Two sites in SZ designated as cross-Strait exchange bases

Writer: Han Ximin  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-02-10

Tianhou Museum and the baseball field in Shenzhen Sun Yat-sen Park, two sites in Nanshan District, have been designated as national-level cross-Strait exchange bases along with seven other sites in the country.

This is the first time for Shenzhen to apply for the national-level bases for cross-Strait exchanges.

The seven other sites are in Inner Mongolia, Fujian, Shandong, Jieyang in Guangdong Province, Chongqing and Guangxi.

At a news briefing Wednesday, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the designation of the nine exchange bases will provide more opportunities for compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reflect on the past, taste the culture, improve their kinship and develop their economy together.

A view of Tianhou Museum’s facade. Courtesy of the museum

Tianhou Museum, also known as Chiwan Mazu Temple, is a temple honoring the Chinese goddess Mazu, the goddess of the sea and the patron deity of fishermen, sailors and all occupations related to the sea and oceans.

“Mazu Temple enjoys high historical prestige and served as a major sacrifice site for the safe voyage of official government ships, commercial ships and even pirate ships in the Ming and Qing dynasties coming from and leaving China and Southeast Asia,” Peng Quanmin, a folklore expert, said in an interview Thursday.

The temple, with a history dating back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), was rated at the top of the “eight scenic spots of Xin’an County” in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

On the birth year anniversary of Mazu, which falls on the 23rd day of the third lunar month, a grand ceremony is often held at Tianhou Museum, where people from Hong Kong, Taiwan and other cities in Guangdong come back to worship, Peng said.

“Now with the resumption of cross-border travel, tourism [to the area] will gradually recover,” Peng said.

The museum has received more than 10 million group and individual visitors from Taiwan since its establishment in 1997. It has also organized multiple tours to Taiwan and developed cross-Strait Mazu culture exchanges.

Players compete at the finals of the third Cross-Strait Youth Baseball League in this file photo taken in December 2019. Sun Yuchen

The baseball field in Shenzhen Sun Yat-sen Park, covering 20,000 square meters, hosted the finals of the Cross-Strait Youth Baseball League for three years since the event was first held in Shenzhen in 2017. The event is the biggest individual sport exchange activity held across the Taiwan Strait in terms of scale. The event attracted 116 student baseball teams and nearly 3,000 participants in three years.

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council has designated 91 cross-Strait exchange bases in 24 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities since 2009.