Delegates at the 39th UNESCO World Heritage Conference agreed on Saturday to add three Tusi ruins in southwest China to the list of sites recognized and protected by the organization.
The decision, which was made during the a conference in Bonn, Germany, increases the number of world heritage sites in China to 48, making China second only to Italy in terms of the overall number heritage sites.
Fu Jing, an expert with the China Architecture Design and Research Group, Tusi ruins and cemeteries are scattered in southwest China’s Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, as well as the northeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
According to UNESCO, the Tusi ruins were once the domains of several tribes whose chiefs were appointed by the central government as hereditary rulers between the 13th to early 20th century. The sites of Laosicheng, Tangya and Hailongtun Fortress are said to “bare exceptional testimony to this form of governance.”
Deputy director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Tong Mingkang, told China Daily that “the three (sites) are most representative among more than 100 Tusi relics in China. They are relevantly less intervened by modern lifestyle, and stand out after evaluation and analysis by various fields.”
By Dominic Jackson
[Images via Xinhua]