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World Cultural Heritage in China

In July 2003, the Three Parallel Rivers in Yunnan Province, the Ming Tombs of Beijing Municipality and the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum of Nanjing were added to the World Heritage List of Cultural Sites as part of Ming and Qing Imperial Mausoleums. (See Land and Natural Resources chapter for China's World Heritage List of Natural Sites.) By the end of 2003, there were 29 World Heritage Sites in China, of which 21 were cultural heritage sites, 4 were natural sites and 4 cultural and natural sites. In 2004, China will make the first large-scale renovations on six world cultural heritage sites in Beijing the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and "Peking Man" Ruins at Zhoukoudian, which will be completed before 2008 as planned. Apart from that, China has a rich non-material cultural heritage, one of the richest in the world. Kunqu Opera and the art of playing the guqin, a seven-stringed zither, are among UNESCO's list of masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. UNESCO also designated 2002-2003 as the year to celebrate the millennial anniversary of the Chinese Tibetan epic King Gesar, the longest epic in the world.

Rated as having outstanding universal value from historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view.CategoryDate
Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Shanxi ProvinceCultural2001
Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing DynastiesCultural2000, 2003
Longmen GrottoesCultural2000
Xidi and Hongcun Villages, Museums of Ming-Qing Architecture in Southern AnhuiCultural2000
Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation SystemCultural2000
Dazu Rock CarvingsCultural1999
Mount WuyiNatural & Cultural1999
The Temple of HeavenCultural1998
The Summer PalaceCultural1998
The Ancient Town of LijiangCultural1997
Classic Gardens in SuzhouCultural1997
The Old Town of PingyaoCultural1997
Mount Emei and the Leshan Giant BuddhaNatural & Cultural1996
Mount LushanCultural1996
Taoist Buildings on Mount WudangCultural1994
The Confucian Temple, Cemetery and Family Mansion in QufuCultural1994
The Potala PalaceCultural1994
Mountain Resort and Outlying Temples, ChengdeCultural1994
Mount HuangshanNatural & Cultural1990
Mount TaishanNatural & Cultural1987
The Mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty and Terracotta Warriors and HorsesCultural1987
The Mogao GrottoesCultural1987
Zhoukoudian, Home of Peking ManCultural1987
The Forbidden CityCultural1987

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