On September 6, 2022, the 6th Taihe Civilizations Forum (TCF) came to a successful conclusion. Held both online and on-site, three Sub-Sessions on Education and Culture, Economy and Technology, and International Relations were held sequentially. Over the past four days, 276 officials, experts and scholars, and business representatives from many countries and international organizations – China, the United States, Germany, UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Indonesia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, United Nations (UN), across many fields of expertise – vocational education, digital and information technology, economy and finance, climate change and international relations, had in-depth discussions under the four topics of "Vocational Education and Economic Development," "Relying on Technology and Innovation to Create a New Zero-Carbon World," "Great Power Competition, Regional Cooperation, and Asia-Pacific Security and Development" and "The Changing European Security Landscape and Its Impact on the International Order."
High-quality employment and rural revitalization require innovation for the development of vocational education.
Experts at the Sub-Session on Education and Culture noted that employment is the foundation of people's livelihood and social stability, as well as a source of development. Rural revitalization is an important way to promote the "domestic circulation" and ultimately to achieve common prosperity. The Sub-Session on Education and Culture, held both online and on-site, has focused on major issues of economic growth. It hosted over 100 expert invitees from research institutes, colleges and universities, secondary and higher vocational schools, technician institutes, and representatives from industry and enterprise. Together, the experts deep-dived into questions concerning how to improve the employment ability of technical talents through advanced vocational education. Also discussed were the institutions, mechanisms and realistic means required to cultivate talents essential for industrial revitalization in rural areas.
Experts at the sub-session agreed that China's employment fundamentals, while generally stable, still face tremendous pressure. Furthermore, as the direction, means and mentality of employment change, young people are also adapting to economic transformation and technological advancement. Thus, reform of vocational education should be more adaptive, inclusive and effective, enabling it to both meet employment needs and foster sound individual development.
Experts noted that talents are the foundation for rural revitalization. Therefore, resources from all sectors must be closely coordinated to cultivate local high-quality technical and industrial talents in-line with the industrial development of corresponding districts, and especially of counties. This is the "last step" to promote agricultural development through science and technology and talents.
An ESG pathway needs concerted efforts and cooperation of the human community.
The extreme weather events occurring around the globe in 2022 have reminded humanity of the severe impacts of climate change. Many regions around the world have gone through persistent and record-breaking high temperatures. The commitments of governments to reducing carbon emissions urgently need to be implemented. Under the theme of "Relying on Technology and Innovation to Create a New Zero-Carbon World," the Sub-Session on Economy and Technology held in-depth discussions about the practical paths to carbon emission reductions through low-carbon technologies, financial innovations and policy mechanisms.
Experts noted that carbon information disclosure is crucial to the emission reduction efforts of all market players. Only by breaking carbon information barriers between different market players, as well as the barriers between market players and regulatory authorities can we effectively guide enterprises to adopt low-carbon production, operation and investment. ESG, which is a widely recognized evaluation system, can reflect a company's carbon emission reduction efforts in terms of its credit value and market value. The evaluation methods of companies' ESG performance should fully consider the reliance of their economic activities on the environment, and pay attention to the transformation risks of climate change and biodiversity integrity on the economic system. The realization of carbon neutrality relies on the development of technology, including low-carbon technology, information technology and artificial intelligence. It needs to be noted that technology cannot solve all problems for humans. Companies should both go beyond the traditional vision of merely pursuing profits and coordinate four pairs of relationships, i.e. the relationships between development and emission reduction, between overall and local development, between long-term and short-term objectives, and between government and market.
The expert attendees agreed that global cooperation is acutely needed, but any cooperation mechanism should eliminate the impact of unbalanced development and not over-politicize climate issues.
To address global security changes, dialogue and joint efforts are needed, instead of confrontation.
The Sub-Session on International Relations at the 2022 TCF focused on the changes to the security landscape of both the Asia Pacific and Europe. Over one hundred expert invitees from China and abroad held in-depth and candid discussions on the topics of "Great Power Competition, Regional Cooperation, and Asia-Pacific Security and Development" and "The Changing European Security Landscape and Its Impact on the International Order."
Expert invitees concluded that in terms of development, the Asia-Pacific is the world's most promising region, but the region's geopolitical environment is increasingly complex and difficult to read. Great power competition has increased the complexity of the Asia-Pacific region's security and development. The situation has become increasingly delicate and sensitive, embracing both risks and opportunities. Cooperation will lead to win-win results for both China and the U.S., while conflicts will surely lead to loss. Both countries should manage risks, strengthen exchanges, reduce misjudgments and push for consensus. Experts hoped that Asia-Pacific countries can work together to build an open and inclusive "group of friends" to ensure a prosperous and bright future for the Asia Pacific. In this process, this year's APEC and G20 summits carry the expectations of all parties. Concurrently, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ASEAN and other regional multilateral organizations and platforms should also play a greater and more active role in fostering peace, building bridges and promoting mutual trust.
Attending experts noted that Europe is facing new security crises and challenges, and relevant issues have not only triggered widespread concern among the international community, but also significantly impacted the evolution of the international order. All stakeholders need to sit down and strengthen mutual trust through consultation and communication as well as concrete measures to avoid a downward spiral in relations. To do otherwise would certainly generate huge losses and no winners. Europe needs to focus on its own interests, find the right strategic position, shift away from the Cold War mentality, break the shackles of differing social systems and ideologies, and play a more active and constructive role in fostering regional and international peace and stability, and a sound world order.
This year's Taihe Civilizations Forum was held at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten human lives, when energy, climate and food crises came one after the other, and when great power competition and conflicts threaten the development of human civilization. Looking forward, Taihe Institute will not waiver in its mission of facilitating mutual appreciation among civilizations and promoting global peace and development. Taihe Institute will also continue to forge ahead on the core theme of "Science Culture, Future Ethics, and Common Values." To fulfill its mission and hold to its core principles, Taihe Institute will continue to gather distinguished guests from around the world to reflect on history, discuss the most pressing issues of our times, contribute new visions to China's development, build bridges for international communication, and ultimately, to promote global peace and development.
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