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China celebrates Maritime Day in Dalian
By Zhu Chengpei and Zhang Xiaomin (China Daily Dalian Bureau)
Updated: 2009-07-13 16:55

DALIAN: A declaration appealing to build a "harmonious ocean" was issued last Saturday in Dalian as a part of the China's National Maritime Day celebrations.

The theme for this year's maritime day is "to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China and to confront the new marine challenges".

The annual celebration is marked with a tradition of pouring the "water of harmony" into the Xinghai Bay in the port city of Northeast China's Liaoning province.

This year, the "water of harmony" combined water collected from Tibet, Taiwan, the Gulf of Aden, and Changhai County of Dalian.

The 2009 International Forum on Zheng He - the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) navigator - and Marine Navigation attracted more than 200 experts and scholars from 10 countries and regions, including Denmark, America, Britain, Australia, and Sri Lanka.

Dalian has organized more than 40 related activities to popularize marine navigation knowledge. More than 80 ships, including warship, salvage ships, sailboats, and yachts were displayed in the Xinghai Bay.

In the beginning of July, a book called The Sea Tells You was released in Dalian. It is the first book of its kind issued specifically for the National Maritime Day.

In China, 11 of July became an official Maritime Day in 2005 which is devoted to the memory of Zheng He's first long-distance voyage. The date also implements the World Maritime Day in China.

China's National Maritime Day has been held annually in Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Taicang of Jiangsu over the past four years. In 2010, the event will be held in Quanzhou, Fujian province.