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Experts call for protection and preservation of Qiantang River seawalls

(People's Daily Online)    16:58, September 29, 2016

File Photo: Qiantang River seawalls

Many of the ancient seawalls of the Qiantang River, also known as the coastal Great Wall, have been damaged thanks to modern construction projects. As a result, several experts have proposed applying for world heritage status on behalf of the seawalls.

The seawalls are one of the "three great projects" in ancient China, together with the Great Wall and the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal. Although the Qiantang bore is a natural wonder that attracts many travelers every year, it also caused serious floods in ancient societies. In order to protect the plains surround the Qiantang River, seawalls were eventually erected.

Currently, the northern seawalls in Haining and Haiyan as well as the southern ones in Xiaoshan and Yuecheng are all intact. Other seawalls have either been demolished or buried, giving way to new facilities. Even though a small section of the ancient walls is listed as a protected cultural relic, the rest are still vulnerable. Huang Bin, deputy director of the Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Center in Zhejiang province, described this problematic state in a detailed article.

Early in the Tang and Song Dynasties, seawalls gradually formed along the coasts of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces. In the Qing Dynasty, the engineering techniques for ancient seawalls reached their peak, as represented by the fish-scale seawalls in Haining, Zhejiang province.

During the 2016 Hangzhou Literature and History Forum, Ye Ming, chairman of Hangzhou People's Political Consultative Conference, explained the importance of protecting the ancient seawalls. He voiced his hope that the relic would receive world heritage protection as soon as possible.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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