Second Open Letter to Overseas Chinese

Dear Overseas Chinese: Hello, everyone. The Spring Festival of Wuxu Year is coming. Here, we wish you a happy Chinese new year. We wish you happiness, health and harmony in the New Year. Hope you will make further progress in the New Year. 2018 is the 40th year since the open-up and reform policy came into effect. President Xi opens a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

All of Chinese and overseas Chinese welcome and support President Xi’s new action to push reform and open-up policy further and creates a new look and new pattern for 1.5 billion Chinese home and abroad, which opens a new page in the century.

When President Xi proposed the idea of “building the 21st Century Marine Silk Road” on October 3rd in Indonesian Parliament, he pointed out that “as early as 2,000 years ago in the Han Dynasty of Chinese history, people from China and Indonesia overcame the obstacle created by the ocean and started communicating with each other.

In the early fifteenth century, Zheng He, a famous sailor in the Ming Dynasty in Chinese history, sailed through the oceans for seven times. Every time, he came to Indonesia Islands and left his footsteps in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and other islands, along with which were the much-told tales about the friendship of people in the two countries and many are passed down till today.

For several hundreds of years, the vast ocean did not become the obstacle that hindered Chinese people from talking with the world. Instead, it was the tie of friendship between Chinese people and people from other parts of the world. Vessels full of Chinese goods and tourists came and went, shared what they had with each other and established solid friendship.”

Submarine Treasures to Be Found by Overseas Chinese Our ancestors opened up the marine Silk Road with reckless spirits, pushed forward the development of economy and trade and talent communication among different countries while strengthening the friendship and cooperation among the peoples, which made an important contribution to the advance of human culture.

Ancestors of Chinese people also contributed their lives and tears to write down the heroic chapters, both happy and tragic; in the coastlines along the Silk Road economic belt, especially the submarine of Nushandara, with over ten thousand islands, there are about one thousand treasure ships that are unfortunate to suffer violent storms and roaring waves in different dynasties.

Valuable ceramics and other historical cultural relics are left inside the ships, which was precious submarine treasure and Chinese ancestors’ cultural relics with spots of blood and tears. We should pay high respect to the numberless ancestors’ reckless spirits and shoulder the responsibility to take specific action to show our descendants the hardship of our ancestors.

Researches show that there are at least eight sunk ships in Riau Islands waters while there are at least 463 or maybe more ships in other Indonesian islands. As most of the ships are in deep offshore waters, it calls for comparative high cost to explore and dig them out. It is not an easy task, so it is still waiting for treasure enterprises and proper opportunity to excavate.

We suggest that influential Chinese enterprises think about it seriously and send out teams of experts to make thorough research, and, with the amicable negotiation between the two countries, they can invest on the excavate of some important submarine cultural relics and then establish “Museum of Cultural Relics of the Marine Silk Road” to show the relics to the public. Besides, they can perform thorough scientific research and study to enrich the heroic struggling history of our ancestors.

Working with China’s Rejuvenation Needs to Push forward Chinese Language Learning As we step into the year 2018, Chinese nation is stepping into a new stage of rejuvenation. The most important duty overseas Chinese shoulder is to learn Chinese language.

We need to learn about Confucianism thoughts like humanity, justice and morality, loyalty and filial piety, and love both our country of origin and living. We need to require our descendants to learn Chinese, English and the language in the country we live in.

At the same time, we should play an active role in the social construction of our country and the partner building of global village. In Indonesia, due to various reasons, about millions offspring of overseas Chinese lose the opportunity to learn Chinese language, which cause most descendants cannot speak and understand Chinese or can only speak a little Chinese but cannot write.

What’s more, they know little about traditional Chinese culture and become the large “Chinese illiterate” crowd. This is really surprising and disappointing. It is the helplessness and scar of history.

Today, we have the duty to correct and make up for it to save thousands of overseas Chinese descendants and make sure that they have the chance to learn Chinese language and speak and write in Chinese proudly in other parts of the world and to feel proud for knowing well about Chinese.

For this end, leaders from our overseas Chinese associations sincerely suggest that our counterparts get together and collect funds to build a modern Chinese-driven tri-lingual school so as to encourage offspring of overseas Chinese to learn Chinese well, to be able to speak Chinese, to express themselves without difficulty in other parts of the world, and to receive wide recognition in business or forums.

We hope that, with the help of overseas Chinese associations, we can educate our descendants to become outstanding talents of the new era and make their contribution to our country and our people.

Two Big Events Facing Indonesian Chinese The year 2018 welcomes Indonesian Chinese with two big events. We should reply to them and deal with them properly to achieve better results.

The two big events are:
(1) On June 27th, 2017, 17 provinces elected their provincial governor, 39 cities elected their mayors, and 115 counties elected their county magistrates. So, in together, there were 171 places that elected their leaders or deputy leaders and the places happened to be the regions with the most electors and influenced over 80% of the whole country’s electors. Therefore, this could be regarded as the skirmish of the presidential election and parliamentary election in 2019 and meant a lot for Indonesia’s future in the next six years. Most overseas Chinese in Indonesia have to vote. We hope that every overseas Chinese pays close attention to the policies of the ten parties and the candidates, observe their words, actions, and ability in order to elect the right person who support clean government reform and multi-culture.

(2) From August 18th to September 2nd, the 18th Asian Games was held in Jakarda and Palembang. This is another Asian Games hosted by Indonesia after 56 years. The previous one is in 1962, which was a big event for half the century. Leaders of overseas Chinese associations should take this event serious and think about right ways to win the best score for Indonesia.

“Djarum” putting all of its emphasis on training great badminton players and successfully winning the maximum performance for Indonesia was a good example. We hope that overseas Chinese associations positively take part in enhancing sports enabling Indonesia becoming a sports power in Asia after ten years. New era calls for new achievement and development. Here, we wish all overseas Chinese great success in 2018.

(Editorial Department of this newspaper)