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646 Villages Selected into the First List of Traditional Villages of China
On Dec. 20, 2012, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance jointly announced the first list of Traditional Villages of China. A total of 646 villages are listed, including Shuiyu Village of Nanjiao County in Fangshan District of Beijing City, Xijingyu Village of Yuyang Town in Ji County of Tianjin City, Daliangjiang Village of Nanzhangcheng Town of Jingxing County in Shijiazhuang City of Hebei Province, etc. The result came from the recommendation of local governments based on the traditional village assessment index system issued by relevant ministries, reviewed by the experts from Traditional Village Protection and Development Committee, and then publicized to the society afterwards.

The three ministries point out that in order to protect traditional villages, the principle of “to make plans firstly under integrated guidance, to give consideration to both integral protection and development, to activate heritages and utilize resources rationally, to be led by the governments and participated by villagers.” The investigation of traditional villages should be continuously completed, the list of traditional villages at national level and local level should be established, the protection, development and management institutions and technique supporting system should be constructed, the protection and development policies should be compiled, the talents in relevant fields should be developed, and related education and training activities should be carried out.

The three ministries also stress that the protection of traditional villages should maintain the authenticity, integrity and sustainability of these cultural heritages, the relationship between traditional village protection and the improvement of living conditions should be dealt with appropriately. In line with the requirements of protection plans, the construction of infrastructures and public facilities in the traditional villages should be given priority. The villagers should be guided to carry out the reconstruction aiming at energy-saving and function-promoting projects to improve their living conditions and promote the quality of the human settlements. The relationship between protection and development of the traditional villages should be dealt properly, and the value of cultural heritage resources should be deeply explored. Based on the maintaining of traditional life styles, featured industries should be developed to increase the villagers’ income. The relationship between resource protection and utilization should be handled correctly, and different measures should be adopted rationally towards different types of resources. Disordered and unnecessary projects should be corrected and large scale construction and dismantlement should be banned.

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