The president of China Wednesday stressed the need to promote peace and stability in Asia and urged the continent to defend openness, trade and connectivity.
In his keynote speech at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) in Beijing, which was attended by representatives of 47 countries, Xi Jinping said that preserving peace and stability was the responsibility of every country.
"When peace is interrupted by conflicts and war, economic growth and exchanges will be out of the question," Xi warned.
He said that countries in the region "should work free from fear" in a spirit of openness. "If doors close, people will lose vitality", the president warned.
"We Asian people hope that all countries reject exclusion and uphold openness and work to promote policies on infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity," he added.
Xi stressed that Chinese civilization - through inventions such as paper, gunpowder, the printing press and the compass - has had a profound influence on the world, contributing extensively to the process of human development.
"China in the future will embrace the world with a more open attitude and contribute to the world with more vigorous achievements," he said.
The CDAC will focus on exchanges and "mutual learning" among Asia's civilizations through the plenary session and several parallel forums.
The conference also has a cultural carnival, a week highlighting Asian civilization and an Asian gastronomy festival that will attract around 30,000 people from inside and outside the country, according to the organizers.
Over the course of the week, parades, cinema, art shows and tourism and culture showcases will be held, while the gastronomic festival will be held in the cities of Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
Asian integration and the respect between different civilizations are themes that Xi has often repeated; on several occasions, he has highlighted the importance of building a community of shared destiny for Asia.