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Indonesian City to Commemorate Zheng He

Local government and businessmen of Central Java's capital city Semarang in Indonesia will contribute four billion rupiahs (about US$500,000) to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Chinese Ming Dynasty eunuch Zheng He's navigation of the Western ocean, Sindu Dharmali, Chairman of the Commemoration Organization, told Xinhua reporters Saturday.

The money will go for a seminar on Zheng He's contribution, a photo exhibition of his navigation, establishment of a new Zheng He Temple as well as ritual performances by various artists, said Dharmali.

Such activities are expected to bring alive the courage, persistence and peace-loving spirit of Zheng He, who once navigated the Western ocean for seven times to popularize China's handicraft arts such as sculpture, porcelain and silk in other countries, including Indonesia, especially its coastal city Semarang, he said.

Local government and businessmen hope that the commemoration will help the Indonesian and Chinese people know more about each other and promote bilateral ties, he added.

According to the Commemoration Organization, Governor of Central Java Province Mardianto has promised to attend the activities, while officials from China's Fujian Province, which is sister province with Semarang, are also considering to come here for the commemoration.

Semarang boasts 2.5 million residents, 15 percent of whom are Indonesian Chinese. The city is famous for the Zheng He Temple, a tourist attraction.

(CRI.com May 8, 2005)

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