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Soong visits millennial academy in hometown
The complete rejuvenization of China from poverty and frailty some 100 years ago "is the obligation of every common man" and "requires no more lip servicesbut staunch actions," visiting Chairman James CY Soong of the People First Party (PFP) in Taiwan said in Changsha Tuesday during his visit to one of China's oldest academies.
Situated at the eastern foot of the Yuelu Mountain in Changsha,capital of central China's Hunan Province, the academy, established in 976, is one of the oldest higher educational institutions in China.
Unlike the gorgeous Beijing-based Imperial Palace where Chineseemperors resided in, the academy, consisting of structures decorated with white wall and gray tiles, looks quiet and deep. Legacies of a host of Chinese luminaries from Confucius to Mao Zedong can be found in the compound.
Inside the lecture hall where Zhu Xi and Zhang Shi, both well-known scholars of Confucian philosophy, held an open debate in the12th century in front of more than 1,000 students and brought the academy to its heydays, Soong sank into a contemplation.
"The legacies of ancient luminaries have shed light on us that intellectuals should not only be acquainted with classical works but also have their country in mind," he said.
"No one can block the trend of the Chinese nation's rejuvenization, and the linchpin is how we look at it. The rejuvenization of the Chinese nation is the common aspiration of all the people across the Taiwan Straits," he said.
"Looking back to history, those who followed the will of the people prospered while those who resisted the will of the people perished. If every one had their country in mind some 100 years ago, China would have avoided the poverty and frailty at that time," he said.
Soong began his nine-day mainland trip last Thursday and has already visited the cities of Xi'an, Nanjing, Shanghai and Changsha. He is expected to leave for Beijing Tuesday afternoon.
He pledged he would join the people in Taiwan in their concerted efforts with the people on the mainland to reach the goal.
To commemorate the special tour of Soong and his PFP delegation,Hunan University presented Soong a rubbing of Yuelu Academy's school rulings and a photo album on China's ancient academies. In return, Soong presented the school a stone carving in the shape ofan opened book.
Before Soong's arrival, thousands of students from Hunan University waited outside the academy, self-made banners in hand, shouting slogans: "People Across the Taiwan Straits, We Are of OneFamily."
A student said he hoped Soong would often come back to the mainland and do
more contribution to peace across the Straits and the cause of