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China Vows to Better Protect World Heritage

BEIJING, August 15 -- China will shift the focus of heritage protection work from applying to get more sites on the World Heritage List to better managing and protecting the historical relics,a cultural heritage official said here Wednesday.

So far, China has a total of 27 sites named on the World Heritage List, ranking third after Spain and Italy.

Zhang Wenbin, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, made the remarks at a ceremony for the inscription of four new sites and projects on the prestigious list.

With the rapidly increasing number of world heritage spots, international organizations must undergo a stricter check on the sites set for application. In addition to the cultural value of the relics, balance of the world heritage distribution in different countries and regions will also be taken into consideration.

"That means it will be impossible for China to apply for world heritage in large numbers at a time," he said, adding that China, with numerous and varied relics sites, will face more pressure since the country joined the International Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage later than many other countries.

He said that China's future heritage protection work will focus on making special protection laws and regulations, training professionals in this field, building a heritage protection monitoring system and strengthening a comprehensive management system.

The four new sites and projects added into the World Heritage List include Longmen Grottoes in Henan Province, the imperial mausoleums of the Ming and Qing dynasties which are separately located in Hubei and Hebei provinces, the Jokhang Temple in Tibet and classical gardens in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.

By the end of last year, the total number of world heritage sites had reached 660, including 529 cultural heritage sites, 138 natural heritage sites and 23 that combined both cultural and natural heritage.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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