Peace and prosperity have turned out to be the key words for delegates from various sides, as the week-long celebration for the 600th anniversary of Chinese Ming Dynasty navigator Zheng He's voyages of the West Ocean come be concluded in Semarang on Sunday.
"Peaceful diplomacy is one of the most valuable legacy that we can inherit from Zheng He," Head of Fujian Provincial Delegation Xie Xianwen told Xinhua before attending the banquet hosted by the local provincial government.
He circumnavigated the globe to bring friendship and technology to other countries, totally different from the Western navigators who went to the sea to establish colonies, he said.
Such an attitude could set up a good example nowadays for all the countries who get caught in various struggles, he added.
Secretary General of the Anniversary Organizing Committee Zhou Jichao said that Zheng He's ideal was materialized in the celebration as all the activities shared one topic: peace.
"Climax came as the audience saw the fashion show of all Indonesian and Chinese national costumes in the gala parade on Thursday," he said, adding that the performance symbolized a common desire for peace and unity.
Meanwhile, Central Java Governor pinned hope on the anniversary for promoting the province's tourism industry and drawing more foreign investment.
"More than 8,000 Chinese tourists traveled in Indonesia in 2004.This year, we will have more of them coming. When tourism booms and cultural exchange is promoted, we can say that Zheng He's dream for peace and prosperity is coming true," he said, while inaugurating the new Zheng He Temple.
Semarang welcomed tourists as well as investors, and every investor from China would be met individually by government officials if they came to the capital city, he added.
In addition, Indonesian Commerce Minister Feng Huilan said that Zheng He's voyages promoted the trade and cultural exchange between China and Indonesia, which currently enjoyed positive development.
Inter-nation exchange of culture and trade was a necessity and Indonesia now had a lot to learn from China since economic prosperity and political stability had been seen in the latter one, she said, while opening an international trade show on sideline of the anniversary.
"I have the research of China's reality as a required course for myself," she added.
The anniversary has finished most of its agenda such as trade show, gala parade, inauguration of new temple and seminars. Others like folk art exhibition and performance are still underway.
Some 10,000 people have rushed to the port city to experience the carnival, making the local hotels fully booked and restaurants packed.
The anniversary is expected to cost some 300,000 US dollars and can benefit the city in the fields of tourism and investment as a long-term effect, according to Li Botu, Chairman of the Anniversary Organizing Committee.
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 capital city.
Semarang is renowned in Indonesia as a tourist destination and for its marine products, port facility as well as the 200,000 Indonesian Chinese residents who conduct regular commercial exchange with their counterparts in China.
(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2005)