Cross-Strait: Shared cultural relics ensure enduring dialogue
By Shen Li
40 years ago, the government in Beijing issued a landmark letter to the compatriots of Taiwan, declaring a policy of pursuing peaceful reunification. Since then, the common historical and cultural legacy of the cross-Strait has played a significant part in the cross-Strait dialogue.
Ancient artifacts, time-honored customs, and a shared literary tradition have all served to invigorate the two-way exchanges.
In recent years, the most prominent cross-Strait cultural heritage exchanges have been led by the two Palace Museums, in Beijing and Taipei. In 1949, the Kuomintang (KMT) left for Taiwan, taking with them hundreds of thousands of ancient artifacts and artwork from the Palace Museum in Beijing.
In 2009, the two museums reached a landmark arrangement. In addition to their regular forums and seminars, they agreed to mutual loaning of cultural relics. That same year, the "Dilemma of a Monarch" exhibition featuring nearly 200 antiques from the Taipei institution became a sensation in Beijing.
That initial success has been followed by a series of illustrious events, including a Taipei exhibition re-uniting two sections of a treasured landscape scroll from the 14th century.
The digital era opened up new possibilities for even more collaboration. Museums and research institutes have built elaborate virtual displays for eager compatriots on both sides of the strait.
The mainland and Taiwan are bound together by a common cultural ancestry going back thousands of years. This has helped two-way exchanges expand and deepen over the past four decades.
Treasured relics such as Terracotta Warriors have toured the island, and intensified locals' yearnings to get in touch with their cultural roots.
For the publishing industry, the cross-Strait dialogue has been equally vibrant and enduring. More Taiwan readers have come to appreciate the works of mainland literary giants such as Lu Xun, Lao She, Ba Jin and Mao Dun. Meanwhile, the mainland book market was swept up in a whirlwind of contemporary popular novels and essay collections from the island's leading writers.
(Head Image: The left is the Palace Museum in Beijing, and the right one is the Palace Museum in Taipei. /VCG Photo)