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Silkroad--China backs joint bid to award World Cultural Heritage status

China is backing a unique multinational bid to add the famous Silk Road to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Along with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Chinese officials will submit the first-ever joint "cultural route" request to UNESCO for special status in 2011.

The Silk Road

"A multinational application is the better choice if we want to aptly present the historical culture of the ancient Silk Road for such status," said Jing Feng, an official with the UNESCO World Heritage Center's Asia- Pacific Region Program.

If the unprecedented six-nation bid is successful, the 2000-year-old famous trade route will be afforded the same global protection as other world famous cultural sites, including the Great Wall, the Giza Pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in the United Kingdom.

"The Silk Road has had a great influence in the world, and China is the starting and end point and with destinations worldwide. It is a good choice for China to unite with other Silk Road countries to jointly apply for World Cultural Heritage status," said Qiao Ran, vice director of The Silk Road Team from the National Tourism Administration of The People's Republic of China.

Once a major trade arteries linking Asia and Europe, the 6,500-kilometer Silk Routes – known collectively as the "Silk Road" – extended from the Chinese city of Xi'an in northwest Shaanxi Province to Europe via south and central Asia countries.

The illustration of the Silk Road both on the land and sea.

Along them traveled luxury goods, technologies, slaves, rare foods and plants, ideas, cultures and diseases.

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