Chinese State Councilor Chen Zhili on Monday called for nationwide efforts to mark the first national Cultural Heritage Day.
The protection of China's cultural heritage was a long-term, arduous task, which required the cooperation of all the people, said Chen at the first working meeting of the national leading team on protection of cultural heritage.
Thorough investigation and protection plans for cultural heritage sites and artifacts should be carried out urgently, and the protection of historic cities, towns and villages at major construction sites should be strengthened, she noted.
Supervision of the trade in cultural relics had to be enhanced and the collection of antiques should be regulated with tighter laws and better enforcement, said Chen.
The protection of intangible cultural traditions and phenomena should also be strengthened, Chen said.
A three-year survey and protection plan of intangible cultural heritage is underway, according to previous reports.
The meeting deliberated and approved an activity scheme for the first national cultural heritage day which falls on June 10.
The State Council in February designated the second Saturday of June as the national Cultural Heritage Day to boost public awareness of heritage protection.
Many historic buildings, sites and scenic spots have been destroyed in recent years. The smuggling of antiques and robbery of ancient tombs and relics sites are rampant in some regions, according to a circular issued by the State Council in February.
Improper development of cultural heritage and over-exposure of cultural relics have also threatened artifacts and sites, it said.
The government will establish a system for cultural heritage protection by 2015, when comprehensive and effective protection will be given to all historically, culturally and scientifically sites and artifacts, along with public awareness campaigns, according to the circular.