Wuhan plans 20b yuan celebration

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 March, 2010, 12:00am

Wuhan plans to spend more than 20 billion yuan (HK$22 billion) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai revolution, led by Sun Yat-sen, which overthrew the Qing dynasty in 1911, state media reported yesterday.

Xinhua quoted Wuhan mayor Ruan Chengfa as saying on the sidelines of the annual National People's Congress meeting in Beijing last week that more than 10 billion yuan would be earmarked for the establishment and renovation of historic sites linked to the Wuchang uprising that took place in the city, while a similar amount would fund infrastructure projects, including upgrading of the road connecting Tianhe Airport and the Xinhai Shouyi Cultural Area.

The lavish spending plans sparked criticism soon after they were made public.

Xinhua quoted Wuhan university student Ku Yuexin as saying: 'History should be remembered in people's hearts. Things might turn sour when such a large amount of public funds is squandered on the event.'

Others urged the city government to spend the public funds more appropriately.

As the birthplace of the Xinhai revolution, which ended thousands of years of feudalism in China, some officials in Wuhan have argued that the centenary of the event is a rare but precious opportunity for the city to make a name for itself at home and abroad.

Some Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference delegates proposed that the central government organise a large-scale celebration jointly with Taiwan's Kuomintang government.

The downfall of the Qing dynasty made way for the establishment of the Republic of China, led by the Kuomintang, which was driven to Taiwan by the Communist Party in 1949.

Mainland authorities prefer to recognise Sun's contribution to China's political reform, rather than that of the Kuomintang or the Republic of China.