The Silk Road and the Grand Canal Listed as World Heritage Sites
The 38th session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee, held in Doha, Qatar on Jun. 22, approved China’s application for the Grand Canal and China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan’s joint application for Silk Road-related sites. So far China has 47 World Heritage sites, the world’s second-largest number. Among them, the Grand Canal is the world’s longest artificial waterway, and the Silk Road is the longest World Heritage area in terms of geographical distribution.
Stretching over 1,011 kilometers, the Grand Canal heritage recognized on the list encompasses the Sui-Tang Grand Canal, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, and the Eastern Zhejiang Canal. Distributed in six Chinese provinces, two municipalities, and 25 prefecture-level cities, the project has 27 ancient waterway sections, 58 cultural heritage sites along the waterway, including remains of water conservancy projects, ancillary facilities, management facilities, and ancient architectures and historical and cultural districts closely related to the Canal.
The Silk Road project, measuring around 8,700 kilometers, is the first project in which China has cooperated with foreign countries for a world heritage nomination. It consists of 33 historical sites, with 22 in China’s Shaanxi, Henan, and Gansu provinces, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.