The replica of the Swedish merchant ship Goteborg docks Nansha harbour in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province July 17, 2006. Goteborg will be staying in Guangzhou from July 18 to August 19, 2006, attending a month-long series of activities that cover areas of culture, economic, trade and tourism.[newsphoto]
(First Published: July 18, 2006)
A replica of the legendary Swedish ship Gotheborg has arrived in Guangzhou in south China with the King and Queen of Sweden onboard. The ship's successful journey to China not only retraces an important part of our common history, but also represents an important event in modern-day relations between the two countries.
This is a historic and treasured moment.
The replica of the 18th century ship spent nearly ten months sailing along the ancient maritime Silk Road. And it has finally arrived in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, and its destination centuries ago.
Swedish King Carl the 16th and Queen Silvia, as well as a huge cultural and business delegation, were on board. Their attendance symbolizes the great importance Sweden attaches to the Sino-Swedish relationship. During his stay in Guahgzhou, the king will attend a series of activities commemorating the 18th century merchant ship.
Amidst cheers from tens of thousands of spectators, the biggest antique wooden sailboat in the world sailed into Guangzhou Nansha Passenger Dock.
Nearly 300 years ago, the original Gotheborg pioneered trade between Sweden and China. It traveled between Sweden and China three times in six years and brought Sweden massive amounts of Chinese tea and porcelain. But it sank only 900 meters away from her final destination.
4000 workers were involved in building the 30 million US dollars replica. Gotheborg carries 80 crew members and some of the silk, porcelain, tea leaves and spices that went down with the original ship.
Today's arrival not only symbolizes the return of the ship to China after 260 years, but it's also a special present on the 55th anniversary of Sino-Swedish diplomatic relations.