China expands protection for its sunken treasures

15:09, November 23, 2010      

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China plans to beef up the protection of underwater cultural heritage, said Shan Jixiang, the director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

As of now, China has found more than 200 underwater cultural heritages and more than 70 sunken ship heritages. An agreement pledging closer cooperation was signed between two Chinese central government agencies chiefly responsible for safeguarding underwater cultural heritage on Nov. 22.

Under their agreement, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) will work more closely together in various fields including underwater archaeology and management of underwater relics.

Apart from the number of China's underwater cultural heritage sites, Shan also revealed that domestic underwater archaeologists inspected the Nansha Islands and managed a large amount of information about the local environment, climate and so on, and the excavation and salvage operations of "Nanhai No.1," "Huaguangjiao No.1," "Nan'ao No.1" and other ancient sunken ships were going well.

Regarding the large amount, complicated environment and difficulty in management of China's underwater cultural heritages, Shan said the two agencies were going to strength daily patrol and supervision around those heritages to prevent damage from various ocean developments in accordance with the agreement.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online


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