YANGZHOU -- Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, stressed canal protection at a forum on Monday.
Canals are great projects created by humankind, Yang said at the World Canal Cities Forum in Yangzhou, East China's Jiangsu province.
With the theme of heritage protection and sustainable development of canal cities, Yang said the forum would inject new impetus into the prosperity and development of canal cities globally and enhance people-to-people exchanges and sustainable development.
Yang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, stressed that China would adhere to the people-centered development philosophy, protect the Grand Canal to benefit the people, and promote international exchanges and cooperation.
With more than 2,500 years of history, the Grand Canal connects Beijing and Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang province, serving as a significant transportation artery in ancient China. An over 1,000-km-stretch of the canal was declared a World Heritage site in 2014.