Foreigners who can recite five famous quotes of Confucius will be given free tours to his birthplace, according to a new policy by China's Qufu City aimed at promoting the wisdom of the ancient philosopher.
The city in east China's Shandong Province says from Friday foreigners can get free tickets for its three Confucius-related UNESCO World Heritage Sites if they can recite five sentences from the Analects, or the Analects of Confucius.
The Analects is a collection of famous sayings of Confucius, a philosopher and educator during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC) whose thinking has greatly influenced Chinese cultures.
The sentences can be recited in Chinese, English or other native languages of applicants. Successful challengers will be issued a certificate of honor that will exempt them of the ticket fees at the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion.
The three sites receive 150,000 foreign visitors annually, and the free-ticket policy is meant to enhance the interaction between foreign visitors and the Confucian culture, said an official with the Qufu's cultural heritage administration.
The city rolled out the policy for Chinese tourists in 2013. Since then, 170,000 people have joined the test, about 65 percent of whom passed.