China plans to become a museum powerhouse by 2035

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China has set the goal of becoming a museum powerhouse by 2035 by establishing world-class museums with Chinese characteristics, according to a document released by the National Cultural Heritage Administration on Monday.

According to the document titled "Guiding Opinions on Promoting Reform and Development of Museums," special focus will be laid on 10 to 15 museums that represent the Chinese culture, all the while enriching the Chinese appeal of the museums and enhancing the services offered.

Over the years, Chinese museums have been making progress in terms of venue upgrade, protection of cultural relics, intensification of research and international exchanges. They are increasingly moving closer to the very center of top museums in the world. 

However, as the document notes, the development of museums is still unbalanced and inadequate, and there is room for improvement in areas including development orientation, systemic layout and functional utilization.

As per the document, China will also implement a "Museums of Excellence Development Plan," develop major museums at provincial and prefecture levels according to local conditions, and promote small- and medium-sized museums. Moreover, certain social institutions that have some attributes of a museum but have not yet met registration and archival requirements will be included in the scope of industry guidance. 

The document provides for improving the mechanism of handing over archaeological relics as well as relics confiscated by law enforcement departments.

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