Ancient villages in China demand more effective protection

( ) Updated: 2015-01-16 17:40:35

Ancient villages in China demand more effective protection

A serious fire occurred in Shangri-la Dukezong town in Southwest China's Yunnan province.[Photo/]

China's accelerated urbanization and booming tourism have threatened the preservation of ancient villages that have retained the local culture for thousands of years.

A succession of well-known ancient towns in China were destroyed by major fires in 2014, including Shangri-la Dukezong and Lijiang Shuhe towns in southwest China's Yunnan province, as well as Baojing Dong and Jiuji Miao villages in Southwest China's Guizhou province.

China is home to hundreds of thousands of ancient villages, according to a nationwide survey of cultural heritage conducted last year. The ancient architecture in these villages represent the essence of Chinese culture and tradition. However, they are faced with the grim reality of China‘s modernization drive. Li Wei, director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said in the 5th China's Economic Outlook Forum that Chinese so-called ancient villages had been reduced by 100,000 from 2000 to 2010, which means a decrease of 300 ancient towns with each passing day.

Also, in single pursuit of economic gains, many villages not only turn a blind eye to the maintenance of their villages but overexploit natural resources. Ethnic traditions also keep fading under the attack of increased tourism.

In response to these tough challenges, Li Xioajie, vice culture minister said on Jan 10 that traditional villages are an integral part of Chinese culture and are supposed to deserve due attention. Li also said the spectacular scenes once described in many Chinese poems should not be sealed in people’s memories. We should develop in a sustainable manner and strike a fine balance between economic achievements and ecological preservation.

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