China plans to spend billions of dollars to build a cultural symbolic city in its eastern province of Shandong, home to ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, to revive traditional cultural values including Confucianism.
Jiang Daming, governor of Shandong, announced at a news conference on Saturday in Beijing that the "Chinese Cultural Symbolic City" will be built in the Jiulong Mountain range between the two cities of Qufu and Zoucheng, ancestral homes of Confucius and Mencius.
The construction project includes refurbishing the ancestral homes of the two ancient philosophers and constructing new architectures in the Jiulong mountain range, Jiang said.
The project planning and construction commission, chaired by top Shandong officials, will solicit ideas on designs from the public starting from Saturday till September 1 this year. Details of the solicitation are available at the city's website www.ccsc.gov.cn.
Xu Jialu, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress said all design plans will be reviewed by a consultation panel made up by some 30 top artists, sinologists and architects in China.
The ambitious engineering project, initiated by 69 academicians in the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2001, aims to showcase the traditional values like peace, harmony and ingenuity advocated by ancient philosophers such as Confucius. The project has been approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in October 2007.
Xu and an initiator of the project, said that "the city will exhibit and commemorate the long-honored Chinese values, such as refining personal morality, cherishing peace and harmony, and filial piety. Ideally, it shall be the spiritual home for the whole nation."
Construction is expected to start before 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2008)