Protection of Cultural Relics Urged in West China

Zhang Wenbin, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, has urged western areas of China to attach greater importance to the protection of cultural relics while carrying out the government strategy of developing the region.

The official made the call at a work conference on heritage work in the west, which was inaugurated today in Urumqi, the capital of the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

China has paid great attention to the protection of local cultural heritage, an issue that has been included in the government development strategy for the region, according to the official.

A total of 2,231 cultural relics sites in the 12 western provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have been put under state or provincial government protection, the official said.

Among the relics are Potala Palace in Tibet and revolutionary sites like Yan'an, where was the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in the 30s and 40s.

Local governments have adopted measures to protect these sites, while government efforts in restoring farmland to forests and grassland will also aid the purpose, Zhang said.

The official said his administration will assist some localities in their efforts to build or rebuild local museums and projects to set up protected zones for ethnic cultures and the environment.

The developed eastern areas are being encouraged to help the western region in the protection of cultural heritage, he noted.

(People's Daily)

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