The Yangtze Culture Forum is scheduled in Nanjing, China on November 24, 2023. The forum will bring together guests from all over the world to discuss and promote the shared values of humanity. The forum’s main objective is to explore the challenges and opportunities faced by river cultures, ecosystems, and economies, and to engage in discussions on the sustainable development of major rivers. Additionally, it aims to establish a global network for dialogue and collaboration among major river cities. This will foster exchange and mutual learning in river basin areas, eventually constructing a shared human destiny community.
The forum will be jointly hosted by Nanjing, UNESCO, and other partners.
Rivers play a vital role in nurturing cities and preserving their cultural heritage and shared memories. Nanjing, the only one of China’s four great ancient capitals located along the Yangtze River, has been continuously paying attention to the Yangtze River issue for many years. The uniqueness and innovation of this forum lie in establishing a platform to showcase and share the diverse cultures of the entire Yangtze River basin, with a broader goal to foster mutual learning and exchange among civilizations and cities of great rivers.
The forum will focus on the theme “Flowing Rivers, Converging Future”. It will discuss issues that are common in river basins globally, including the Mississippi River. The topics will include ecological conservation, economic development, and the preservation and recording of culture. The forum will be a platform for sharing wisdom about civilization and the future and will address the mutual shaping of cities and rivers.
Nanjing, an important city in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and St. Louis, located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, became the first pair of sister cities between China and the United States since diplomatic relations were established in 1979. When they became sister cities, the banner presented by Nanjing read, “The friendship between the people of Nanjing and St. Louis is as enduring as the Yangtze and Mississippi Rivers.” These two great rivers have become witnesses to the friendly exchanges between the two cities and countries.
In 2019, during a visit to Nanjing, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said, “I am the sixth consecutive mayor of St. Louis to visit Nanjing. Our friendship will transcend everything and endure permanently. This is the traditional friendship between the people of the two cities and between the Chinese and American people.”
Nanjing, a city located along the Yangtze River, is closely linked to the river in the same way as St. Louis is to the Mississippi River. China has been actively developing five national cultural parks, and one of them is the Yangtze River National Cultural Park. Nanjing aims to become a shining example in this park, exhibiting the changes and developments that have taken place along the Yangtze River. Through its endeavors, Nanjing sets an example of the transformations occurring along the Yangtze and reflects China’s perspective on development.