China’s West Lake Cultural Landscape Inscribed on World Heritage List
The West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou in Eastern China was inscribed on UNESCO’e World Heritage List at the 35th UNESCO meeting in Paris on last Friday, June 25, 2011, after 21-year preparatory work (since 1990). According to the World Heritage Committee, the decision was made in recognition of West Lake surroudings as an extraodnary of cultural landscape, which reflects Chinese philosophy and aesthetics and inspires park designing art all over the world. (The right piceture is a part of West Lake.)
The West Lake, located to the west of Hangzhou (the capital of Zhejiang Province), is a famous tourist attraction for its picsturesque landscape and its association with Chinese cultures. Since the Tang Dynasty (618–907), many litterateurs and artists have created a great deal of poems and picture scrolls with the theme of praising the beauties of West Lake.
After the success in inscribing on World Heritage List, Hangzhou will put more efforts into better protecting West Lake in accordance with the principles of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Hangzhou government said it would continue the policy since 2002 to open West Lake's over 130 tourist spots to the public free of charge. Meanwhile, the gaverment has promised to protect the West Lake region from commercial development such as housing projects, and has taken many measures to ward of the negative impact brought by excessive tourism (such as appealing citizens to stay away from those over-crowded sites during major holidays and approving a draft plan to control the number of vehicles and toursits entering the scenic spots).
Every year since early June, West Lake would be decorated with plenty of lotus flowers, which have lived in the lake for thousands of years.
Up to now, China has 41 World Heritage Sites, including 29 World Cultural Heritage Sites, 8 World Natural Heritage Sites and 4 World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites. Check out the World Heritage Sites in China