China has set up a national center to better protect the country's rich intangible cultural heritages, according to Friday's Beijing News.
"With the establishment of the center, we hope to complete a nationwide assessment to the country's intangible cultural heritages in three years," said Wang Wenzhang, president of Academy of Arts of China, which supervises the center.
Intangible cultural heritages in China are facing a rigorous challenge in its battle against urbanization and globalization.
Wang said the national center will also focus on the academic study, investigation and promotion of China's intangible cultural heritages in a bid to better preserve them.
The Chinese State Council published in June its first intangible heritages list, which includes the Spring Festival, Peking Opera, acupuncture, the Legend of Madame White Snake and Shaolin Kungfu.
The list contains 518 items in 10 categories, covering folk literature, folk music and dance, traditional opera, ballad singing, cross-talk, acrobatics, folk fine arts, traditional handicraft, traditional medicine and folk customs.
In 2001, China's Kunqu opera was listed by the UNESCO as a "masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity."
(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2006)