Cen­ter set up to study fish­er­men’s guide­books

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By LIU XIAOLI andHUANG YIMING in Haikou Con­tact the writer at li­ux­i­aoli@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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

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