China had a total of 28 cultural and natural heritage sites on the UNESCO World heritage list as of December 2001. Yesterday in Beijing, these sites were put on show in the form of mini-models to call for heightened awareness of the protection of China's valuable heritage.
From the Palace Museum or Forbidden City in Beijing to the Potala Palace in Tibet, from the terra-cotta warriors in the northwestern ancient city Xi'an to Suzhou Gardens in east China's Jiangsu Province, people are able to tour all of China's most unforgettable attractions in one day. Complete with detailed introductions, vivid mini-models and displays of real costumes and crafts, the show which will last for two months leads an exciting trip around China.
"These heritages are treasures of China, they are irreplaceable. They are the resources that can never exist again once destroyed. So, it's our common responsibility to protect them," said Pan Zhenzhou, vice minister of culture.
There are all together 331 world heritage sites. China, with 28 on the world heritage list, ranks third in the world after Spain and Italy. Among them 20 are cultural properties, 3 are natural properties and 4 are mixed properties.
This is only one corner of China's heritage. However, with more than 5,000 years of history, the cultural and natural heritage China has is much more than just 28. China is working hard to put more cultural sites and scenic spots on the world lists.
However, experts point out that at the same time, while making great efforts to add more to the list, the protection of these 28 sites should be further improved.
Yasuyuki Aossima, director of UNESCO Beijing office, said, "I know that the Chinese government is strong in the commitment, but some rules are still broken, things should be improved further, especially in management."
Every year, 30 sites are added to the list by the World Heritage Committee. The 27th Committee meeting will be held in Suzhou, the first time ever in China.
(CCTV.com January 1, 2003)