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Najib donates $9,917 to Great Mosque of Xi'an
Publication Date : 29-05-2014
Najib Tun Razak fulfilled his wish to visit two key attractions in this ancient Chinese capital – the Great Mosque of Xi'an and the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses – on the second day of his official visit to China.
Immediately after launching the Malaysia-Xi'an Halal Food Festival in Muslim Street, the prime minister visited the almost 1,300-year-old mosque and donated US$10,000 on behalf of the Malaysian government.
The construction of the mosque began back in 742 during the Tang Dynasty, with add-ons built in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
With traditional Chinese and Islamic architectural styles, the mosque has become a major tourist attraction in Xi'an.
Photos of foreign leaders, including former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, line the wall of one of the rooms.
Najib, who is on a six-day official visit to China, promised to raise more funds for the mosque.
The mosque management committee deputy director, Lin Mingzhi, 61, said the donation would be used to restore one of the oldest mosques in China.
Thanking Najib, he said the mosque committee always welcomed Muslims from other countries.
“Our prayer hall can accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers,” Lin said.
Najib told reporters that the mosque was a poignant reminder that Islam had co-existed with other faiths in China for such a long time.
“Islam is a religion of peace and harmony. The fact that it continues to survive until today shows the degree of tolerance in Chinese society,” he said.
The prime minister and his wife Rosmah Mansor later spent about an hour at the museum learning about the terracotta sculptures, which were the funerary armies of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang.
“I see for myself the richness of Chinese civilisation,” Najib said.
He later left for Beijing where he is expected to meet Chinese leaders.
Najib’s visit is made in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.
The highlight of this visit will be the anniversary celebrations on Saturday, to be attended by Najib and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.