China / Society

120th anniversary draws visitors to Jiawu War navy headquarters

By Zhao Ruixue in Weihai, Shandong (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-22 08:25

The number of visitors to Liugong Island, the navy's headquarters during the First Sino-Japanese War, has seen a year-on-year double-digit increase during the first half of this year, according to an official of the Liugong Island management committee.

"The increase should be attributed to the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the war," says Zhou Degang, deputy director of the Liugong Island committee.

The number of visitors fell by 16 percent in 2013 compared with 2012, but Zhou predicts the number this year will increase by at least 15 percent to reach 1.5 million.

"One thing we have noticed is that half of the visitors are individual visitors," said Zhou.

Liugong Island, located in Weihai, Shandong province, was the headquarters of the Beiyang Fleet. During the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894, also known in China as theJiawu War, the Beiyang Fleet was defeated by the Japanese fleet and, in the spring of 1895, the island was occupied by the Japanese.

The island has dozens of war remnants, including the office where the navy officers worked, an old railway and forts. Two museums have been built at the island to commemorate the war.

"The museums feature pictures, sculptures and videos, and are a good place to learn about the history of the war," says Kua Bak Lim, a visitor from Singapore. Although he has visited the museums three times, Lim couldn't hold back his tears while reading the historical materials.

Wang Weiguang, president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at the International Academic Seminar for the 120th anniversary of the war: "The Jiawu War is a major event for China. Nowadays, we need to study the war to learn how to promote peace amid the world's complicated situation."

The seminar, which concluded on Friday in Weihai, attracted 150 scholars from countries including South Korea, Singapore and Japan.

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