China’s long road to world heritage!

China's long road to world heritage!

When it comes to adjectives about China, it is easy to come up with the following: vast land and abundant resources, long history and splendid culture. However, these deep-rooted impressions in the minds of Chinese people are not necessarily familiar to outsiders.

China's long road to world heritage!
China’s long road to world heritage!

For overseas tourists, the most direct representative of these labels is probably the World Heritage, which is distributed all over the country. As early as 1972, the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) defined world heritage as a rare and irreplaceable treasure that is recognized by all mankind as a cultural relic of outstanding significance and universal value. Due to historical reasons, China did not become a state party to the world heritage list until December 1985. In 1987, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City were listed as world heritage sites.

After 32 years, China’s world heritage has grown from nothing to more. With the addition of two new world heritage sites this year, China’s yellow sea migratory bird habitat (phase I) and liangzhu ancient city ruins, the total number of world heritage sites in China has reached 55, ranking first in the world for the first time.In 2004, the world heritage conference was held in suzhou, while in 2020, the 44th world heritage conference will return to China and be held in fuzhou.

China's long road to world heritage!
China’s long road to world heritage!

A country’s self-perception and external perception are often quite different. Take history as an example, the “up and down five thousand years” that Chinese people are fond of saying is not recognized internationally. Even Japan, steeped in Chinese culture for a long time, also advocates “four thousand years of Chinese civilization”. The main reason is that the verifiable history is only about 3,500 years. This kind of self-knowledge and external knowledge often have a natural gap. This is determined by

different languages and cultures. But the emergence of world heritage sites has chipped away at this iron plate.

China's long road to world heritage!
China’s long road to world heritage!

A world heritage site designated by the United Nations, like a coronation ceremony, brings a place of interest that once dominated only one place to the world’s attention and makes it world-famous.

Not only is the reputation of the promotion, the economic benefits of scenic spots are also quite big. In particular, those living in a certain area with inconvenient transportation may be too far away for tourists, but for the sake of the name of “world heritage”, there will be a large number of people going over mountains and mountains, which will indirectly bring vitality to the local economy.

Of course, as the common treasure of mankind, the world heritage is also a solemn commitment to the protection of scenic spots. The purpose of the selection of world heritage sites is to call on humanity to cherish, protect, save and value these unique attractions on earth.

Up to now, 1121 world heritage sites have passed the evaluation criteria. China’s world heritage accounts for about 5% of the total, except for the Great Wall, terracotta warriors, longmen grottoes, grand canal, silk road and other scenic spots that are already famous at home and abroad, zhoukoudian Peking man site, chengjiang fossil site, tusi site, liangzhu ancient city site and other sites of historical value, are also included. In addition, south karst, China’s unique landform danxia, is also the guests of the world heritage.

China's long road to world heritage!
China’s long road to world heritage!

As one of the four ancient civilizations, China now owns only 5% of the world heritage sites, and there is still a lot of room for improvement. By comparison, there are many items that can be included in the world heritage list. But in order to take account of the large number of states parties, starting with the “Keynes resolution” in 2000, each state party was allowed to declare only one project per year. After the “suzhou decision” in 2004, the state party can apply for two projects every year, but at least one of them includes the nomination of natural heritage. So, our country has a long preparation to declare project list now.

From the perspective of the regional distribution of world heritage sites in China, the pattern of more in the north and less in the south, more in the east and less in the west is basically consistent with the density of human activities in history. Beijing has the largest number of cities, with seven world heritage sites, including the Great Wall, the imperial palace in Ming and qing dynasties, the Peking man site in zhoukoudian, the temple of heaven, the Summer Palace, the imperial tombs in Ming and qing dynasties, and the grand canal. Henan, known as the birthplace of the central plains culture, is next with six world heritage sites. Next came shandong, shanxi, hebei and liaoning, which all tied for third place, with four.

In the decade after 1995, China registered the largest number of world cultural heritage applications. This is due to the continuous increase in the importance of world heritage declaration from the national to the local level, and the gradual familiarity with the procedures, standards and requirements of world heritage declaration. As world heritage sites have gained popularity in China, a number of sites have seen a surge in visitor Numbers after being added to the world heritage list. This has significantly promoted the development of local cultural tourism and contributed to the economic and social development of heritage sites, but also brought challenges to the protection and management of heritage sites to a large extent.

Under the protection of systematic system, China’s world heritage declaration boldly tries to apply for new types of heritage, pays attention to the protection and management of living heritage, and pays attention to the role of heritage in promoting regional sustainable development, hoping to reflect the multi-cultural characteristics of China as far as possible.

In terms of the distribution of heritage types, the number of special types represented by cultural landscape, heritage routes and heritage canals has increased significantly. Not all world heritage applications have been smooth sailing, and those that have been on the list from the beginning to the present are everywhere. They are either not well protected or do not measure up to their value. Apart from those famous ones, it is a long way to get the recognition of the world standard.

In China, the most difficult list spans several provinces and cities, such as the grand canal, which took eight years to file.

The immature protection consciousness and the difficult inter-provincial cooperation make the application for world heritage status slow. The world’s oldest canal was not recognized as a world heritage site until 2014 at the world heritage meeting in doha, Qatar. In addition to the grand canal, the application of royal tombs in Ming and qing dynasties, city walls in Ming and qing dynasties, and the silk road all encountered similar difficulties. Fortunately, after efforts, they all came true.

With the improvement of China’s national strength, on the one hand, local governments are more financially secure in applying for world heritage status. On the other hand, a bigger international voice reduces the barriers to applying for world heritage status. All these are favorable factors for the application. Over the past 30 years and more, China’s world heritage has not only actively spread the fine Chinese culture, but also embodied inclusiveness, inclusiveness, exchanges and mutual learning, making due contributions to a country with an ancient civilization. In the future, it is an important task for China to include more valuable heritage sites in a stable and orderly manner.

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