The 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders Summit was held from Nov 3 to 5 in the Taierzhuang ancient town of Zaozhuang, East China's Shandong province, in a bid to provide advice to promote the scenic area's development.
More than 300 distinguished guests from over ten countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Thailand and Singapore took part in the event, including leaders from global Fortune 500 companies, experts and specialists from investing and financing as well as overseas Chinese merchant elites.
Themed "The Historic City of Taierzhuang from the Ancient Canal to the Belt and Road", the summit was jointly organized by the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders United Association and the Taierzhuang Ancient Town Tourism Group.
More than 300 distinguished guests take part in the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders Summit held from Nov 3 to 5 in the Taierzhuang ancient town of Zaozhuang, East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
"The summit has been held in many parts of the world, such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila. This time we chose Taierzhuang as the meeting venue because it is the site of the Battle of Taierzhuang, an important victory during the Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945), and also a historic canal city. The inclusiveness and openness advocated by the canal culture are still the common pursuit of the international community, providing implication and enlightenment in the modern world", said Lawrence Yu, chairman of Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders United Association.
According to Ong Tee Keat, former Malaysian Minister of Transport and honorary chairman of Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders United Association, Taierzhuang should make full use of its unique historical and cultural resources to attract targeted tourists.
Taierzhuang was a provincial business center during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties after the route of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal was changed. It later became a battlefield where the Chinese defeated the Japanese in April 1938 during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).
An aerial view of Taierzhuang ancient town in Zaozhuang, Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
A two-square-kilometer ancient town of Taierzhuang surrounded by China's Grand Canal, the world's longest and oldest artificial waterway, in Zaozhuang section has been restored. Seeing its tourist potential, the Zaozhuang municipal government launched a project in 2009 to rebuild the ancient town by restoring the docks and renovating its courtyard houses and other historical sites.
The ancient town was named a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2014 and it is a national 5A scenic area.
Designed with an opening ceremony, a main forum, several sub-forums and on-site investigative tours, the event gave a complete picture of the ancient town's tourism resource and its historical and cultural connotations.
Founded in 2009, the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders Summit is an unofficial international summit sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders United Association to help global business leaders to better understand China's economic development and grasp business opportunities related to the Belt and Road Initiative.