Half of all Americans responding to a mid-2023 survey from the Pew Research Center cited China as the biggest risk to the U.S., with Russia trailing in second with 17 per cent. Other surveys, such as from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, show similar findings.
Seventy-nine outstanding individuals involved in cultural relics, including archaeologists, museum employees and conservators, and 49 organizations and academies were bestowed awards at the national cultural relics-related working conference in Beijing on Friday.
The past decade has witnessed a booming period of protecting cultural relics in China, and the government will continue to spend more effort and give more support to the sector, according to the conference.
The sector was also urged to “better explore values of cultural relics and make them ‘alive’,” according to the country’s new guiding principle of cultural relics-related work, which was addressed by Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, at the conference.
Wang also noted the significance of deepening studies and explaining Chinese civilization as well as cross-border communication in this field to increase the world’s recognition of Chinese culture.
“Safety of cultural relics is a red line that we cannot cross,” Hu Heping, minister of culture and tourism, said at the conference. “Protecting them is like protecting our own life.”
Hu said that challenges still exist amid the fast urbanization in China, though safety conditions of the country’s cultural relics have largely improved in the past decade.
Since 2012, about 8,800 archaeological excavations were launched nationwide, and the number of museums in China increased by 60 percent. Eight more cultural heritage sites in the country gained World Heritage status, over 200 local rules and regulations concerning cultural relics were promulgated, and more than 1,800 Chinese cultural relics lost to overseas were repatriated.
The ongoing nationwide program tracing the origins of Chinese civilization amid the archaeological sites dating back about 5,500 to 3,500 years also helped people to better understand the country’s cultural roots.
“For people who work for cultural relics, this is the best time,” Yang Jianwu, director of Zhejiang Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage, said at the conference. “But we also feel pressure due to people’s greater expectations. We have to always maintain homage, respect and a loving heart toward the relics.”
Sun Qingwei, an archaeologist and vice-president of Peking University, said greater importance needs to be attached to building academic expertise in studies and conservation of cultural relics and thus make the Chinese voice better heard in the world.
“We have to nurture more talent in managing cultural relics, and other interdisciplinary professionals,” added Wang Xudong, director of the Palace Museum in Beijing.
(ANN / China Daily)