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Starting point of the Maritime Silk Road


The Twin Pagodas, the symbol and landmark of Quanzhou

QUANZHOU

QUANZHOU, located in the southeast coast of China, is one of the three central cities in Fujian province. It is a world multi-cultural treasure house famous for its openness and inclusiveness, an entrepreneurial city full of vitality and business opportunities as well as a charming and harmonious city.

Quanzhou, also known as “Zayton” in ancient time, was first built in 260 A.D. In the Tang Dynasty, it was one of the four major harbors in China.

During the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Zayton was regarded as “the largest harbor in the East.”

It covers a land area of 11,015 km2 and has a population of 8.65 million.

With a long history and profound culture, Quanzhou is one of the first 24 historic and cultural cities designated by the State Council of China, the first “Culture City of East Asia” in China, as well as a renowned starting point of the ancient “Maritime Silk Road.”

Quanzhou is a well-known hometown of overseas Chinese.

The World-famous Southern Shaolin Kung Fu

There are over 9.5 million overseas Chinese of Quanzhou origin in more than 170 countries and regions; over 700,000 in Hong Kong and over 60,000 in Macao.

More than 90 percent of the overseas Chinese live in Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. In Cebu, most of the Chinese community members are from Quanzhou.

In Quanzhou you witness the exchanges, integration and development of various religions and diverse cultures from both the East and the West during medieval times. It is the only city in the world that possesses three genres of oral and intangible heritages proclaimed by UNESCO.

A stroll through the city will reveal a variety of well-preserved structures of high historical value, including cathedrals, temples, monasteries, and mosques from the East and West.

Quanzhou’s older area is known as “a museum of world religions” with structures built for Taoist and Buddhist faiths, as well as for Catholicism and
Islam.

A visit to Quanzhou for just a day will illustrate the port’s prosperity and openness across the ages.

The first World Multi-Cultural Exhibition Center set up and certified by UNESCO in 1991 is in Quanzhou.

As the start city of Maritime Silk Road, Quanzhou ancestors “invited in” world multi-cultures.

It is a great spectacle where you see the culture of every nation along the Maritime Silk Road integrated and harmoniously co-existing.

Quanzhou is the birthplace and the core area of Minnan (southern Fujian) culture.

There are 810 cultural relics under the protection of governments at all levels, 31 out of which are under the state protection. Intangible cultural
heritages, like ancient operas and music, are well preserved in Quanzhou.

Stone-carving in Hui’an County of Quanzhou

As the cradle of southern Fujian culture, it features elegant Nanyin (southern music), fantastic operas, wonderful southern Shaolin Kung Fu, splendid architectures and exquisite handicrafts. “Nanyin” was on UNESCO’s 2009 Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Nanyin is a musical performing art central to the culture of the people of Minnan in southern Fujian Province along China’s south-eastern coast, and to Minnan populations overseas.

Also in 2009, the “Chinese traditional architectural craftsmanship for timber-framed structures” was inscribed on the United Nations’ Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Standing as distinctive symbols of Chinese architectural culture, timber-framed structures are found throughout the country.

The Strategy for training coming generations of Fujian puppetry practitioners is in UNESCO’s 2012 Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

Nanyin, literally southern music, is regarded as a living fossil of the Chinese ancient music, while marionette, Liyuan, Gaojia and Dacheng operas are unique in China.

Quanzhou is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic areas in China with a developed private economy. It is one of the coastal cities to first open to the outside world as well as one of the areas that practice reform and opening up.

It is the pilot area for the national comprehensive reform of financial services and of the private economy.

Its economic aggregate has been ranked first in Fujian Province for 19 consecutive years, developing six industrial clusters with the output value of over 100 billion RMB, namely, textile and garments, footwear, petrochemical industry, machinery and equipment, building materials and furnishings, and food and beverage companies and 155 famous trademarks in China.

Quanzhou is committed to building a modernized city and a moderately prosperous society with focus on innovation, smart manufacturing, Maritime Silk Road, beautiful scenery and people’s well-being.

Looking into the future, Quanzhou has opened a brand new page in its development.

Read more: http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/177842/starting-point-maritime-silk-road#ixzz5HEW6QceW 
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