China News Service, Beijing, January 30 (Reporter Shangguan Yun) Here, there are treasures such as the Jiuri Mountain Wind Prayer Stone Carvings; here, there are Xupu Hairpin Flower Wai, string puppet shows and a series of amazing intangible cultural heritage skills... Here is Quanzhou, the "Cultural Capital of East Asia".

  Recently, the online theme event "Why China? Xianghai Quanzhou" was held. People measure Quanzhou with their footsteps, exploring the details of the grand scene of Sino-foreign trade during the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and feeling the city's dynamic cultural heritage.

  Quanzhou thrives towards the sea. Over the long years, it has gradually formed a unique social customs and a vibrant spiritual outlook.

  On January 29, Thai-Chinese Zhang Ailing walked into Xianpu Village and took pictures wearing the Xianpu girl's "hairpin garter". Photo by Wu Guanbiao

  During the Northern Song Dynasty, the imperial court established the Shipping Department in Quanzhou. The operation of the Municipal Shipping Department has enabled Quanzhou to form a stable relationship with overseas trade markets. Sino-Western exchanges have extended from economics and trade to culture, society and other aspects.

  Zhenwu Temple was the official place for worshiping the Poseidon in ancient Quanzhou. It witnessed the unique Poseidon worship and ocean view along China's coast during the prosperity of Quanzhou Port. A Ming Dynasty "Swallowing the Sea" stone tablet shows the grandeur of the ancients who could swallow the sea by sailing.

  Civilizations are colorful due to exchanges, and civilizations are enriched due to mutual learning. Quanzhou is a historical witness of friendly exchanges between ancient Eastern and Western civilizations.

  Quanzhou is known as the "Museum of World Religions". "This place was called the Buddhist Kingdom in ancient times, and the streets are full of saints." This couplet by the great scholar Zhu Xi depicts the harmonious coexistence of various religious cultures in Quanzhou.

  In addition, Quanzhou Tianhou Temple is a temple dedicated to Mazu, the sea god, and an important center for the spread of Mazu belief worldwide. It has witnessed the formation and development of Mazu belief along with maritime trade and plays an important role in southern Fujian culture.

  In 2021, "Quanzhou: China's World Marine Trade Center in the Song and Yuan Dynasties" was included in the World Heritage List, becoming China's 56th world heritage and one of the few urban world cultural heritages.

  Data map: Quanzhou, Fujian, visitors visit Tianhou Temple. Photo by China News Service reporter Jiang Qiming

  As a "World Heritage City", Quanzhou combines rich historical relics and cultural heritage. It has always strengthened its cultural confidence, revitalized the city with culture, and continuously improved the level of world heritage protection.

  Make overall plans to build a "famous Maritime Silk Road City". Focusing on the living conservation concept of "leaving the shape, leaving the soul and nostalgia, and seeing the people, things and life", Quanzhou continues to promote the protection and development of the ancient city by doing a good job in "solving practical needs" and "adhering to authentic protection".

  Since 2023, Quanzhou, the hometown of overseas Chinese, has comprehensively launched a special operation to "gather overseas Chinese, attract overseas Chinese and return Quanzhou merchants" to activate the power of Quanzhou merchants at home and abroad and inject new momentum into the construction of a "famous Maritime Silk Road city" in the 21st century.

  Concentrate our efforts to continue the historical context. From rules to regulations, Quanzhou uses the rule of law to help create a model city for the protection and utilization of world heritage. Through the historical information carried by the heritage, we can remember the vicissitudes of history, see the traces of time, and effectively retain the "roots" and "soul" of the city.

  The successful application as a World Heritage Site inspired Quanzhou people’s love for culture. At present, there are hundreds of observers, thousands of volunteers, and tens of thousands of guardians of the World Heritage Site in Quanzhou. Quanzhou’s cultural relics have “come alive” and Quanzhou’s tourism industry is booming.

  "Half city is full of fireworks and half city is fairy." Walking through the streets and alleys of Quanzhou, you can see rich historical and cultural relics everywhere. The Nanyin is lingering and the aftertaste is long. The roots of China's excellent traditional culture have been passed down and the ancient city continues to bloom.

  Quanzhou in ancient times was dazzling; Quanzhou today is sailing again. Carrying forward the Silk Road spirit of "peaceful cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefit and win-win results", Quanzhou is constantly reaching new heights. (over)