In 2000 China ICOMOS issued the document Principles for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in China, national guidelines for cultural heritage conservation and management that respect and reflect Chinese traditions and approaches to conservation under the country's existing laws for the protection of cultural heritage sites, and which were endorsed by China's State Administration for Cultural Heritage (SACH). The China Principles were developed in collaboration among SACH, the GCI, and the Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage.
Now, ten years later, the GCI has been invited by SACH to participate in the revision and expansion of the China Principles to encompass changes that have occurred in the legislation, management, and conservation of heritage sites in China. The revisions will also address areas of heritage not covered in the original document, such as cultural landscapes, cultural routes, industrial heritage, and memorial sites. According to deputy director-general of SACH, Tong Mingkang, who is responsible for the heritage sites and monuments, "The Principles have been playing an active and significant role in the field of China's cultural heritage conservation and have become a channel for international heritage professionals to get to know and familiarize themselves with basic Chinese concepts in the field of cultural heritage conservation." As chair of China ICOMOS, Tong Mingkang has established a working group to assist international heritage professionals in this process; the group was convened in June 2010.
In May 2010 Tong Mingkang and the director of China's Academy for Cultural Heritage, Liu Shuguang, were hosted at the GCI for discussions of the revisions. As part of their visit, the SACH delegation also undertook a study trip to heritage sites in New Mexico, including the pueblos of Acoma and Taos and Bandelier National Park. The revisions to the Principles are expected to be completed by early 2012.
For more information on the China Principles, visit the GCI Web site.