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Local government denies listing plan for Shaolin Temple
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  • http://english.dbw.cn銆€銆€ 2009-12-18 11:17:21

    銆€銆€A Chinese local government on Thursday denied reports that it was trying to have the world-famous Shaolin Temple listed in the stock market in two years.

    銆€銆€The government of Dengfeng, Henan Province, admitted in a statement that it was negotiating with China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation (HKCTS) on cooperation in tourism of Songshan Mountain, home to the Shaolin Temple, but said "no formal contract has been inked yet."

    銆€銆€"Sixteen cultural relics of national and provincial levels, including the Shaolin Temple, in the area will not be managed by the new joint venture," the statement said.

    銆€銆€According to the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post, the Dengfeng city government has signed a framework agreement with the Hong Kong-based company to establish a joint venture with 100 million yuan (14.7 million U.S. dollars), which was to manage the tourism-related assets of the 1,500-year-old temple.

    銆€銆€The newspaper said that the HKCTS would take a 51-percent stake and the venture is to be listed in 2011.

    銆€銆€The report sparked criticism on the Dengfeng government, as critics say it is selling state assets at a low price and the agreement would hurt the feelings of Shaolin monks and religious people.

    銆€銆€"We are against being listed and this attitude will never change," said Qian Daliang, head of the intellectual property and intangible assets management center of Shaolin Temple, who often acts as spokesman for Shaolin's abbot Shi Yongxin.

    銆€銆€In an interview with Xinhua, Qian noted that Shaolin Temple and Shaolin culture belonged to all the people and "should be enjoyed by all, thus whether to be listed should be decided by the public instead of the local authorities."

    銆€銆€Shaolin, which has become a household name around the world, has developed business operations such as kungfu shows, film production and online sales under the leadership of Shi Yongxin.

    銆€銆€Shi Yongxin has also earned himself the nickname the "CEO monk" since he officially took over as abbot in 1999.

    銆€銆€However, he had repeatedly pledged that "Shaolin Temple was not an enterprise, its value was beyond measurement, and it is never to be listed."

    銆€銆€He has submitted proposals several times to the national legislature, suggesting the exemption of entrance fees at religious tourist attractions to promote cultural protection.

    銆€銆€The Shaolin Temple, built 1500 years ago during the Wei and Jin Dynasties, is famous for Buddhist teaching and Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin kungfu.

    Author锛? 銆€銆€銆€Source锛? xinhua 銆€銆€銆€ Editor锛? Yang Fan
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