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China renews list of heritage candidates

Updated: 2012-11-18 08:02
By Liu Xiangrui ( China Daily)

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage released a new list of candidates for World Cultural Heritage status on Saturday in Beijing.

China put forward 45 sites and traditions, located in 28 provinces and regions including Hong Kong.

The categories range from ancient buildings, archeological ruins, cultural scenic spots, historical towns, villages and industrial heritages.

Among them are Beijing's central axis, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, city walls of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties in various cities and a group of ancient Chinese liquor workshops, such as the workshop of Fenjiu Wine in Shanxi province.

The new list is an adjusted version of an earlier one released in 2006.

Since April 2011, the renewal process involves an application from local governments and then evaluation by experts who assess potential World Heritage sites. Heritage value and management of the nominees are also taken into account.

The list is issued to promote the applications and stimulate better protection for the sites and items, according to Tong Mingkang, deputy director of State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Six items on the 2006 version list, including tulou - the castle-like dwellings in Fujian province - and Wutai Mountain in Shanxi province, already have been added to the World Heritage List.

"We expanded the distribution and the categories of the heritage sites by renewing the list. Items on the new list are believed to have greater influence and higher heritage value," Tong said.

So far, more than 40 national treasures have been inscribed on the list since China signed the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1985. Among them, 27 are cultural heritages.

Rising standards for new applicants and new categories of heritages that are gaining wide attention prompted the administration to refresh the list.

The State heritage administration will urge local governments to better protect items on the list according to UNESCO's convention on heritage protection and China's own heritage protection regulations, Tong added.

It can issue warnings to listed candidate sites - or delete them - when damage is attributed to improper management or protection.

Beijing's Yunju Temple, which was on the 2006 list, is not on the new list.

A monitoring center for the nation's World Heritages was officially launched at the conference. Affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, the center will assist the government by establishing a monitoring and early-warning system of the heritage nominees and sites.

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