East China's Shandong province has issued a plan to preserve its Grand Canal culture.
A zone will be built involving 18 counties and districts in five cities located along the canal, namely Dezhou, Liaocheng, Tai'an, Jining and Zaozhuang.
During the zone's 16-year (2020-2035) construction process, the province will work to protect the canal's cultural heritage, improve its water resources, build a green ecological corridor and promote culture and tourism.
The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal was built in ancient times and is the world's earliest andlongest canal.
It runs through Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei province, Shandong province, Jiangsu province and Zhejiang province and is an important link between the Yangtze River valley and the Yellow River valley, as well as other minor river systems.
The canal has a history of more than 2,500 years. Over 1,000 km of the canal was recognized as a world heritage site in 2014.
The canal's Shandong section is 643 km long. Of the total 58 historical sites along the Grand Canal, 15 of them are in Shandong province.
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