Beijing's historic axis to seek World Heritage status
Beijing's historic north-south Zhongzhouxian, the central axis, is to apply for World Heritage status in 2035, the municipal administration of cultural heritage said Wednesday.
Fourteen historical places along the axis, including Qianmen, the Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, the Drum and Bell Towers, Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, the Monument to the People's Heroes and Tian'anmen Square have been identified as the key heritage sites.
Preservation work of these sites should meet the requirements of the application by 2030, said Shu Xiaofeng, director of the administration.
First created in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the original Zhongzhouxian was 3.7 kilometers. The Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties extended the length to 7.8 kilometers from Yongdingmen in the south to the Drum and Bell Towers in the north.
Situated at the city's center, Zhongzhouxian separates the districts of Dongcheng and Xicheng. "It is like the backbone of Beijing's urban spacial structure," said Beijing historian Li Jianping.
Beijing authorities earlier unveiled a general plan for the development of the Zhongzhouxian from 2016 to 2035. A plan to prepare the Zhongzhouxian for its World Heritage application is now being made.
"The application aims to better protect the city's history and culture," said Shu.