A sculpture decorated with plants and flowers at the park of the 2011 International Horticultural Exposition in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province (JIAO WEIPING)
The 2011 International Horticultural Exposition was held in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, from April 28 to October 22.
The 178-day expo showcased new achievements and new products in the areas of landscaping, horticulture, environmentally friendly and energy-saving technology, and hundreds of rare plants and ecological landscapes from different areas and different climate zones around the globe.
It was the third time a city on the Chinese mainland has held the event. Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, hosted the event in 1999 and Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, was the host in 2006.
Two folk artists performing Chinese shadow puppetry (GUO XULEI)
After a decade-long application, the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, capital of South China's Zhejiang Province, was officially admitted to UNESCO's World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee in Paris on June 24. West Lake became the only lake recognized as a world heritage in China, marking the country's 41st world heritage recognition.
The West Lake is an outstanding model of a cultural landscape, reflecting idealized fusion between humans and nature.
In addition, Chinese shadow puppetry, a form of theater performed with colorful silhouette figures made from leather or paper, accompanied by music and singing, was inscribed on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on November 27. It's China's 29th intangible cultural heritage on the UNESCO list.
The Palace Museum holds a press conference and apologizes for the exhibits theft incident on May 11, 2011 (XINHUA)
On May 11, the Chinese Government pledged to launch an eight-month crackdown campaign in 17 provinces and regions to deal with the rampant relic theft that may threaten the safety of state cultural relics.
This announcement was made days after the relic theft in the Palace Museum in Beijing on May 8. On that day, seven pieces of art from the private Liang Yi Museum in Hong Kong were stolen from the heavily-guarded Palace Museum, where they were on display.
This incident alerted the public to the rampant theft, smuggling and illegal trading of cultural relics driven by high profits in some places in China. Police and cultural relic authorities also announced the establishment of a national database for relic theft crimes to facilitate future investigations.