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China Has Third Largest Number of Natural and Cultural Legacy

BEIJING,August 6 - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said recently that 27 of Chinese natural and cultural sites have been listed in the World Cultural Heritage Catalogue, and China ranks third in the world for the number of such sites, according to latest issue of Beijing Review.

China began to submit to the World Cultural Heritage Catalogue in the mid-1980s. In December 1987, the first batch of Chinese cultural relics, which included the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the terra cotta warriors and horses of the Qin Dynasty, the Mogao Grotto, the site of the fossils of Peking Man (0.5 million years old) and Upper Cave Man (over 10,000 years old) in Zhoukoudian and Taishan Mountain, were listed in the World Cultural Heritage Catalogue.

The UNESCO listed the Longmen Grotto, Dujiang Weirs, and the Eastern and Western Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in the World Cultural Heritage Catalogue in 2000. Lhasa's Potala Palace, already listed in the catalogue, was added to the entry of the Jokhang Monastery. The entry of Suzhou Gardens, previously including four sites, was added another five scenic spots.

Experts believe the bid for entry into the World Cultutral Heritage Catalogue will make the protection of cultural legacies in China more scientific and systematic.

China has handed the bid material of the Shanxi Yungang Grotto to the World Cultural Heritage Center. In addition, China has applied to put its traditional opera¡ªKunqu ¡ªinto the catalogue.

Helped by UNESCO, China has started surveying and gathering folk songs of its ethnic minorities.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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