It is a great pleasure to meet for this extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee to be held from 16 to 31 July 2021 in Fuzhou, China and online.

As China is home to a prodigious array of stunning natural sites and ancient cultural sites – from the iconic Great Wall and the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries to the Silk Roads and the amazing round buildings of the Fujian Tulou, as well as the colourful landforms of China Danxia and much more – it is only normal that the country has been a staunch supporter of the World Heritage Convention and a steady contributor to its implementation. China ratified the World Heritage Convention in 1985 and is carrying out its fourth mandate on the World Heritage Committee since 1991.

In addition to its numerous cultural, natural and mixed sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, China has 12 Creative Cities, 34 Biosphere Reserves and 41 Global Geoparks. All of these represent the far-reaching and sustainable actions that China undertakes to protect its heritage and its cultural and biological diversity, supporting the broad mandate of UNESCO.

In this issue of the World Heritage Review, we learn about the strategies devised to preserve and protect China’s cultural and natural heritage, the activities furthering youth education, awareness raising and international collaboration, and many other actions to safeguard and celebrate this ancient civilization in its diverse environments, now and in the future.

Also included in the issue is an exclusive interview with H.E. Mr Tian Xuejun, Vice-Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of China, and Chairperson of the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee.

I would like to express my warm thanks to China for hosting this meeting, and I look forward to a stimulating and constructive session of working together towards the global conservation of World Heritage.

Mechtild Rössler

Director, UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Special Issue
World Heritage in China

Message by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

An Interview with H.E. Mr Tian Xuejun, Chairperson of the Extended 44th Session of the World Heritage Committee and Chairperson of the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO

Safeguarding civilization’s accomplishments

Mr Li Qun, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism, Administrator of National Cultural Heritage Administration, the People’s Republic of China

Protecting World Heritage and promoting eco-civilization

Mr Guan Zhi’Ou, Administrator, National Forestry and Grassland Administration, National Park Administration, the People’s Republic of China

Inheriting civilization and laying a foundation for a better future – World Heritage education in China H.E. Mr Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of China

Chinese World Heritage

An overview of the 55 World Heritage sites in China as of July 2019, the most recent session of the World Heritage Committee

China’s international cooperation in World Heritage

Mr Lyu Zhou, Professor of Tsinghua University

Preserving cultural heritage, building the ‘City of Blessings’

Mr You Mengjun, Mayor, Fuzhou Municipal People’s Government, the People’s Republic of China