Beijing is working to protect and restore its world-famous imperial city, with the goal of having the Forbidden City listed among the World Cultural Heritage sites.
The protection plan was displayed Saturday during the 9th capital architectural designs exhibition. According to the plan, a downtown area covering 6.8 square kilometers with the splendid Forbidden City at its core will be placed under protection.
With its unique layout, ingenious architecture and advanced construction techniques, the imperial city of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties is of great value to the research of ancient Chinese history, culture and technologies.
Inside the imperial city area, many ancient buildings and facilities were well placed, including palaces, imperial gardens, temples and altars, ancient government offices and residences for common people.
The protection project is a massive undertaking involving the gradual reduction of population in the protected area, the protection and efficient use of buildings and cultural sites within the area and the elimination of illegal dwellings and modern high-rises which detract from the harmony of the area, according to the plan.
（People's Daily December 23, 2002）