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China to Improve Naval Museum upon Anniversary

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The Naval Museum in Qingdao, Shandong Province, east China, will undergo an extension project within 2009, the year the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is marking its 60th founding anniversary.

The project will cost 500 million yuan (US$73 million) and take two years to complete, said curator Xue Kuilong in an interview with Xinhua on Saturday.

The existing museum was opened to the public in 1989, with over 3,000 pictures and objects ranging from large vessels such as warships and small things like whistle and compass.

On display in the museum are the records of China's naval history since Zheng He (1371-1433) led Chinese fleets to cross oceans and reach as far as east Africa, as well as materials like uniforms that were collected from surface warships, submarines, navy's aerial corps, marine corps, and land-based defense troops.

It is among a few comprehensive theme naval museums in the world, while the majority of naval museums in other countries are simply a display of some surface vessels and submarines, according to the curator.

He expressed his hopes that the new naval museum will be able to do a better job in creating public awareness about the oceanic knowledge and other things concerned, so as to let the public show interest in the country's seas and the navy.

The Chinese navy was founded on April 23, 1949, based on a fleet of the Kuomintang regime's navy that defected to the Communist Party of China (CPC)-led PLA.

(Xinhu News Agency April 19, 2009)

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