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Ancient sites link with future

China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-09

It's an oft-repeated phrase that "China has a 5,000-year-old civilization". Thanks to a myriad of heritage sites, which still remain standing above ground across the country, psychological bonds may emerge connecting modern visitors' minds and the distant past.

Through communication and integration, cultures appeared, evolved and merged. Time takes a toll on the appearances of these monuments, but it has not wiped out the clear, uninterrupted lineage of the Chinese civilization that has created them.

China now has 56 entries on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. President Xi Jinping has visited various sites or offered key guidance on the protection of the nation's historical legacies on various occasions in recent years.

Saturday will be China's annual Cultural and Natural Heritage Day. On this special occasion, let's take a look at some of the nation's heritage highlights.


Mount Wuyi

An outstanding area for biodiversity conservation, the region is also home to the ruins of numerous temples and monasteries, as well as other cultural heritages. The Confucian academies in the area are particularly important, as they were the cradle of Neo-Confucianism in the 11th century, a doctrine that played a dominant role in Eastern and Southeastern Asia for centuries and that has influenced philosophy and governance across the world.

In 2021, Xi visited the site and emphasized the importance of mixing the essence of fine traditional culture and tenets of Marxism, and thus contribute to the socialist path featuring Chinese characteristics.


Gulangyu (Kulangsu)

The island off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian province, is a famed historical international settlement that developed from the late 19th to the early 20th century. It became an important window for Sino-foreign cultural exchanges and fusion, and its architectural legacy combines styles from the East and the West.

In 2017, after the site was inscribed onto the World Heritage Site list, Xi urged the building of a long-term mechanism to safeguard cultural relics that pass the historical lineage of the nation from generation to generation.

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