Chinese authorities have planned to recommend the Beijing Central Axis as China’s 2024 world cultural heritage application project, according to the National Cultural Heritage Administration.
Li Qun, director of the administration, noted that Beijing considers this task as a starting point to promote the overall protection of the old city and cultural relics in the core area of the national capital.
The Beijing Central Axis is 7.8 kilometers long, starting from the Yongding Gate in the south of the city and ending with the Drum Tower and Bell Tower in the north. Most of the major old-city buildings of Beijing are along this axis.
Speaking at the 2022 “Dialogue on Conservation of World Heritage and Historic Cities” held in Beijing on Aug. 7, Lazare Eloundou Assomo, director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, said that Beijing alone, as the home of many exceptional sites, boasts seven sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and most of them are located in the historic center of the city.
The majority of experts at the conference agreed that granting heritage status to the Beijing Central Axis can add a fresh footnote to the history of world civilization.
The central axis is the backbone of old Beijing, representing the highest achievement in the planning, design and construction of an ancient capital of Eastern civilization.
The Beijing municipal government started preparation works of the world cultural heritage application for the Central Axis project in 2011. It was included in the preliminary list of China’s world cultural heritage in 2012.
In recent years, more than 100 cultural relics renovation projects have been launched on both sides of the Beijing Central Axis.
Lv Zhou, director of the National Heritage Center of Tsinghua University, said that Beijing Central Axis’ heritage protection covers all kinds of historical and cultural relics in the old city area of Beijing, representing a grand narrative of the Chinese civilization.