by western modern materialist culture,” he told the meeting.
Abolqassemi also said that Iran and China would exploit the opportunities and grounds currently available thanks to long history of ties to expand the cooperation and transfer of experiences in all fields; “relation between Iran and China has great potentials and effective measures would lift the barriers on the way to higher cultural relations,” he concluded.