Center set up to study fishermen’s guidebooks
China opened a research center in Hainan province onWednesday to ensure that the knowledge contained in genglubu, books Chinese fisherman have traditionally used for guidance in the South China Sea, is preserved for future generations.
The center, established in Hainan University, will have dozens of professors dedicated to history, law, nature, economy, culture and international relations concerning the South China Sea. Their research is expected to provide convincing proof of China’s sovereignty over the sea, adding to the evidence provided by the genglubu, which are to be housed under expert care in the center.
A Hainan University survey has shown that the knowledge in the genglubu is fading as time passes. Most of those familiar with it are now elderly retired sea captains.
“The protection of the genglubu is an urgent task for us”, said Wang Chongmin, vice-president of the university.
“The center will be a platform to boost cooperation between more experts and specialists, thus making full use of the advantages of the genglubu to support our national strategy in the South China Sea,’’ Wang said.
The center, which will set up a database and a small museum to display the research findings, will develop an archive of the history of Hainan fishermen, especially those senior captains, in video, images and audio.
The university and the center will study the guidance books, and carry out research in conjunction with other departments, said Li Jianbao, head of the university at an opening ceremony held in Haikou, the capital of the island province.
Genglubu are regarded as the best textual evidence of Chinese fishery activities and ironclad proof of China’s long sovereignty over the South China Sea.
The protection of the genglubu is an urgent task for us.” Wang Chongmin, vice-president of Hainan University