China’s Qinghai Hoh Xil enters world heritage list as natural site

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File photo shows snow mountains and rivers in Hoh Xil of northwest China's Qinghai Province. The 41th session of the World Heritage Committee on July 7, 2017 decided to put China's Qinghai Hoh Xil on the prestigious World Heritage List as a natural site. So far, China has 51 sites inscribed to the List. (Xinhua/Hoh Xil National Reserve Administration)

KRAKOW, POLAND (Xinhua) — China’s Qinghai Hoh Xil was put on the prestigious World Heritage List as a natural site on Friday by the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee here.

Becoming the 51st Chinese site inscribed on the list, Hoh Xil can be characterized by three major features, Du Yue, secretary-general from the National Commission of China for UNESCO, told Xinhua.

Firstly, with its high altitude of more than 4,000 m, the site is a rare plateau with a special ecosystem, unique plants, and valuable animals. The second is its surface, as this area is almost one of the largest on the list of world natural heritage, which proves the dedication of the Chinese government to environmental protection, Du said.

According to Du, the third aspect was that while climate change affects many countries, China has taken a very important step and contributed to the protection of the world’s nature and the environment. It is also to protect this very important land for the Chinese people. “I think this is very meaningful. Protecting this place is our responsibility,” Du added.

Vice-Governor of Qinghai Province Han Jianhua said: “We made a commitment that we would protect the ecological environment heritage in strict accordance with the relevant requirements of the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.”

Hoh Xil is a region in the northwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. As the world’s largest, highest and youngest plateau, it hosts many endemic species, is home to more than 230 species of wild animals.

Some of the most valuable include wild yak, wild donkey, white-lip deer, brown bear and the endangered Tibetan antelope or chiru.

The committee, meeting in Krakow, southern Poland between July 2 and 12, is supposed to assess the nomination of 34 sites for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.