China will strengthen protection of cultural heritage in the second half of 2017 and carry out random inspections in provinces where cultural relics are common, according to a senior cultural official.
A special investigation will be carried out in provinces and regions where crimes are committed against cultural relics, said Liu Yuzhu, head of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage Thursday.
At a symposium in Maanshan city in eastern China's Anhui Province, Liu urged local officials to draw lessons from cases of tomb robbery, including the Ming imperial tombs and Eastern Qing royal Tombs.
Local authorities were also asked to complete a full investigation to check potential safety hazards before the end of August.
"Being afraid of taking responsibility and failing to report facts are prominent problems in protecting cultural relics," Liu said.
In the last three years, the number of such cases reported to cultural heritage bureaus was much lower than the number of actual crimes and one-third of cultural heritage cases were exposed by the media or reported by the public.
The administration will also carry out a three-month national campaign to crack down on crimes against cultural heritage and prevent tomb robbery.