China tops world in number of world natural heritage sites

BEIJING, June 11 (Xinhua) -- China has the world's largest number of world natural heritage sites, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Jiuzhaigou National Park in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. (File photo: CFP)

The country is now home to 14 world natural heritage sites and four heritage sites noted for both cultural and natural features, both leading the world in terms of quantity, the administration said.

These heritage sites effectively protected China's representative geological relics, the gorgeous mountains, forests and lakes, along with the rare and endangered animal and plant species, the administration said.

These areas have contributed to the protection of cultural relics, intangible cultural heritages, and historic cities, towns and villages, bringing in an annual average tourism revenue of over 14 billion yuan (about 2.1 billion US dollars) for locals.

Saturday marks China's Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, which falls on the second Saturday of June every year.