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Xinjiang Tianshan Inscribed as Natural Site on World Heritage List

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The 37th session of the World Heritage Committee is held in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on June 21, 2013. China's Xinjiang Tianshan natural site was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List during the session, the committee announced on Friday. [Photo: Xinhua/Li Ying]

The 37th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee (WHC) inscribed China's Xinjiang Tianshan on the World Heritage List as a natural site on Friday.

"Let me congratulate China on behalf of the entire committee on the inscription of the Xinjiang Tianshan natural property on the World Heritage List,"Sok An, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the 37th WHC session, announced at the plenary session.

Huang Wei, Vice-Chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China, expressed gratitude to the committee, saying that the inscription showed the outstanding universal value of the property.

"We are very excited to see our wonderful and unique site inscribed on the World Heritage List," he told the session. "It also reflect China's high protection standard in protecting and conserving this natural property for our future generation."

He said that China was looking forward to strengthening cooperation with Heritage Center and the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN) to explore the potential for the site.

China's National Commission for UNESCO nominated the Xinjiang Tianshan as a world natural heritage to the UNESCO on January 29, 2010.

Xinjiang Tianshan is a serial property totaling 606,833 hectares and consisting of four components which are located along the 1,760 km Tianshan range, a temperate arid zone surrounded by Central Asian deserts, according to IUCN.

The site contains a scenically beautiful series of areas, including spectacular snow-capped mountains and glacier-capped peaks, undisturbed forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyons, reinforced by the combination and contrast between the above-mentioned mountain elements and the vast deserts.

The site is home to 15,953 glaciers and the endangered snow leopard. About 66 percent of the world's 2,500 remaining snow leopards live in Xinjiang.

The delegates of the 21-member World Heritage Committee lauded China for having this wonderful natural property inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Source: Xinhua