China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage has released a regulation on applications for UNESCO World Heritage status, stressing protection as the ultimate goal.
"Application work should be conducted with the correct intentions, with strengthened protection as the ultimate goal and revealing and promoting the universal values of cultural heritage as the basic requirements," said the regulation, which was made public on Tuesday.
According to the document, applications should be regarded as a turning point for solving historical questions concerning the balance between heritage and environmental protection.
"Meanwhile, we should put such applications in the context of our country's realistic situations and submit for the title within our abilities by avoiding extravagance and unnecessary demolition," it said.
The regulation stipulated that all protective, exhibitive and supervisory work for the application should be conducted with the premise of keeping the original state of cultural heritage.
"Intervention should be kept to a minimum and the cultural heritage for the application should be kept authentic, intact and sustainable for future exhibition and utilization," it said.
It also ruled that cultural heritage items and ancient sites that have already vanished should not be rebuilt in general, and exceptions must first be researched and approved.