JIAYUGUAN CITY - On November 27, the inaugural Educational, Scientific, Cultural and Communication Committee of the United Nations Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance Project (UCESCC) - Silk Road (Jiayuguan) Intangible Cultural Heritage Conference was held in Beijing. The United Nations Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance Project (the Project)'s honorary chairman Long Yongtu, chairman Liang Dan and secretary Zhao Yongli, UCESCC chairman Yin Li, vice chairman Li Yuanfeng, secretary-general Liu Peng and deputy secretary General Fan Yingying, Li Ziwen, an official for the Silk Road Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center project and CEO of Beijing Botong Vision Management Consulting Co., Ltd, Municipal Party Committee secretary Wang Yan, Jiayuguan Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee director Liang Hongtao, heads of relevant departments and units, and Municipal CPPCC Committee chairman Bian Yuguang, Jiayuguan Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee director Yang Bojiang, deputy party secretary of Jiayuguan Municipality, Wang Jinping, member of CPC Jiayuguan Standing Committee and executive vice mayor, Li Yijun, member of CPC Jiayuguan Standing Committee and head of the Propaganda Department, Han Junfeng, secretary general of the CPC Jiayuguan Municipal Committee, as well as executives from the sponsoring organizations, officials from the member cities of the UN Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance, cultural ambassadors to China, officials from China's cultural and tourism government agencies and more than 50 time-honored companies in addition to journalists from Chinese and foreign media outlets, attended the conference.
The conference was held at the China Hall of Science and Technology in Beijing. The conference was supported by the United Nations land and Sea Silk Road City Alliance Project, hosted by the UCESCC's Silk Road Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center and the Publicity Department of the CPC Jiayuguan Municipal Committee, organized by the Beijing Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cultural Development Center and the Jiayuguan (Great Wall) Silk Road Culture Research Institute, and co-organized by Beijing Bertone Vision Management Consulting Co., Ltd. and Jiayuguan Culture Tourism Group Co., Ltd.
At the conference, the United Nations Maritime-Continental Silk Road Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection "Jiayuguan Declaration" was published, and the agreement to establish the International Cultural Tourism Demonstration Base for Maritime-Continental Silk Road Intangible Cultural Heritage was signed. The demonstration facility will be located in Jiayuguan.
The conference is the Project's first gathering focused on the Silk Road's intangible cultural heritage, and is also the first meeting held following the inception of the UCESCC's Silk Road Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center. The center, established in October 2017, is a specialized organization with the mission of protecting intangible cultural heritage, that, under the direction of the Project's secretariat, was voluntarily formed by the governments of cities aligning the One Belt, One Road route, companies engaged in intangible cultural heritage businesses, inheritors of intangible heritage projects, and intangible cultural heritage experts and scholars. The Project is also an organization committed to initiating and launching relevant events and programs across the regions targeted by the One Belt, One Road initiative. Its mission, through multilateral cooperation among countries and regions along the UN Maritime-Continental Silk Road, is to promote the sustainable development of a Silk Road intangible cultural heritage industry, create an international consensus on the protection of intangible cultural heritage and facilitate exchanges and collaborative efforts among these countries and regions, in an effort to contribute to regional peace and prosperity.
Jiayuguan is a key city along the section of the One Belt, One Road initiative that lies within China, one of the key cities along the UN Maritime-Continental Silk Road, as well as a famous Chinese historical and cultural city in its own right. China has, over the thousands of years of its existence, accumulated an immensely rich and diversified cultural heritage, which includes the unique Silk Road, Great Wall and Chinese frontier cultures, as well as rich, intangible Silk Road cultural heritage resources and the deep cultural connotation that is associated with each of these resources. The conference represents an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the city to the world. In due course, it can be expected that more cities in China and in countries along the One Belt, One Road route will choose to participate in the protection of their own intangible cultural heritage and boost the development of a Silk Road intangible cultural heritage industry, while the countries and regions along the UN Maritime-Continental Silk Road engage in an ever growing number of mutually beneficial collaborative efforts.
The intangible culture heritage, that is part and parcel of the Silk Road, has long been protected as a result of the wisdom of the peoples that have resided along the trade route for generations, and the collection of valuable historical properties that make up the heritage are clearly recognized as such. They are the driving force for what is being referred to as the "human destiny community". The first UCESCC - Silk Road (Jiayuguan) Intangible Cultural Heritage Conference marks the beginning of the efforts to protect the Silk Road's intangible cultural heritage, and another milestone in the protection of that heritage.