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China to Name Historical, Cultural Towns and Villages
The Chinese government will designate towns and villages nationwide of high historical and cultural value, sources with the Ministry of Construction said on Wednesday.

Adding to China's 101 historical and cultural cities, the government will choose towns or villages with obvious historical and cultural sites, in a move to protect their relics.

Any town or village of a specific size with abundant historical buildings and examples of cultural heritage that illustrate some period of history is qualified to apply for the title of Chinese historical and cultural town or village.

Conserving historical relics found in China's towns and villages has been a weak point in the development of cities and towns, says Qiu Baoxing, vice minister of construction.

As pinpointing historical and cultural towns and villages could save many valuable relics and may prove a way to ensure the sustainable development of cities and towns, the campaign has been listed as one of five projects to improve China's towns, Qiu said.

Many traditional building sites are dotted through China's towns and villages, many of which share high artistic value and deserve protection. But for a range of reasons, some of these relics face destruction.

China has already designated 101 historical and cultural cities nationwide, but is classifying towns and villages for the first time.

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2002)

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