Kashi's renovation of old city zone improves lives of residents: Xinjiang official

09:13, March 08, 2010      

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The renovation of the old city zone in Kashi, located in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, demonstrated the Chinese government's concerns for the lives of Kashi residents, a senior official of the region said in Beijing Sunday.

Akbar Hupur, commissioner of Kashi Prefecture, told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, that the renovation work was carried out according to the national conservation standards for historical and cultural cities.

"The renovation of the old city zone in Kashi is a project that complied with the wishes of the people," he said.

With a history of more than 2,000 years, Kashi, or Kashgar, was historically the gateway and hub for the transfer of goods from China to central Asia and Europe on the ancient Silk Road with its culture featuring distinctive ethnic Uygur characteristics.

But the city is located in an area frequently hit by earthquakes, and houses in the old city of Kashi are mostly old and dilapidated, extremely vulnerable to earthquakes and fire.

Akbar Hupur said the purpose of the Kashi renovation was to protect people's lives and property, and improve their living conditions, while enhancing the quake-resistance of the old houses and preserving the original appearance of the ancient city

The region planned to complete the comprehensive restoration of dilapidated homes within 28 blocks inside old Kashi city, which encompasses 65,000 households and 220,000 residents, said the commissioner.

He quoted a report by the China Office of the UNESCO in June 2009 as saying that the renovation of old towns in Kashi had kept their original architectural and cultural characteristics and maintained local people's traditional way of life.


Source:Xinhua
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