Silk Road recognized as world heritage. China gained its 46th World Heritage Site designation in June 2014 after the UNESCO’s 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar, approved a portion of the Silk Road to be included in the list. This legendary Eurasian route for trade and cultural communication between the East and the West has finally been acknowledged as a common treasure of human civilization.

The successful international application of “The Silk Roads: The Initial Section of the Silk Roads, the Routes Network of Tian-shan Corridor” –  which involves China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan –  thus becomes one of the biggest items on the list in terms of geographic distribution. The main line of this ancient route was in use from the second century BC to the 16th century and stretched for more than 7,000 kilometers at its zenith.

UNESCO began to encourage countries along the Silk Road to join hands in bidding for World Heritage status as early as the 1990s, but the substantive work only began in 2006 because of academic disputes over which corridor was the most representative. This project defeated another route between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in an earlier stage of evaluation