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Jinggang Mountain Vies for World Heritage Listing

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The Jinggang Mountain - celebrated as the Red Army's birthplace and the revolution's cradle - will apply for UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage status this year, local authorities said on Monday.

East China's Jiangxi province's government has included the application among its nine major tasks of 2011.

"The Jinggang Mountain deserves the honor because of its green resources, biodiversity, red culture and revolutionary history," Jinggangshan city's Party chief Mei Liming said.

"We began preparing the application in 2009 and listed its submission on our work agenda this year."

The thickly forested parallel ridges of the Jinggang Mountain are located in the Luoxiao mountain range in the border region between Jiangxi and Hunan provinces.

The mountain was where late Chairman Mao Zedong established the first rural revolutionary base in October 1927.

Along with Yan'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, the Jinggang Mountain has become one of the country's most important revolutionary sites. It is celebrated on the country's posters, and in its songs and operas.

The mountain has become an increasingly popular attraction for domestic tourists interested in revolutionary history.

And it lured about 70,000 foreign tourists to Jinggangshan city in 2009, and Mei said he expected more this year.

Local teacher Zhou Yanhong said she expected tour guide jobs to become lucrative if the site wins the UNESCO designation.

"The Jinggang Mountain is part of Jiangxi province's calling card," the 24-year-old said. "A tourism boom could change my hometown's poverty-stricken image."

Zhou said the recently opened airport will attract more tourists and also serve residents.

(China Daily January 12, 2011)

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