Principal abbot: Shaolin temple's expansion crucial for cultural inheritance

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The expansion of Shaolin Temple, one of China's most famous buddist temple and well-known for its association with Chinese Kung Fu, is vital for its cultural inheritance and publicity, said its principal abbot Shi Yongxin on Tuesday.

Shaolin is expected to renovate the North Shaolin Temple in Jixian County, Tianjin Municipality. The temple was the most important Shaolin temple in north China and became a branch of the Shaolin Temple in 1315.

The renovation deal was signed in 2007 by the Shaolin Temple and Jixian County government.

Both the investor and builder of the temple is the Shaolin Temple, according to the deal.

As to the rumored 2 billion yuan investment (292.8million U.S. dollars), Shi told the local Zhengzhou Evening News that "that figure is inaccurate. We have pumped in 160 million yuan, and future investment is yet to be decided."

"The renovation plan is still in the pipeline", said Shi, "The preparation, such as road building, is underway."

The North Shaolin Temple will maintain its original architecture features, Shi said.

The temple was destroyed by Japanese troops during the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945).

The Shaolin Temple, built 1500 years ago during the Wei and Jin Dynasties, is famous for Buddhist teaching and Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin Kong Fu. It is located in north China's Henan Province.

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