On Wednesday, which marked the 99th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, a national county-specific list of conservation areas was released by the National Cultural Heritage Administration aimed at better protecting cultural relics related to the revolutionary years.
The list, consisting of revolutionary relics of memorial importance, was also jointly drafted by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It involves 988 counties in 31 provincial-level administrative regions grouped into 22 conservation areas nationwide.
Among those areas, 17 are related to the CPC-led hubs that fought against Japanese invaders from 1931 to 1945. The rest are related to the Long March, the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army in the 1930s and other Communist-led revolutionaries.
According to the document signed by the four central ministries and administrations, the move is to further give publicity to the revolutionary spirit and highlight its impetus in the progress of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
"The announcement of the list is only the first step," said Liu Yang, director of the revolutionary relics department of the National Cultural Heritage Administration. "More policies will follow to better coordinate the conservation of sites within each area and facilitate their future display for the public as a whole."
Established in November, Liu's department is in charge of the recent sites that are key to Chinese revolutions. Further, 13 provincial-level regions have also set up specific departments in their local governments to bolster relevant work.
"Protection is a priority, and creative methods are also needed to use these relics to create a boom in the local tourism and culture industry," Liu said. "That will help revitalize development of these former revolutionary hubs."
This is the first expansion of China's inaugural county-specific list on conservation areas of revolutionary relics, which was released in March 2019. The previous list included 645 counties in 20 provincial-level administrative regions.
Many conservation areas are established due to revolutionary activities in history and thus go beyond today's administrative borders. In addition, cooperation occurring in some regions goes beyond their boundaries.
For example, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces as well as the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, have established a joint administration office overseeing the heritage sites.
The Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region, with its capital in Yan'an, Shaanxi, was the core Communist movement hub in China from 1937 until the eve of the founding of New China in 1949.
Liu revealed that the systematic renovation of architecture and relevant cultural relics in these conservation areas will begin soon, financed by central and local governments.
Speaking of upcoming projects, Liu said a comprehensive conservation plan on Long March-related heritage is being drafted, which will accordingly set up some "national cultural parks" remembering this extraordinary chapter in CPC history.
Liu added that exhibitions in revolutionary memorials, museums and heritage sites will be "greatly upgraded" for the centennial birthday of the CPC next year.