On May 14th, 2017, at the meanwhile when the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) is being held, to respond to the Belt and Road Initiative, international students from the School of Overseas Education visited Jinghai Temple and the Tianfei Palace, located outside the Phoenix Gate in Nanjing City, and visited the relics for memorizing Zheng He, the ancient pioneer for the Maritime Silk Road. The students got acquainted with the beginning of modern history of China, admired the reserved critical historical relics, and experienced the history of cultural exchange between China and foreign countries. Chen Shangkun, Vice Dean of the School of Oversea Education, participated in the activity and encouraged students to study harder, exert themselves to keep doing better, and use their diligence and wisdom to create their own Chinese Dream. International students advisors and some faculty party members and representatives of student societies also participated.
Jinghai Temple and the Tianfei Palace were built by the order of Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di, in praise of Zheng He for his merits in his navigation. The Tianfei Palace, antique and elegant, grand and magnificent, with vivid mural paintings describing Zheng He’s voyage to the Western Oceans has left the students with lasting impressions. Having known Zheng He’s story, the students all gathered together in front of those murals and had a group photo taken to mark this occasion. The name of Jinghai Temple was given the meaning of wishing all seas are calm and praying for the peace, and Lohan portraits, tooth relics of Buddha, jade and other stuff which were all brought back from his voyage are exhibited in the temple. It is also the spot where the Nanjing Treaty was negotiated and signed, which marked the beginning of modern history of China. With the teachers’ commentary, international students attained a more profound understanding of the special historical value and significance of the Jinghai Temple and had a new outlook on peace.
Through this activity, international students gained a better understanding of the history of cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, a greater insight into the initial connection between countries along the the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road and China, a stronger desire for a peaceful world. We firmly believe that they can shoulder the responsibilities for defending world peace and contributing power to the prosperous prospect of the Belt and Road in the near future.