Peace and Harmony: Ukraine-China

By Volodimer Volkov. Community activist, businessman, environmentalist.

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One of the countries that has always occupied a special place in the foreign policy of Ukraine is the People’s Republic of China. China has always maintained friendly relations with the Ukrainians for many centuries, starting from Kievan Rus, thanks to the Silk Road. This is one of the most important countries for Ukrainian future in view of the strength of the world’s largest producer. Considering that its development in the modern interdependent world the Chinese are building through co-development with others, Ukraine continues to maintain an active policy of multilateral cooperation with China, by signing Program of Cultural Cooperation at the governmental level between the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China for 2013-2017. There is no future without development and it’s impossible to preserve even what was created in the past.

Peace and Harmony: Ukraine-China

Today the “lack of development” is the most acute problem of modern Ukraine, through solving which the world will administer an exam on its real autonomy and real independence. This is exactly why China, as the country leader of global development and chief architect of building the economic zone of the modern Silk Road from Asia to Europe, which lies through our country as well, is so important for the Ukrainian future. However, the most important thing for Ukraine in the experience of China is that the strength and stability of its development is not borrowing someone else’s, but the deep immersion into the spiritual and cultural roots of one of the oldest on the planet, but inspiring others with its young life energy, Chinese civilization. Exactly this spirit and belief in their own strength helped the PRC not only find their unique way of industrialization and gradual market reforms, but also to build a modern infrastructure basis of innovative, world striking with its scale and originality, cultural and creative economy. In addition, the strength of the national spirit and unsurpassed hard work of the Chinese people have become the key to global leadership prospects of China in the 21st century and its current role of one of the world’s largest investors, that consistently exports excessive industrial capacities abroad. These tendencies and opportunities are a global chance for our country. Ukraine is a direct heir of Kievan Rus and the spiritual and cultural heart of Slavic civilization. Right here, in the ancient and eternally young Kiev, the sacred center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is situated. And right here the “philosophy of heart” and the foundation of a spiritual world view, without which harmony and modern development that simultaneously serve as a basis for the Chinese vision of a harmonious future are impossible, were born. Rus-Ukraine is the spiritual crossroad of world civilizations, a global portal of their spiritual and creative co-development. Right here its passionary timely hidden energy focused and now it “comes to the surface” in dramatic forms of inter-civilizational conflict. The energy that carries great historical changes – an era of change. Currently the future destiny of the world critically depends on Ukraine’s ability to transform it into energy of co-development of civilizations. China is the one that understands the language of civilizations and can read their spiritual and cultural codes. The codes, which contain everything about the “wheels of life”, about the past, the present and the future. Ukraine is the one that the future depends on. And whether Eurasian continent will open the way for the new or old is predetermined by the effectiveness of civilizational and cultural cooperation between them. Whether it will be a place of conflict of civilizations or their cooperation. China is the one that knows how to combine the civilizational, cultural, industrial, innovative and creative. Ukraine is the most industrialized and urbanized republic of the former USSR. That was it which made the most significant contribution to history and industrialization of past and modern Russia.

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Today Ukraine is the one that wants to turn its inexhaustible spiritual and creative potential to innovation and industrial reality of sustainable national development. To become real Central European interface of post-industrial co-development of the continent. The development not at the expense but in the interests of all countries of Europe, and Asia, and around the world. Ukraine and China are strategic partners in this. However, the current state of Ukrainian-Chinese relations, despite signing of the Memorandum on Strategic Partnership, focuses mainly on trade-economic sphere with the increase of export-import imbalance in favour of China. To minimize it Ukraine needs to come to deeper industrial and technical, scientific and technological innovative and investing cooperation, and not at the level of state and large companies, but mainly involving small and medium business. However, the establishment of Chinese cultural and ethical basis precedes the transition to a cooperative, not commercial relationships in their tradition – first human relationship, and only then – business. In spite of this, the Chinese stratagem mentality is known since childhood, while Ukrainians usually wander in a roundabout way of tactical arrangements and rely on Western-style management standards. So mutual and above all civilizational and cultural adaptation of the Ukrainians to Chinese culture, the Chinese – to Ukrainian and European culture is necessary. Realizing the need to study the cultural heritage and development of cultural relations between our nations a project to create cultural museum space is proposed within the Ukrainian Scientific Research Center at Zhejiang normal university. This is a permanent museum exhibition of the historical heritage of our country from the period of ancient Trypilian culture (the period between 5500 and 2750 years BC), and Kievan Rus, the Cossack era, the times of struggle for independence and present. It is suggested to place wooden architectural elements of everyday life exhibits collected from all over Ukraine at the exhibition. This exhibition could become a venue for performances of Ukrainian art groups, exhibitions of Ukrainian folk artists, festivals of Ukrainian films, roundtables and so on. It would also serve as the platform for direct cooperation between the concerned institutions in the field of cultural heritage and exchange of information between skilled workers. The project is aimed at precisely this adaptation and the formation of strategic thinking as potential basis of mutual understanding. For without understanding the interaction is impossible, and therefore – co-development. This means that the keys to strategic Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation are in the spiritual and cultural, rather than trade and economic, drawer of global “roundtable” for inter-civilizational polylogue of Peace and Harmony. Using them, the goal of our project, whose mission is to transform the potential of strategic partnership between Ukraine and China into the reality of harmonious co-development, is like a guide to the future of the continent and the world.