Natural Wonders

China unveils route map for building national cultural parks

China is geared up for better preserving its much-cherished natural wonders through its national park system, but it has not lost sight of the nation’s cultural jewels.

The country recently issued dedicated plans for the construction and preservation of national cultural parks based around three themes: the Great Wall, the Grand Canal and the Long March.

The documents outline the main objectives, underlying principles and concrete steps in the process, spanning from this year to 2035, according to an interview with the task group responsible for the construction of China’s national cultural parks.

The Great Wall 

In order to fully demonstrate the unique cultural value of the Great Wall, the plans put forward goals in three stages, starting from the end of this year and culminating in the full construction of Great Wall national parks with a well-rounded system for their preservation and utilization in 2035, according to the interview.

Regarding the overall layout of the parks, the plans specify the factors that will be taken into consideration, including the geographic layout, historical and scientific significance, tourism value, current preservation state and scale, and utilization condition of the Great Wall’s cultural relics and resources.

Structurally, the parks will be comprised of four major sections: the conservation area, exhibition area, culture and tourism area, and utilization area.

A major step in building the national cultural parks is to implement the hallmark projects in cultural heritage preservation and research, improvements to the surrounding environment, integration of culture and tourism, and digitalized services, according to the interview.

The Grand Canal

So far, China has made headway in delivering on the goal of building the Grand Canal national parks, as set out in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), and enhancing the systemic preservation of the “flowing cultural heritage,” according to the interview.

These efforts include establishing a coordination mechanism, improving the top design, redoubling project-based support and boosting synergy among different authorities.

Based on culture-centered and preservation-first principles, the plans outline a series of tasks in the next step, including optimizing the overall structure, illustrating the cultural value, and enhancing the conservation, exhibition and utilization of the Grand Canal heritage.

In accordance with the plans, major projects on protecting and passing on the cultural heritage, studying and illustrating their value, improving the surrounding environment, boosting cultural tourism and digitalized services will also be advanced, according to the interview.

The Long March

The general objective of building the Long March national parks is to better preserve its heritage, pass on its spirit, and tap relevant resources to boost the development of local regions, according to the interview.

Based on both expert and public opinions, the plans specify the geographic scope of the parks, spanning 15 provincial regions, and set the goal of establishing a world-class national park system dedicated to the Long March by 2035.

The parks will be comprised of four major sections: the conservation area, exhibition area, culture and tourism area, and utilization area.

To achieve the goal, the plans also outline major projects in cultural heritage preservation and research, improvements to the surrounding environment, integration of culture and tourism, and digitalized services, according to the interview. 


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