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Conference on ‘Ancient Chinese Language’ project convenes in Beijing


To push forward implementation of the “Rediscovering the Ancient Chinese Language” project, a conference was held recently in Beijing to increase cross-sectoral collaboration on the project. Attendees included representatives from the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Ministry of Education (MOE), the State Language Commission (SLC), additional governmental departments, research institutes, and other organizations implementing the project.

The meeting first recalled President Xi Jinping’s remarks during a visit to the Yin Xu archaeological site in Henan province in October 2022, in which he highlighted the essential role of the ancient Chinese language in facilitating the formation and development of China’s splendid civilization.

It reviewed progress made in the last year in research, talent cultivation, practical application of research findings and other aspects of the project. It was noted that a number of books of monumental significance have been published as part of the project, including A Comprehensive Compilation of the Oracle Bone Script Copies and Oracle Bones from Yin Xu Collected by the Palace Museum. To solve current problems in the project, it was proposed that relevant authorities increase guidance and support for the project, while organizations implementing the project should expand communication and collaboration within and between them by maximizing the use of synergistic platforms.

The conference also laid out five specific tasks for 2023: 1) further enhance the collection of ancient language materials and conduct relevant research; 2) develop synergistic platforms integrating awareness-raising, technology, and talent training; 3) further publicize research findings and increase their application; 4) expand international exchange; and 5) optimize management.

Following the conference, a symposium was held to introduce how AI can be used to compile and conduct research into ancient language materials. It was agreed that more targeted use of digital technologies will help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the project. Symposium attendees included representatives from Tsinghua University, Jilin University, Capital Normal University, Tencent Group, Microsoft Research Asia and other research institutes.