Wed, Sep 12, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Tainan to build replica of Koxinga-era sailing junk

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The Tainan City Government will build an "exact replica" of a Ming dynasty armed commercial vessel, known by Westerners as a sailing junk.

Officials at the city's Cultural Affairs Bureau said on Monday that the plan is part of the city's program to commemorate Cheng Cheng-kung (鄭成功), who expelled Dutch colonists from Taiwan in 1662 after moving his troops from China a year earlier.

Cheng is better known to Westerners as Koxinga, a title meaning "Bearer of the Imperial Surname," bestowed on him by the last emperor of the Ming dynasty.

The boat, expected to be completed in a year, is also intended to boost tourism, the officials said.

They said that Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp has agreed to cover the cost of building the boat, estimated at NT$100 million (US$3 million).

Officials said the boat will be 33m long and 8.9m wide.

The United Ship Design and Development Center was to begin examining the details of the blueprint for the boat yesterday. Construction will begin as soon as the center gives approval to the design, the officials said.

The Tainan City Government has taken other steps to honor Koxinga, including establishing a monument on a historical battlefield in Tainan to commemorate the nine-month war he fought to end 38 years of Dutch rule.

Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) will inaugurate the monument next May in memory of the first major war in Taiwan 's history.

There are several temples in Anping and Tainan dedicated to Koxinga and his mother. People admire him as a national hero as well as for the loyalty he demonstrated to his emperor after the Ming dynasty collapsed.

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