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China to Reduce World Heritage Candidate Sites

Half of the 100-plus properties on China's preparatory list for World Heritage sites will be canceled in about five to ten years, said Director Shan Jixiang of the State Admini stration of Cultural Heritage in Suzhou at the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee.

A new strict appraisal system will be formed to reevaluate the current candidate sites, so as to make local governments at all levels pay more attention to the conservation of natural and cultural heritages, Shan said.

A special panel composed of world heritage experts is to be established in China, and all candidate sites must pass the panel's examination before being inscribed on the preparatory list, according to sources.

"China should have a more integrated system and particular regulations to reevaluate the current preparatory list," said Guo Zhan, an official with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Those cultural relics having been removed or under poor management might be canceled from the preparatory list, Guo said.

In the next five to 10 years, a new preparatory list including less than 50 candidate sites is to be formed, Guo said.

So far, China has 30 properties listed on the World Heritage list. It also holds a preparatory list of more than 100 properties.
(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2004)

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