China seeks to put Tomb of King Boni in Nanjing on UNESCO list

CHINA is seeking the Brunei government’s help in turning the tomb of Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan in Nanjing into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Yu Qing, the vice governor of Yuhuatai district in Nanjing, said China is in the process of applying for the Tomb of King Boni to become a World Heritage Site.

Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan is believed to have ruled Brunei before his passing in Nanjing in the 15th century.

“We are hoping that our Brunei counterparts can give their support and assistance for us to achieve this goal,” she said during Brunei Ambassador to China Datin Paduka Magdalene Teo’s visit to the park yesterday.

Yu said the municipal government in Nanjing in May set up a research centre and a team of experts on China and Brunei historical and cultural relations. The Chinese delegation visited Brunei earlier this month.

She added that the park has an exhibition hall illustrating China and Brunei relations. “We need more photos and materials from Brunei for us to showcase Brunei to visitors here and attract them (Chinese nationals) to visit this historical place,” she said.

After its upgrade with the latest exhibits and materials from Brunei in the next few months, the exhibition hall and the park — which is currently closed for renovation — is expected to reopen in June next year.

The exhibition will showcase Brunei-China ties through the use of “modern technology”.

The park, located at the southern foothills of Tortoise Mountain in Yuhuatai district, signifies the historical relations between China and Brunei since 1408.

The municipal government has high hopes that the site will be accepted as a World Heritage Site before marking the 610th anniversary of historical relations between Brunei and China.

“We are also hoping that His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, will visit the tomb himself before the 610th anniversary to signify the milestones of the countries’ relations,” said the vice governor.

Yu said His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and HRH Princess Hjh Masna visited the tomb in 1993 and 2006 respectively.

An investment worth $23 million yuan ($4.79 million), the park covers an area of eight hectares since the tomb was discovered in 1958 with restoration and maintenance works being done throughout the years.

ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) Secretary General Yang Xiuping said efficient communication between government agencies in China and Brunei is needed to achieve the goal of making the tomb a World Heritage Site.

“We have limited time in our hands before we reach the 610th anniversary, so we need to have a clear roadmap to achieve our objectives.

“The research centre can also provide a detailed list of the materials they need from Brunei to ease the whole process,” she said.

Nanjing and Bandar Seri Begawan became sister cities in 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of Brunei and China bilateral relations.

The Brunei Times

Tue, 25 October 2016

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Pictures: BT/Rozan Yunos

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