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Chinese traditional villages 'facing difficulties'


03-17-2017 08:22 BJT

Full coverage: 2017 NPC & CPPCC Sessions

(Source: CGTN)

For almost two decades acclaimed writer and CPPCC member, Feng Jicai has been speaking out in support of protecting China's traditional villages. At this year's Two Sessions conference, Feng called on the central government to do more to help. 

Feng Jicai has been working to preserve China's traditional villages for almost two decades. In 2002 he called on the academic community to draw up a comprehensive study on Chinese villages. Recently he asked the central government for greater support.

"Preservation efforts to protect traditional villages are facing many difficulties. I have been working on this issue for nearly 20 years, and I think it is necessary to seek support from the central government," Feng said.

Since 2014, Feng has worked with local officials to publish traditional village directories, that officially recognize more than 4,000 villages, giving them access to 10 billion yuan in government support.

However, some people question the impact of Feng's efforts. Several villages on the list have become popular tourist hotspots. And critics say a number of traditional Chinese villages have been ruined by investors, who use the list's information to make a quick buck.

"Traditional villages that are included in the national directory should be required to get approval from the national management department before they can carry out tourism. Village protection work requires a long-term vision, and can't be focussed on quick successes," Feng said.

Feng Jicai laid has dedicated much of his life to protecting Chinese cultural heritage. Courageous efforts by people like Feng are helping to preserve the greatest aspects of Chinese history for generations to come.

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