A Chinese political advisor has called for more support to a cultural symbolic project in the ancestral homes of Confucius and Mencius to make it a cultural "holy land" and "spiritual home" of the Chinese nation.
The project in the eastern Shandong Province, hopefully a statutory site for important cultural celebrations and rituals when completed, should be recognized as a showcase of the tradition and soft power of China, said Sun Shuyi, chairman of the Shandong provincial committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
The multibillion-yuan project got approval from the National Development and Reform Commission in October 2007. It was initiated by 69 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering at the start of this century.
President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have given instructions for the project, urging the local government to "make good planning with the sight of future" and "carry it out in real earnest", according to Sun.
"We call for more instructions, funds and favorable policies," Sun said when speaking at a plenary meeting of the CPPCC National Committee on Sunday.
The 300-square-kilometer "Chinese Cultural Symbolic City" is to be built in Ji'ning city, encompassing Qufu, ancestral home of Confucius, and Zoucheng, home of Mencius, as well as the Jiulong mountain range lying in between.
"The region, a birthplace of Chinese culture, enjoys high reputation and carries big influence worldwide," said Sun, adding that many legendary figures from antediluvian times had left relics there.
Homes of the two ancient philosophers shall be refurbished and new architectures will be built on the mountain range, he noted.
Sun hopes the city could become "one of the statutory sites to hold important cultural celebrations and rituals".
Ideas on designing is being solicited from the public from March 1 to Sept. 1 this year.