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People flock to honour Yellow Emperor
By Zhang Meng and Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-06 06:35

XI'AN: More than 5,000 Chinese from both home and overseas gathered yesterday in front of the Yellow Emperor's Mausoleum in Huangling, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, to pay their respects to the father of the Chinese nation.

Qingming Festival, a traditional day for the Chinese to pay homage to their ancestors, fell yesterday and saw many sweepng the graves of their loved ones.

And on this day every year, a grand ceremony is held at the Yellow Emperor's Mausoleum.

Yesterday's ceremony received a special Taiwan delegation led by John Chiang Hsiao-yen, Kuomintang Central Standing Committee member and grandson of Chiang Kai-shek, the late Kuomintang chairman and the late Taiwan leader.

Chiang arrived in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, on Monday evening.

He said he was attending the ceremony both as a Chinese descendant and a member of the Kuomintang Central Standing Committee.

"It is very significant to be here to attend the ceremony. People on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are Chinese. Nothing can, nor should, separate them from each other, from the same root, the same clan and the same ancestor. Blood is always thicker than water," he said.

Chiang also hoped that charter flights between the mainland and Taiwan could be expanded to all people with valid certificates rather than Taiwanese business people on the mainland.

Chiang said he felt duty-bound to promote the development of relations between the two sides.

"We must maintain peace and exchanges between the two sides and make progress step by step," he said, adding he would also be attending a number of economic and trade activities organized by the local government.

A central government delegation led by Xu Jialu, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Liu Yandong, vice-chairwoman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, were also in attendance.

Chen Deming, governor of Shaanxi Province, said realizing the reunification of the motherland would be the best way to cherish the Yellow Emperor's memory.

The emperor, a great tribal chief of China's prehistory, is recognized as the first sovereign of civilized China. The invention of, among others, the cart, boat, bow and arrow, and Chinese medicine are attributed to him. One of his imperial historians is believed to have created Chinese pictography.

These landmark achievements were indispensable to the later success of China as one of the world's four great ancient civilizations.

A fund was established in Beijing in 1992 to collect money from all over the world for the mausoleum's renovation.

Investments and dona-tions totalling 130 million yuan (US$15.7 million) from the Chinese central and local governments, as well as companies and individuals from both home and overseas, have been poured into the project.

On Monday, another 7.295 million yuan (US$878,910) of donations were received by the fund, according to Sun Tianyi, the fund's director.

(China Daily 04/06/2005 page2)

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