Southwest China's Sichuan Province will spend 800 million yuan (US$96 million) to promote tourism at Sanxingdui Ruins, a cultural site with a history of between 3,000 to 5,000 years.
The provincial government aims to build Sanxingdui Ruins into an internationally-renowned cultural site by 2005 and help it apply for status as a World Heritage Site, said Zeng Changjiang, director of the Administration at Sanxingdui Ruins.
The investment will focus on infrastructure construction, including museum expansion and road construction.
Since opening to the public in 1997, Sanxingdui Ruins has received a total of 2 million tourists from home and abroad, with an annual increase of 30 percent on average.
Listed as one of China's top ten archeological discoveries in the 20th century, Sanxingdui Ruins is regarded as the site of the earliest and largest ruins of the ancient Shu people in China. The earliest occupation of the site dates back to the late Neolithic period from 5,000 to 3,700 years ago.
Covering an area of 12 square kilometers, Sanxingdui Ruins was also a cultural cradle of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, representing not only the civilization of the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC - 1100 BC) in the Yangtze River Valleys, but also the diversity of China's civilization.
(Xinhua News Agency August 12, 2003)