China's World Heritage Sites

Here is a listing of China's World Heritage sites, as of January 2000:
== The Forbidden City: The Grand Palace of the Ming and Qing
== The Terracotta Warriors: The Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang
== The Potala Palace
== The Temple of Heaven
== Mount Taishan
== Mount Huangshan
== Mount Lushan
== The Great Wall of China
== The Home of "Peking Man": The Ruins at Zhoukoudian
== The Ancient Walled City of Pingyao
== The Ancient Town of LiJiang
== The Mogao Grottoes
== The Temple on Wudang Mountain
== The Confucius Temple, Cemetery, and Home
== Mount Emei and the Leshan Giant Buddha
== The Temples at Chengde
== The Classic Gardens at Suzhou
== The Summer Palace at Beijing
== The Three Thousand Peaks at Wulingyuan
== The Karst Landforms at Huanglong
== The Territory of Jiuzhaigou

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO

In 1976, UNESCO founded a committee whose responsibility would be to examine, evaluate and approve various sites in various countries, that those countries felt deserved the title of "World Heritage Site". Designation as such was not insignificant, as once an area, either a cultural establishment, or, natural area, achieved this difficult to obtain moniker, it was entitled to certain benefits.

The benefits of World Heritage Site designation:
== The Heritage sites are to be protected by all UNESCO members.
== During war, the Heritage sites are not to be designated as military targets.
== The World Heritage Committee has the responsibility and power to designate and provide experts from the various member nations to relevant countries, to assist them in their goals of maintaining such designated sites.
== The Committee has the responsibility and power to provide both technical expertise and equipment to facilitate the maintenance and reconstruction of these sites to relevant countries.
== Member countries have the right to request and receive international economic assistance, through the auspices of the Committee, to facilitate the reconstruction, renovation, and protection of the natural and cultural Heritage sites on their lands.

Basically, achieving World Heritage Site designation is not an easy thing to do, but it is a very worthwhile one.

Prospective sites can either be natural wonders, such as landforms, vegetative areas, or waterways, or, areas that are replete with endangered wildlife or plants, and, cultural establishments, which tend to be man made structures that hold some important cultural, archeological, scientific or anthropological values. At the present time, (year 2000), there are 582 World Heritage Sites scattered all over the world, with many more on the waiting list to be evaluated. Head on over to Unesco's site, at, for more complete information.

The Shaolin Temple is one such place, that, from what I hear, is in the process of application. When taken in this light, the Destruction at the village takes on a new meaning.