The Chairman of China’s International Tour Management Association, yesterday handed over two gold-plated statues to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, symbolizing the two countries’ cooperation in promoting trade and tourism.
One of the statues is of the famous Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian who travelled from China to South Asia, including Sri Lanka, in the 5th Century.
His voyage not only enhanced relations between the two regions, but his writings following the pilgrimage also brought to light important information about early Buddhism.
The second statue is of Zheng He, often considered China’s most famous maritime explorer.
He commanded the Ming dynasty’s fleet of trading vessels and commanded several major expeditions to the West during the 15th Century.
It is reported that Zheng He travelled to Sri Lanka seven times through the famous Silk Route to promote trade between the two countries.
The gold-plated statues will be placed in the museum on Sri Lanka-China relations now being constructed in Galle.
It is an initiative of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Economic Development to promote trade relations between the two countries.