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Tai chi attracts global attention in a mountainous county in East China

By An Baijie in Rizhao, Shandong and Hou Chenchen in Beijing | | Updated: 2024-05-10 15:24
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China Wulian 8th Fucai Cup Daqingshan Taijiquan Invitational Competition kicks off in Rizhao, Shandong province on Thursday. [Photo by Zhang Hong/for]

In the misty surroundings of Daqing Mountain in East China's Shandong province, a traditional tai chi sports event unfolds and draws world attention. The 8th Fucai Cup Daqingshan Taijiquan Invitational Competition commenced on Thursday and will continue until Saturday.

The sports event has drawn over 1,000 participants, including athletes from 10 countries and regions including Germany, France, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, as well as domestic professionals.

Hosted by Wulian County of Rizhao in East China's Shandong province, this tai chi event holds a prestigious status in the region and plays a significant role in China's traditional sports and leisure activities, said Zhang Shujuan, head of the publicity department of Wulian county.

Chen Zhonghua, the tournament's host, is the 19th generation inheritor of Chen-style tai chi and a prominent advocate for its practical techniques abroad. He began promoting Chen-style tai chi internationally in 1985 when he ventured to Canada.

"After being appointed as the head for the overseas dissemination of Chen-style tai chi practical techniques in 2004, I founded the International Tai Chi Academy. Presently, we have over 150 branches in more than 40 countries and regions around the world, with over 50,000 disciples, including over 30,000 overseas disciples," Chen said.

Paul Pryce from Sydney was captivated by Chen's Taiji skills when they met in 2013, leading him to practice under Chen's guidance and nurturing his love for Chinese traditional culture.

China Wulian 8th Fucai Cup Daqingshan Taijiquan Invitational Competition kicks off in Rizhao, Shandong province on Thursday. [Photo by Zhang Hong/for]

Pryce expressed that this is his third visit to Dagingshan, and each time he deepens his fondness for the place. He emphasized that tai chi has significantly enhanced his health and sees it as a treasure for the world. He intends to share the wonderful experiences from this trip with friends upon returning home.

Chen Zheng'an, a contestant from Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, participated in this tai chi competition for the first time.

"I've been practicing tai chi under Chen Zhonghua's guidance for six years now. My family and children have also settled in Dagingshan. tai chi has become an important medium for our family to communicate with nature and culture," he said.

Local official Zhang said that tai chi culture has flourished in the region, becoming a prominent symbol and business card of the county.

Looking ahead, efforts will continue to integrate sports events into scenic areas, streets, and business districts, fostering the coordinated development of sports, culture, tourism, and business, she said.

"We will attract more domestic and international tourists to Wulian for leisure, fitness, sightseeing, and investment, driving economic development through the increased passenger flow from the sports events," she said.

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