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Beijing helps Belt, Road nations save relics

By WANG KAIHAO | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-23 07:59
A woman walks past a damaged pagoda after an earthquake in Bagan, Myanmar, Aug 25, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Nation's cultural heritage diplomacy fosters 'community of a shared future' 

China will bolster cross-border cooperation in preservation of historical sites and joint archaeology in 2018 in coordination with the Belt and Road Initiative.

According to Xie Bing, head of the executive office of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, China is expected to begin restoration of temples in Bagan, Myanmar, in the coming year. The temples, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, were damaged in a 2016 earthquake.

The plan is based on a memorandum of understanding reached by leaders of the two countries in May during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

In Cambodia, the China-led restoration of Ta Keo Temple at Angkor Wat will be finished next year, Xie said at a Friday news conference in Beijing. The restoration, which began in 2010, has been one of China's biggest cultural heritage foreign aid programs.

Plans call for joint archaeology projects next year in countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan. A Sino-Saudi cooperative excavation of an ancient port's ruins near Mecca is expected to unveil its role on the Maritime Silk Road. China also is hoping to help protect sites in Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2018, he said.

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