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BEIJING, China, Dec 20 — China’s policymakers underlined on Tuesday the need to prioritize the protection and development of cultural heritage, calling for strengthening international exchanges and cooperation in this field.

While addressing a symposium in Beijing, Cai Qi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the protection and inheritance of cultural heritage must be enhanced across the board.

Efforts in this regard will help shore up the nation’s bid to build itself into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, Cai said.

It was noted at the symposium that the relations between cultural heritage protection and utilization, between protection and development as well as between protection and exploitation must be appropriately handled.

Efforts should be made to establish and refine the protection system of cultural heritage, and consolidate the legal guarantee, the policymakers said.

Cultural exchange

They also emphasized the importance of promoting cultural exchanges and implementing the Global Civilization Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Party and government officials at all levels are required to fully perform their duties and ensure the implementation of plans and policies related to the preservation of cultural heritage, according to the symposium.

The symposium comes after Xi presided over a meeting in June on cultural inheritance and development, during which he stressed the importance of cultivating a modern Chinese civilization.

Cultural heritage protection has made significant progress since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, said Pan Shouyong, a professor at Shanghai University’s School of Cultural Heritage and Information Management.

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As of the end of 2022, there were 6,565 museums across the country, and 70 percent of these have been built over the past two decades, he said.

Li Yuanyuan, an experienced intangible cultural heritage exhibition curator, said a great number of supportive policies for intangible cultural heritage have been issued in recent years.

“It has given us in the field more opportunities to help the public appreciate the beauty of intangible cultural heritage and tap into its economic value,” she said.

As the government is pushing forward systematic protection and sustainable development of intangible cultural heritage, Li believes it will play an important role in enhancing the traditional Chinese culture worldwide.

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