At present, there are over 1,394 museums nationwide, 70 percent of which are comprehensive, historical and cultural. The others are ad hoc museums with characteristics of various trades, museums on science and technology and museums specializing in economics. Since 2001, the latter kinds of museums have made up the largest proportion of the museums in design or under construction. More and more institutions of higher learning, secondary schools, enterprises and individuals are opening up museums.
There are a total of 118 museums in Beijing at present, ranking first in the country. Over two million items of cultural relics and art works are collected in the museums. In January 2001, Beijing began to implement the first law on local museums in China to encourage private individuals to set up museums. By 2008, the municipal government will have set up 30 large museums with large investments, raising the number of museums in Beijing to 150.
According to the plans of the State Cultural Relics Bureau, by 2005, the total number of museums nationwide will reach 2,300.