News > News > 

4 Chinese and Kyrgyzstani cities compete to become Li Bai's hometown

2010-04-14 16:30 BJT

On August 28, the Jiangyou Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism sent a letter, written by a lawyer, to the Anlu municipal government, requesting that Anlu immediately stop broadcasting the video or delete all the captions that contained the words "hometown of Li Bai." The letter also said that Jiangyou would reserve the right to claim further compensation by legal means.

This move provoked anger from the Anlu municipal government. On the same day, Yang Zhenglin, the vice director of Anlu Municipal Publicity Department said publicly that the advertising video made by Anlu was aimed at building an image of the city and was not an commercial advertisement, and so the accusation of a rights infringement was invalid, and besides, Jiangyou had no right to "claim exclusivity" in the title of the hometown of Li Bai.

By then, the debate between the two governments had become white-hot, and the whole country was paying attention. CCTV4 suspended broadcasts of the video, and then, the city of Anlu sent a letter to the State of Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of China asking for consultation as to whether or not the video amounted to a rights infringement.

On September 15, the Trade Office of the SAIC replied to the Hubei Administration for Industry and Commerce that Anlu using the phrase "Li Bai's hometown" did not constitute an infringement of rights.

The reply from the SAIC deeply hurt the Jiangyou municipal government. On September 24, Fang Min, a member of the Standing Committee of the Jiangyou Municipal Party Committee and the director of the Jiangyou Municipal Publicity Department, said to the media that only one place in China could be the “hometown of Li Bai,” and that place Jiangyou, Sichuan province. If this was really the SAIC’s feeling on the matter, the Jiangyou government felt it had to oppose the opinion and decided it would solve the issue through legal channels.

At the same time, another unexpected thing happened. On October 29, Djusaev Kubanychbek, the commercial counselor from the Kyrgyzstani embassy in China, visited Anlu. He said that Li Bai was born in Kyrgyzstan's Tokmak city, and he hoped the two cities, Tokmak and Anlu, could be closely connected through the figure of Li Bai so that they could jointly hold the responsibility of carrying forward the "culture of Li Bai" and further strengthen the cooperation between the two cities in economy, trade and other aspects.

In fact, in as early as October of 2008, the head of Kyrgyzstan's Cultural Information Ministry had already told the Chinese media that China's greatest poet, Li Bai, was born in the city of Suyab, which is now Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan. At that time, they were consulting with China, hoping they could build a monument for Li Bai to strengthen the economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries, and Djusaev Kubanychbek's visit to Anlu indicated that Kyrgyzstan had realized the economic importance of being recognized as Li Bai's hometown and they were trying to secure a share. Later, the two sides signed a series of agreements for cultural and economic cooperation.

Kyrgyzstan's participation in the race to be recognized as the hometown of Li Bai changed the situation. The Jiangyou side still held tightly to the principal of "exclusive occupation," but Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan and Anlu had formed an alliance. It was quite like the "Three Kingdoms" period in China's history. The Wu Kingdom and Shu Kingdom had allied to jointly confront the Wei Kingdom.