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An ocean of possibilities

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-07-08 14:17

Dahanghai Shidai [Photo provided to China Daily]

A new book Dahanghai Shidai (The Great Age of Navigation), written by Wu Zheneng, was recently published by the Contemporary World Press.

Dahanghai Shidai tells the story of a group of courageous warriors who set sail into the western Pacific Ocean in a galleon. Along their journey, they experience and witness cyclones, the powerful and often deadly Kuroshio Current, and island chains, among other phenomena.

Wu views his writing as an embodiment of his vision and ambition on ocean exploration. In this novel, he conveys his knowledge and expectations from various perspectives, including astronomy, geography, history, and politics. An important aim of this book is to encourage people, especially future generations, to look at China's era of great navigation with scientific and innovative modern thinking and move toward a new era of great navigation.

The inspiration comes from the time he spent with his children learning to sail in the South China Sea.

"Ocean sailing is a very romantic theme," said the author, recounting his daughter's comments after reading his book. "Sailing is (the moment when) the light blue meets the dark blue, with only the sky and the earth (ocean) left around. The wind blows across the vast expanse of sea, creating a layer of white gauze; waves echo with the breath of wind, combine into a great musical dance. That whiteness is accompanied by the wind, like small notes jumping on sheet music."

Wu believes his daughter's feelings reflect the romance seen by sailors, and himself.

"This novel shows patriotic sentiment. Its pragmatic narrative style is worthy of promotion, and its theme deserves in-depth exploration," said Shen Guofang, former Foreign Ministry spokesman and China's ambassador to the United Nations. "China is a major maritime country. It is crucial to pay attention to safeguarding our maritime rights and interests, and to promote the pioneering spirit among the young generations."

Wu holds a Ph.D. from Nankai University, a master's degree from Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, and a bachelor's degree from Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Wu has served in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the China Development Bank China-Africa Fund, Singapore Temasek, and other institutions. He was a postgraduate tutor at the School of Finance of Nankai University.

Zhang Shangqing contributed to this story. 

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