An ancient city with a historic background dating back to centuries is trying its luck for a second time to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The coastal city of Quanzhou in eastern Fujian province is bidding to be included in the coveted catalog of cultural sites when the World Heritage Committee meets next week. If approved, it will become China’s 56th heritage site, along with famous spectacles such as the Great Wall and the terra-cotta warriors at the Emperor Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum Museum in northwestern Shaanxi province.
Famous for its maritime culture, Quanzhou was once an important international trading point during the Song and Yuan dynasties, connecting ancient China to Southeast Asia and beyond. The city is now home to over 8 million people, as well as one of the oldest mosques in China and hundreds of ancient Buddhist and Taoist temples.
In 2018, the local government nominated the city to be assessed for World Heritage status but the heritage committee “deferred” their decision, requesting supplementary information be provided.
The World Heritage Committee will review 45 applications — including Quanzhou’s bid — from across the globe to determine their World Heritage List eligibility status when they meet in Fujian’s provincial capital of Fuzhou on July 16.
Apart from discussing new additions to the World Heritage Site list, the committee will also review 258 heritage conservation reports during the two weeks of virtual and in-person meetings.
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: A view of the Kaiyuan Temple in Quanzhou, Fujian province, 2020. Shen Longquan/People Visual)