Interview with Mr. Zhou Zhixing
(the CEO of the Consensus Media Group)
Non-governmental diplomacy to build strong friendship between Japanese and Chinese people for continued bilateral ties into future generations.
As the CEO of the Consensus Media Group, Mr. Zhou Zhixing has supported the world of Chinese ideologies and cultures for many years through a variety of media including the Internet and publishing. In the 'Japan-China Opinion Leader Dialogue' project, he initiated the move to form a team of Chinese intellectuals to visit Japan in his contribution to non-governmental diplomacy between the two countries. In this interview for SPF Now, he passionately talked about reinforcing the mutual networking of young people to help facilitate the establishment of continuous friendly ties between Japan and China into the future.
Q: - Tell us about the Consensus Media Group's website, 21ccom.net.
A: 21ccom.net is a website about thoughts and cultures. Established in 1999, it is ranked relatively high among websites covering Chinese thoughts and cultures. We aim to build a platform for building diverse ideologies in China. To achieve this goal, we have contacted a number of Chinese academics in various ideological stances. Some say the 21ccom.net is a platform linking the public and private sectors with connections to ideologies inclined to the left, right and in the middle.
Q: - Can you describe the 'Japan - China Opinion Leader Dialogue' project and its future direction?
A: A team of Chinese opinion leaders visits Japan for networking with Japanese experts in various fields. This program has been running at the rate of twice a year, with the latest one being the fifth delegation. Each year, one of the delegations consists of more prominent academics, while the other is made up of young scholars. I suggested involving young scholars in this program, because I believe the future of networking between Japan and China rests in the hands of young people. Our countries are located so close to each other that it is essential to maintain friendly ties into future generations. To this end, young people must keep the friendship alive. It is also necessary to establish understanding about China in various Japanese people. I want to see experts in different fields invited from China to spread information, including China's current situations, and deepen people's understanding. At the same time, I want Chinese experts to take this opportunity to deepen their understanding of Japan further.
Q: - You are advocating the importance of people to people exchange between Japan and China.
A: Our countries still have residual issues from historical factors. To resolve them, it is necessary to build a strong foundation through people to people exchange to further promote bilateral friendship. I remember Deng Xiaoping saying, "Japan and China are close neighbors and have no reason to fight," while traveling on Shinkansen during his trip to Japan in the late 1970s. It was only about 30 years after the end of World War II. Governments may change but people don't. A change of government could temporarily strain friendly ties between the two countries. However, as long as people in these countries have positive bonds to build strong friendship, we can overcome any difficulty.
Play the video below for the footage of full interview with Mr. Zhou Zhixing.