Quanzhou, city that charms any tourist | Sunday Observer

Quanzhou, city that charms any tourist

Quanzhou, being the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Route and Sri Lanka being at its centre that connects the East and West from China to the Mediterranean Sea, would play a significant role to renew bilateral ties between Quanzhou and Sri Lanka, giving a new dimension for China’s recently reinforced One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Maritime Silk Route Initiative for the 21st Century, Chinese officials said.

The Maritime Silk Route is a route for economic and cultural exchanges and a route of peace, development and friendship.

Quanzhou in the Southeast of China and one of the three cities of Fujian Province will play an important role in reopening the Maritime Silk Route. Quanzhou is among the first batch of 24 famous historic cultural cities promulgated by the State Council of China.

During a recent visit by a Sri Lankan media delegation to Quanzhou, Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Quanzhou Municipal People’s Government Director General, Wen Jinhul expressed willingness to enhance trade and investment cooperation with Sri Lanka.

He said, enhancing mutual cooperation between Chinese and Sri Lankan business communities would help promote trade and investment between the two countries.

Quanzhou imports spices from Sri Lanka and exports porcelain and a variety of tea brands to Sri Lanka. Quanzhou officials stressed the need for exploring the possibility of operating charter flights between Fujian Province and Colombo, in the near future.

In the Spring and Autumn period (approximately 8th century B.C.) the original inhabitants of Minyue clan at Quanzhou were experts in building ships and seafaring.

Afterwards, people living on the coastal area of Quanzhou took boats (which they equalled to horses) and the sea (similar to the fields).

With great courage and strong willpower, they unceasingly expanded their activities. By the end of the Tang Dynasty, (approximately, 9th century) as the focus of the Silk Road transferred to the sea and ocean, Quanzhou rose up and became an important sea port on the Maritime Silk Route.

Quanzhou boasts the biggest religious museum of the world and UNESCO has named Quanzhou as the “Exhibition Center of the World’s Multiple Cultures”.

On February 14, 1991, the UNESCO delegation on the Maritime Silk Route comprising more than 100 diplomats, scholars and journalists from 30 countries and regions came to Quanzhou for an investigation.

After a five day investigation, the delegation declared to the world that Quanzhou was the key starting point on the Maritime Silk Route, which laid a solid foundation for Quanzhou’s important role as China’s Outstanding Travel City, China’s most Charming City, Happiest City and the Potential Investment City.

Quanzhou is not only a famous historical and cultural city, but also a modern travelling port and industry trade city.

The Quanzhou Municipal People’s Government is devoted to develop Quanzhou as an energetic city around the Gulf and a happy city by the coast.

Quanzhou which began economic development from the Zhou and Qin Dynasty is the starting point of the Maritime Silk Route in Ancient China and was one of the four biggest ports in the world during the Tang Dynasty and the biggest Oriental Port during the Song and Yuan Dynasty.

Since the reform and opening-up, it has become one of the most developed and energetic areas in Fujian and even in the whole country, with its economy aggregate ranking first for 15 years in a row, in the Fujian province.

In 2014, Quanzhou’s GDP amounted to Yuan 573,336,000,000. Five industrial groups with over hundred billion Yuan of assets have emerged in textile and garment, footwear industry, petrochemical industry, machinery equipment and building material.

In recent years, centering on accelerating innovation and transformation and improving the functions of the bay city, Quanzhou has been carrying out three development strategies with great effort: to upgrade the economy, establish a demonstration area for reform and innovation, and build an ecological liveable happy city.

On the other hand, Quanzhou will grasp the great opportunity of the “One Belt and One Road” development strategy launched by the state to actively set up an international cooperation platform, mainly for developing cooperation in economy, trade, industry, finance and culture with the countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Route, such as, ASEAN, South Asian and Middle Eastern countries, South Korea and Japan, and also to build Quanzhou “ the file leader” and “an experimental plot” in the construction of the Maritime Silk Route of the 21st Century.

It has a population of 8,360,000. As an overseas Chinese hometown, there are 7,500,000 overseas Chinese from Quanzhou distributed in 130 countries and regions in the world.

Quanzhou and Taiwan, separated only by a narrow strip of water, have five ties, namely, close in geographic location, common ties of blood, wide-ranging trade, identical in culture and the same age-old religion.

Now 9,000,000 Taiwan compatriots live on the other bank of the Straits. More than 200 chambers of commerce and 2,000,000 Quanzhou residents work actively in different places of the country.

For thousands of years, the Jiuri Mountain in Quanzhou has attracted numerous literati and writers.

The famous philosopher, Zhu Xi of Song Dynasty, visited this mountain twice in 1156 and 1185, and wrote “Jiuri Mountain”. But, these words were eroded afterwards.

In 1767, Emperor Qian Long thirty-two years of Qing Dynasty, Ma Fushu, who was Wu Zhuangyuan (the winner of martial arts), and the admiral of Fujian Army, carved “Jiuri Mountain” on the cliffs.

Ma Fushu, although he was a Wushu officer, spent his spare time practising writing, especially, good at nest characters.

He died at his post that year, at the age of 99, and “ Jiuri Mountain” became his last writing, which is very precious. Jiuri Hill is located at Jinxi on the bank of the Jinjiang River.

On the hill there are 75 pieces of inscriptions on precipices down ages, 13 pieces of which are about the practices of praying for smooth wind and the establishment of the supervision office for foreign shipping.

This city is a fascinating place to visit for any tourist to China.