Promoting Cultural Cohesion and Safeguarding National Cultural Trade Security

In recent years, with the in-depth implementation of the national cultural digitalization strategy, digital technology has promoted the increasing number of cultural market players in China, and the scale of culture and related industries has also been expanding. China International Cultural Trade Development Report (2023) pointed out that in 2022, the total import and export volume of foreign cultural products in China was 180.27 billion US dollars, the export trade volume was about 163.68 billion US dollars, and the import trade volume was about 16.59 billion US dollars. Among them, the proportion of China in the import and export trade of cultural and creative products in the global market is generally on the rise, and the total export value is close to 40%. China’s international cultural trade has entered a new round of rapid development stage, which has become a new focus to stimulate the growth of China’s international trade.

In the global market, there will be an expansionist tendency in the process of cultural trade, such as unbalanced output and input, uneven cultural trade and so on, which will impact the cultural traditions, values and lifestyles of the trading countries. At present, maintaining national cultural trade security and promoting the high-quality development of cultural industries have become an important issue facing China.

The security of cultural trade is characterized by two-way. The exporting country of cultural trade penetrates the ideology, values and lifestyle of the target country through cultural products and services. Correspondingly, the importing country protects and develops its national culture, adjusts its cultural development strategy, gives play to its comparative advantages, and expands its cultural trade output, so as to resist the influence of foreign culture on its own country. Therefore, the national cultural trade security is influenced by two factors: the cohesion of domestic mainstream culture and the international competitiveness of cultural industries.

On the one hand, the safety factor of a country’s cultural trade is closely related to the cohesion of domestic mainstream culture. Different from the tool attribute of industrial FMCG, which aims to meet the basic needs of human beings, cultural products have emotional attributes, and their consumption experience depends on specific values and aesthetic resonance. The stronger the cohesion of domestic mainstream culture, the more cultural enterprises attach importance to the inheritance and innovation of their own culture, and cultural products and services can more accurately meet the cultural consumption needs of their own people. Local original cultural products dominate the domestic market, which can effectively hedge the impact of cultural products and services from other countries on their own people’s values, thinking habits and lifestyles. On the other hand, when our people are more chasing foreign cultural products and services, and the country’s international cultural trade shows a deficit, the domestic market will be squeezed by a large number of foreign cultural products, the country’s original cultural traditions and value orientation will be seriously impacted, and the security pressure faced by the national cultural industry will increase. On the other hand, the national cultural trade security is also positively related to the international competitiveness of the country’s cultural products and services. The greater the share of a country’s cultural products and services in the international market, the higher the consumer recognition, the higher the country’s trade discourse power and rulemaking power in the international market, and the more capable it is to safeguard its own cultural trade interests from infringement and ensure the normal operation of the foreign cultural trade system from destruction and threat.

In today’s world, cultural thoughts are stirring each other and different values are playing games with each other. Vigorously developing cultural trade can not only gain economic benefits, but also prevent the erosion and impact of foreign cultures and values on domestic culture, and spread domestic cultural values and thinking habits abroad, thus affecting a country’s international status and international influence. The Chinese nation has a rich cultural heritage and rich cultural resources. It is the only way to safeguard the national cultural trade security and promote the "going out" of culture by giving full play to the innate advantages of China’s cultural resources, deeply tapping the huge potential of the domestic cultural market, strengthening the industrial characteristics of "content is king" and constantly exploring overseas markets. (Cheng Bing is an assistant researcher at the Cultural Development Strategy Research Center of China Academy of Art)

Source: Guangming Net