About CHP

Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) is a small grassroots, legally-registered NGO working to protect cultural heritage across China.

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Heritage Trail project

CHP Victories

2009

  • Old town Kashgar development plan | Old Town Kashgar is the only surviving Islamic city in China. It is the most important trade center along the ancient Silk Road and one of the few centers that are still completely intact. In 2009, the Xinjiang local government decided to implement a city development plan that involves demolishing a large amount of Old City Kashgar. CHP did not have much success in using conventional methods to impede the development plan, so resorted to mobilizing well-respected media to play a significant role in protecting the city. The collaborating media included Bloomberg News, the Associated Press, and the New York Times, to name a few, who published articles criticizing the plan. CHP has received great support from various international organizations who learned about the Old Town Kashgar destruction plan from these articles. Although the Xinjiang government still has not ceased the development, it has received tremendous pressure domestically and internationally to reassess its plan.

More information on the Old town Kashgar development plan:
Saving Kashgar | Published in the October 2009 issue of Orientations, a Hong Kong-based Asian art magazine
Open Letter to the Government of the People’s Republic of China

  • The protection of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin’s former residence | Liang Sicheng (1901-1972) and Lin Huiyin (1904-1955) were China’s most accomplished architects. They are regarded as China’s most important contributors towards cultural heritage protection. After both architects passed away, their Beijing former residence was left neglected. Recently a real estate developer decided to tear down Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin’s former residence, driving CHP to publish “Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage should be blamed for the destruction of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin’s former residence” (available in Chinese only), an article that heavily criticized the demolition. We also urged the Chinese prosecutor’s office to investigate the law enforcement by the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage. After we brought the destruction plan to public light, several media outlets, including CCTV and the People’s Daily, also voiced their opposition to the demolition. As a result, the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage announced that it would not let the residence be destroyed. According to their new plan for the area, Liang Sicheng’s former residence would be guaranteed protection and the government agency invited several scholars to participate in researching ways to protect the courtyard. CHP, together with our volunteers from Qinghua University’s Architecture Department, also developed a comprehensive, creative proposal for the protection of the site to be presented to the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage.

More information on the protection of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin’s former residence:
Preserve the former residence of two of China’s greatest architects

  • CHP’s promotional video, The Soul’s Paradise : Congjiang, was selected by UNESCO’s Beijing branch to be showcased at the UNESCO bi-annual global representative conference in Paris, October 2009.

2008

  • The modification plan of Keyuan | Keyuan is a prominent, and one of the best preserved, traditional private residences in Beijing. The Foreign Affairs Ministry had a plan to modify it and destroy parts of the residence which bear cultural and historical significance. CHP mobilized media powerhouse including Bloomberg to report on this modification plan. We also asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry a question regarding its Keyuan modification plan, as well as pointing its illegal nature during its routine press conference. From this effort, CHP successfully managed to discontinue this illegal modification plan of Keyuan.
  • CHP received active participation from university students | After CHP organized various mobilization activities at five universities, a large number of students expressed interests in getting involved with our organization and our work. Half of CHP’s current volunteer pool are university students. These students are instrumental to our organization; their work varied from conducting field survey, assisted CHP in spreading our voice via newspaper, TV, and the Internet. More than ten endangered heritage sites were saved due to the work of our university student volunteers.
  • CHP and cultural heritage protection public lawsuits in China | China only witnessed two cultural heritage protection public lawsuits, resulting in close attention by both Chinese government and the media in both cases. These two lawsuits were submitted by CHP’s volunteer lawyers.
  • CHP conducted five Media Salons on cultural heritage news reporting
  • CHP conducted two Artist Salons and three Architect Salon

2007

  • SOHO’s Qianmen Development Project | CHP with a collaboration of British Financial Times pressed China’s biggest real estate developer, SOHO, to amend their Qianmen development plan. This reduced the extent of the Qianmen area exploited by the development project.
  • North Xisi | North Xisi is an area located in the historical and cultural protected section of the old city of Beijing. This granted the area a full legal protection rights. Determined to increase its revenue, the local government together with several real estate companies and international design companies launched a plan to split up the property and demolish it for commercial benefits. The group planned to build a large-scaled, high-end flagship department store. CHP in cooperation with China Cultural Heritage News and China Construction Report published an article “This Development Project if Taken Place is Considered an Illegal Project“. This ultimately put an end to the illegal North Xisi development project.
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