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Historic site protector tells his story

Updated: 2015-01-23
( chinadaily.com.cn)

At a book reading in the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, on Jan 13, Cao Changzhi, the vice-president of the Chinese Society for Urban Studies, described the preservation work that has taken place in nearby Pingyao county, his connection with the work and his feelings about historical heritage and traditional Chinese culture.

In fact, Cao, who is also the founder of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development's historic city committee, has written a book on the subject, hence his appearance at the reading. In it, he talks of his many field studies at historical sites around the county and says he hopes that it will tell people more about the contribution Pingyao has made to global civilization.

Some years ago, when Cao worked for Shanxi's Housing and Urban-Rural Development Dept, he was in charge of urban - rural planning and historic site preservation and proposed to the governor that the Pingyao apply for World Cultural Heritage status, for the first time. During his first visit to the county, in 1992 before the proposal, he was amazed by what he saw and inspired so much that he decided to write about traditional Chinese architecture. Cao explains that he had never seen a well preserved county anywhere and that it showed China's classical beauty. All the county's buildings from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1636-1912) dynasties are in good shape, along with the old lanes, residential areas, and shops. And it still has the old style of life and the customs of ancestors from the Han ethnic group.

Dining

Pingyao Wantuo

Wantuo, a type of noodle from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is one of Pingyao's local snacks with a long history.

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