The famous ancient Silk Road
and China's Grand Canal, the world's longest artificial waterway, were inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites here on Sunday.
Jointly submitted by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the application for adding part of the Silk Road, which served as a corridor for trade and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe dating back to 2,000 years ago, to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list was approved by the World Heritage Committee at a session in the Qatari capital.
The application consists of 33 historical sites along the millennium-old trade route, including 22 in China, eight in Kazakhstan and three in Kyrgyzstan. They range from palaces and pagoda sites in cities to ruins in remote, inaccessible deserts.
It is the first time China has cooperated with foreign countries for a World Heritage nomination.
Du Yue, secretary general of the Chinese delegation at the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee, said the approval of the application would strengthen cultural exchanges between China and the two Central Asian nations.
He called for the three countries' close coordination to jointly protect and pass on the Silk Road heritage from generation to generation.
At Sunday's session, UNESCO also included the Grand Canal, with a history of more than 2,400 years, in the World Heritage list.
Participants at the meeting said the 1,794-km canal, which runs from Beijing to Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province, is a valuable fruit of the Chinese people's diligence and wisdom, adding that its inclusion has enriched the content of the World Heritage.
The Paris-based UNESCO oversees the system of granting World Heritage status to important cultural and natural sites around the globe.
The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee opened on June 15 and will continue through Wednesday.