China to build national protection zone in west Tibetan prefecture
The Ministry of Culture has agreed to build an experiment zone in China's northwestern Qinghai province to protect Tibetan ecological and cultural heritage.
According to Wang Dongmei, head of the culture and sports bureau in the Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Qinghai, the zone will cover the city of Yushu and its adjacent counties.
On the zone's protection list are the physical and cultural heritage items related to the local Tibetan people in the Sanjiangyuan area, which is home to the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow, and Lancang (Mekong) rivers, Wang said.
Yushu is home to seven national-level cultural heritage sites, 29 provincial-level sites as well as two historical villages. The song and dance, costumes of ethnic minorities, and metal forging techniques are all listed as intangible heritage in China.
Wang told Xinhua that Yushu has eleven national items of intangible heritage and 24 national "cultural inheritors."
"The experiment zone will help boost protection of Tibetan culture and local ecology as a whole, and sustainable development of the society and economy," said Tsering Teg, governor of Yushu.
Yushu has recovered from a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit the region on April 14, 2010. It affected 246,800 people, leaving 2,220 dead and more than 100,000 homeless.