Xian: Seeking to re-emerge as the centre of ancient silk route, China`s imperial city Xian is fast becoming a new pilgrimage hub with visitors thronging the tomb of Xi Zhongxun, father of President Xi Jinping.
Xi Zhongxun was a former vice premier, who was persecuted during Mao Zedong`s Cultural Revolution, a decade-long socio-political movement between 1966 and 1976, aimed at enforcing communism in the country.
"Bow three times to show respect to the Leader!," says the guide to the crowd in front of the massive sandstone statue of Xi in this northwestern city.
A liberal leader, Xi Zhongxun, suffered imprisonment and banishment like Deng Xiaoping, the father of modern China under Mao and later rose to become a reformist leader.
Xi Zhongxun`s memorial has now acquired a new look and prominence as his son Xi Jinping emerged as the most powerful leader after Deng.
He concurrently holds the three most influential posts of President, Chief of the Communist Party and Head of Army to guide the destiny of world`s second largest economy.
The Chinese President`s home province Shaanxi and its capital Xian, which was formerly the capital of several Chinese kingdoms, is now poised to get its old glory back as it has been re-designated as the starting point of New Silk Road Economic Belt, his pet project.
Xian was stated to be the starting point of the ancient Silk Road some 2000 years ago.
Billions of dollars of investment is flowing into the city where China is building a massive inland port.
The port is backed by International Trade and Logistic Park in which top global firms including Tata Steel has invested to cash in on the "One Road One Belt" project.
The road projects were aimed at connecting China with a maze of silk roads around its borders with the rest of the world as well as a Maritime Silk Road (MSR) connecting various ports in Asia.
China is keen for India, which played a prominent part in the ancient Silk route through which Buddhism entered, to join its initiative.
Xi is expected to push it in a big way when he visits India next month.
Chinese officials say that the master plan for the "One Belt One Road" incorporating all its Silk Roads will be out in about two months.