Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China" inscribed on the World Heritage List
By reporters Tai Xiao’an and Shi Yucen, Fuzhou, July 25th (Xinhua News Agency) China's nomination "Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China" passed the review at the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee on July 25, 2021, and was inscribed on the World Heritage List to become China's 56th World Heritage Site.
Located in the coastal area of southern Fujian, Quanzhou was called "Zayton" in ancient times and has a history of more than 1,300 years. During the Song and Yuan dynasties (10th-14th centuries AD), Quanzhou flourished in the prosperous international maritime trade and became the “biggest port in the Orient” where business travelers from all over the world gathered and multiculturalism blended.
"Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China" is a series of cultural heritage produced and reserved from the 10th century to the 14th century. It is distributed in the Quanzhou Bay area with today’s Quanzhou city as the core, consisting of 22 heritage sites including the Jiuri Mountain Wind-Praying Inscriptions and the Site of Maritime Trade Office.
The extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee decided on July 25, 2021, that the nomination “Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China” reflects the unique and outstanding spatial structure of a port city in a specific historical period, and its 22 heritage sites cover many important cultural elements such as the social structure, administrative system, transportation, production, and commerce, which jointly contributed to the gradual rise and vigorous development of Quanzhou from the 10th to the 14th century AD, turning it into a maritime hub of the trade network of East Asia and Southeast Asia and making a huge contribution to the economic and cultural development of the areas.
"This World Heritage Site demonstrates the perseverance, tenacity, and innovation of the people in the coastal areas of China represented by Quanzhou and manifests the Chinese nation's spirit of self-improvement and win-win cooperation," said Li Qun, Vice Minister of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Director-general of the National Cultural Heritage Administration.
During the Song and Yuan dynasties, businessmen, travelers, and missionaries from various countries came to Quanzhou via the Maritime Silk Road, and these people from all over the world contributed to the prosperity of this grand oriental port. Their descendants still live here today. Foreign cultures from ancient Persia, Arab countries, India, and Southeast Asia have blended with the Chinese culture in Quanzhou to generate the city's diverse, open and inclusive characteristics.
Mr. Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education of China, Director of China's National Commission for UNESCO, and Chairperson of the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, stated that the World Heritage Committee unanimous decision to inscribe the nomination "Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China" on the World Heritage List reflects the Committee’s high recognition of Quanzhou’s outstanding universal value as a window for economic and cultural exchanges in the Song and Yuan Dynasties, an important hub of the Maritime Silk Road, and an impressive.example of the port of the World Maritime Trade Center. It also reflects the international community’s appreciation of the Quanzhou nomination for its practical significance and historical value in promoting exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, advancing sustainable development, and building a community with a shared future for mankind.