NEW DELHI: Coming soon, a mini Red Fort in China! A Sino-Indian joint effort has approached Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to facilitate a project to create a tourist complex in China, comprising replicas of historic Indian monuments.
They requested the Ministry of External Affairs for permission to facilitate meetings with the concerned Indian government officials. The replicas include the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Nalanda Temple in Huai’an city, Jinagsu province, in eastern China. The provincial government has approved 1,547 acres of land for the $1.5 billion project.
To create replicas of famous Indian monuments in Jinagsu, China, Chindia Culture Promotion Pvt Ltd and India Impression Culture Co. Ltd of China made joint presentations to Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar in July. The firms sought help from the Indian Council of Culural Relations and the Archeological Survey of India for Chinese architects to study the monuments.
Huai’an is where Wu Cheng’en, the author of the famous mysterious 16th century novel “Journey to the West” (West means India) lived. The replica complex will include a hospital, hotels, a convention centre, a ski resort and a jungle safari. Construction on the two year-project will start by 2017-end. Growing urbanization in China has led to families to look for novel weekend getaways.
Most of China’s monuments and cultural heritage during the Cultural Revolution was wiped out in the Mao Zedong-led Cultural Revolution after “May 16 Notification”. People were ordered to steer clear of “the evil habits of the old society” by destroying “four olds”—old ideas, old customs, old habits and old culture.