Chinese Ming Dynasty explorer Zheng He's spirit of peaceful diplomacy was highlighted in Semarang on Tuesday, as Central Java Governor Mardiyanto hosted a banquet to welcome native and foreign visitors who have rushed into the capital city in recent days to join the celebration of the 600th anniversary of his voyages to more than 30 countries in West Asia and East Africa from 1405 to 1433.
In his keynote speech, Mardiyanto hoped that all the concerned sides could inherit Zheng's spirit to widen mind, tolerate differences, seek for opportunities, expand cooperation and strive for better economic performances.
Later, senior diplomat Yu Hongyao at the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia said that a rich variety of spiritual wealth, especially the concept of peaceful diplomacy, could be drawn from Zheng's ground-breaking navigation.
Such a concept still benefits and guides China nowadays in the diplomatic field, he added.
Meanwhile, Yu noted that the Chinese-Indonesian relations have made positive developments in recent years and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono achieved a lot in his just-concluded visit to China.
Both countries would bear much more fruits in their economic and trade cooperation in the near future, he added.
More than 100 guests attended the banquet, including a six-member group from China's Fujian Province, an eight-member group from the province's Xiamen City, a 10-person group from the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia, as well as a number of delegates from Indonesian Chinese organizations.
Zheng He once navigated the West Ocean for seven times. He and his fleet stopped at Semarang for three times, leaving several historical sites for the port city.
The city boasts a population of 1.3 million, 200,000 of whom are Indonesian Chinese.
Most of the Indonesian Chinese in Semarang cite Fujian Province as their homeland.
Fujian and Central Java became sister provinces two years ago. Such a relation has promoted the already active commercial exchange between both sides.
(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2005)