BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The central government has approved a plan to protect and showcase cultural resources in northwest China's Gansu province as part of efforts to promote cultural prosperity and support economically underdeveloped regions.
Minister of Culture Cai Wu announced on Tuesday that the General Office of the State Council, or China's cabinet, on Jan. 21 approved the construction of the "Chinese Civilization Inheritance and Innovation Zone" in Gansu.
The project is in line with a goal of "building the country into a socialist cultural power," he said at a press conference hosted by the State Council Information Office.
In ancient times, Gansu was an important gateway for exchanges between Chinese and Western civilizations and now boasts "a large amount of irreplaceable cultural resources," Cai noted.
"The project, once completed, will help to protect, inherit and showcase these unique cultural resources in a more effective manner," he said.
The project is primarily inspired by the Silk Road that once spanned the entire province from east to west, as well as abundant resources related to ancient civilizations in Gansu, according to the official.
Wang Sanyun, chief of Gansu's provincial committee of the Communist Party of China, said the project will focus on the protection of cultural heritage, the inheritance of cultural traditions, collating and publishing ancient books, and organizing contests and exhibitions.
Cai said the zone will use the province's cultural resources in order to better serve regional economic development.
Moreover, by tapping into the province's resources, the zone will set an example for other regions that are economically underdeveloped yet culturally rich, Cai added.