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China brings new light to world heritage protection

Li Wenru
Updated: Jul 12,2017 10:25 AM     China Daily

Gulangyu, an island off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian province. [Photo/Xinhua]

As one of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, China has pledged to preserve its natural and cultural heritage.

“More inclusions on the World Heritage List come with greater responsibility and more duties,” said Liu Yuzhu, head of China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Liu made the comment after the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee on Saturday, which included China’s Gulangyu historic international settlement on the prestigious World Heritage List. So far, China has 52 sites inscribed on the List.

One day earlier, Qinghai Hoh Xil, the most important summer habitat and breeding ground for Tibetan antelopes in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, was also put on the List as a natural site, becoming the 51st Chinese site inscribed on the List.

Gulangyu, an island off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian province. [Photo/Xinhua]

“It is certainly gratifying to see the inscription number growing,” Liu said. “But more tasks are lying in front of us. We need to focus more on establishing management plans and setting up reporting systems at sites to safeguard these places.”

“China boasts a large number of tangible heritage sites with unique styles and great cultural value. UNESCO’s World Heritage and China have always shared a strong tie. Since the ratification of the World Heritage Convention in 1985, we have been nominating properties for inscription on the World Heritage List,” Liu said.

Liu also called for more international communication and cooperation in terms of regulations and laws, technical support and professional training.

“To further develop China’s cause of relic preservation, we need to learn from other countries and draw referential experiences,” he said.

Hoh Xil, Qinghai province.[Photo/Xinhua]

Meanwhile, public awareness-building activities will go a long way towards ensuring the protection of China’s natural and cultural heritage.

“When people around the globe can better understand the essence of our cultural legacy, they will naturally appreciate the value of it and support cultural relic conservation. And by appreciating Chinese culture, friendship and trust will be built,” Liu said.

In the future, China will provide assistance to countries, including Cambodia, Nepal and Kazakhstan, to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage. “We will share our ideas and experiences with the world,” Liu said. “China will shoulder more responsibilities in preserving the wealth of human civilization.”