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World Heritage status of Canal that links Beijing & Zhejiang to be announced

When it comes cultural heritage protection, the Grand Canal of China is probably the world's greatest project of its kind. The vast inland waterway system in the north-eastern and central eastern plains passes through eight of the country’s present-day provinces and municipalities. It entered a bid for world heritage status a few years ago, and the results are to be released very soon.
The Canal runs from Beijing in the north to Zhejiang Province in the south. Constructed in sections from the 5th century BC onwards, it was conceived as a unified means of communication in the 7th century AD. The Canal is the world’s largest and most extensive civil engineering project prior to the Industrial Revolution.
The Grand Canal reached a peak in the 13th century, providing a unified inland navigation network consisting of more than 2,000 kilometers of artificial waterways, linking five of the most important river basins in China, including the Yellow River and the Yangtze. It entered a bid as a UNESCO cultural heritage site in 2008.
The Grand Canal cultural square here marks the northern terminus of the Grand Canal. Though few of the visitors here know about China's bid for its World Heritage status. This place could become a lot more well-know domestically and internationally if the bid succeeds.
The cultural square is located in Beijing's Tongzhou district. Ever since the Yuan dynasty 800 years ago, the Tongzhou section of the Grand Canal has been the life blood of Beijing. Grain and building materials were all transported to meet the unending demands of the metropolis.
Even today, the Grand Canal plays a major role in the lives of its citizens.
"I grew up near the Grand Canal. In the past the waterway was a lot narrower, but now it's nice and wide and bridges are built over it. I think if the bid for world hertiage status succeeds, it will greatly boost the reputation of Tongzhou in the world. Especially with Tongzhou aiming to be a sub-center of the capital Beijing." a citizen said.
This boat is a replica of the ship emperor Qianlong used when he visited south China. It is a hundred meters long and has three stories. The Grand Canal cultural square testifies to the rich legacy and history of Tongzhou, as shaped by the ancient waterway. This granite carving is more than 500 meters long and takes visitors on a journey through time, and marks key events in the development of Tongzhou's history.
The results of the bid are set to be released next week, and no doubt it will certainly make it into the history books if the Canal is listed as a world heritage site.

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