The China Association for Science and Technology has published the first batch of 100 industrial heritage sites in 12 cities that it recommends be put under government protection. Workers' Daily commented on Wednesday:
The organization has urged the government to protect the industrial heritage legacy scattered around the country, to which almost all relevant provincial and city governments have responded they will take good care of these "treasures".
The list consists of old factories dating back to the Westernization Movement in the 19th century in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which laid the foundation for the rise of China's modern industries.
The industrial heritage of these cities are related to the industries of shipbuilding, the military, mining, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, transport, water power, chemical engineering, construction materials, food, textiles and telecommunications.
China is undergoing fast urbanization, and social and industrial transformation, which makes the saving and protecting of the nation's industrial heritage an urgent task. In many developed countries, important industrial heritage is not only well protected, but also built into museums and industrial tourism spots. Although they have lost their industrial value, their value as part of the country's cultural heritage should not be ignored.
For the governments in some poorer regions, where the protection work is needed most, they can attract private investors to develop local industrial heritage sites into tourism projects.
There has not been a unified mechanism at the State level to coordinate relevant efforts of local governments. Hopefully, the association's suggestion can prompt the central authorities to pay attention to the issue, and strengthen the support given the protection of the local industrial heritage.
Our industrial heritage is witness to progress and historical development. Therefore, the publication of the first batch of China's industrial heritage protection list will greatly help preserve the cultural and historical value of this legacy and make it the common wealth of the Chinese nation.