Padre Matteo Ricci

Meeting in Shanghai between Romano Carancini, Mayor of Macerata, and members of the Xu Hui administration

Carancini presenting the Father Matteo Ricci medal to the Deputy Mayor Guo Janfei
Carancini presenting the Father Matteo Ricci medal to the Deputy Mayor Guo Janfei

1st June, 2010

As part of his official visit to China, Romano Carancini today met members of the administration of Xu Hui, the district of Shanghai where Xu Guangqi was born. Man of letters, scientist, friend and disciple of Matteo Ricci, Xu Guangqi was vital in introducing the Jesuit to Chinese culture and society. Ricci described him as an ingenious man, a pillar of Christianity and trusted protector of the Catholic mission in China.

The meeting between the new mayor and Chinese officials was a cordial one based on the wish to continue and strengthen the links of friendship and collaboration forged between the two countries for the IV centenary celebrations of Matteo Ricci's death. In July 2009, a Chinese delegation came to Macerata and had meetings with the Town and Provincial Councils and the Prefecture. It was then that the foundations for co-operation were laid down.

Carancini was welcomed by the Deputy Mayor Guo Janfei, Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs James Tsai, Director of Culture Chenhengquan, Director of Tourism Guo Ben Hou and Director of Foreign Trade Dick Xu, all of whom provided the mayor with information about their district. Xu Hui has about one million inhabitants and occupies 20% of the total urban area of Shanghai. It has 14 universities, a research institute and many large hospitals. It boasts a flourishing economy and is a lively business centre. In addition, it has a very advanced science and technology sector as well as being in the forefront in culture and education. It was precisely in these last two areas that the Chinese hosts showed great interest for possible future collaboration with Macerata and its cultural associations.
Visit to the park dedicated to Xu Guangqi
Visit to the park dedicated to Xu Guangqi

Carancini visited the old part of the town and the park dedicated to Xu Guangqi where there is a museum and records centre which houses important documents regarding the Jesuit missions in China.

As Carancini pointed out, "Macerata and Xu Hui are two very different places which have been brought together in the course of history through the personal friendship of two great men Xu Guangqi and Father Matteo Ricci. They worked passionately to disseminate knowledge of their respective cultures in order to create a dialogue between the two civilizations, aware that understanding of diversity is the foundation for reciprocal enrichment and growth. The link based on dialogue and friendship begun by the two scholars still exists today and should be resumed and strengthened by working in the areas where there are already ties, namely those of scholarship and documentary research."

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