Xinchang Town likely to become Shanghai's first UNESCO heritage site

Xinchang Town is on the way to become Shanghai's first UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

The town is working on an application to join the UNESCO along with 10 other water towns in the neighboring provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. 

It's located in Shanghai's Pudong District, about 36 kilometers from the city center. Historically, Xinchang excelled at sea salt trade and is still home to families who have lived there for many generations. 

The town's history dates back to the Song Dynasty, or over 1,000 years ago. The narrow river flows amid the old buildings with white walls and black tiles. Here one can feel the lingering charm of the ancient town. 

"The application is going smoothly. We'll have Chinese experts do a first-round assessment next year. In 2023, we'll have UNESCO's experts come over for approval," said Shao Zhisong, the Party secretary of Xinchang Town. 

Development of a water purification system, ancient architectural restoration and other protection works are underway at Xinchang Town, according to Xinhua's report on Monday.