Strive to Understand Different Cultures and Values – PM

BEIJING, April 27 2019 (Bernama) – No one should impose one single value system to the world but should strive to understand the different cultures and values, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad here today.

Speaking during the leaders’ round table summit during the last day of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the Yangi Lake, he said, there is a need to tolerate the different cultures and values as failure to do so could be dire.

“We also need to tolerate different cultures and values. We should not impose one single value system onto the world because many countries are not prepared for it.

“There must be efforts to explain the different cultures and values. Asians should be allowed to preserve their values as this will create better understanding. When certain values are imposed, it will be disruptive, resulting in violence”, said the Prime Minister.

The leaders’ round table summit attended by 37 world leaders was held at the scenic lake, about 60km north of the capital and opened by President Xi Jinping.

The Chinese president among others had called on the implementation of result-oriented Belt and Road projects for the shared benefit of the participating countries during his opening remarks.

Dr Mahathir in his remarks during the round table summit also said the Belt and Road Initiative not only fostered development among its participating countries but also created a better understanding.

“Only through understanding we can reap the benefits of an interconnected world,” he said adding that, Malaysia was directly involved with the infrastructure policy, which was first mooted by Xi almost six years ago.

Malaysia according to him believed that the Belt and Road Initiative will contribute to world’s peace and reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

The Belt and Road is an infrastructure initiative to create trade networks between the East and West via airports, seaport, railway line, pipeline and others.

Meanwhile, in a joint communique released at the end of the summit, the leaders reaffirmed that strengthening multilateralism remains an essential in addressing global challenges.

“We also believe that an open, inclusive, interconnected, sustainable and people-centred world economy can contribute to prosperity to all, ” it said in the communique which contained 38 points on the way forward for the Belt and Road Initiative.

The leaders made it clear that they are determined to pursue trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and aspire to further open their markets, reject protectionism, unilateralism and other measures that are incompatible with the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) rules.

It also said that cooperation between partners will be based on extensive consultation, joint efforts, shared and mutual benefits as well as emphasizing the importance of the rule of law and equal opportunities for all.

All partners according to the communique, are equal for cooperation that respects openness, transparency, inclusiveness and level-playing field.

“We respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other and affirm that each country has the right and primary responsibility to define its development strategies in accordance with its national priorities and legislation, ” it added.

— BERNAMA

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