China founds alliance to strengthen research on Grand Canal
BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- A national think tank alliance to strengthen research on the Grand Canal, the world's longest man-made waterway, has been established in Beijing, the China Economic Times reported Thursday.
Initiated by Beijing Wuzi University (BWU), the alliance is a research platform composed of 30 organizations including government organs, institutions, museums and universities along the canal.
The Grand Canal has a length of more than 2,500 km, stretching from Beijing to Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province. It opened in 486 B.C. and carried water across the country for more than 2,000 years. Over 1,000 km of it was recognized as a world heritage site in 2014.
Chen Xibo, deputy director of the Grand Canal Research Institute of BWU, said the canal has been well-preserved, but there are problems in protection and development.
The alliance will integrate resources and conduct research on the culture, economics and ecology. Members will provide reports and policy suggestions to central and local governments.
The alliance held its first seminar Wednesday on establishing a canal cultural belt.