China to beef up protection of underwater cultural heritage

From Xinhuanet

The two Chinese central government agencies chiefly responsible for safeguarding underwater cultural heritage on Monday signed an agreement pledging closer cooperation.

Under their agreement, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) will work more closely together in various fields including underwater archaeology and management of underwater relics.

The two agencies will also strengthen cooperation in regular surveys of underwater relics and in preventing damage to the relics, according to the agreement.

SACH director Shan Jixiang said at the signing ceremony that the agreement was a state-level move to ensure the safety of China's underwater cultural heritage amid a worldwide boom in ocean development in recent years.

Sun Zhihui, director of the SOA, said the SOA would actively provide support and assistance in the protection of underwater relics by enhancing cooperation with the SACH in fields such as enforcement of maritime laws and marine disaster forecasting.

The two agencies will also seek to establish a long-term cooperation mechanism by conducting pilot cooperation programs.

China ancient civilisation

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