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Baxian Cave in Taitung has potential for world heritage status

Baxian Cave in Taitung has potential for world heritage status

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) Minister of Culture Hung Meng-chi (???) promised the Taitung County government Monday that his ministry will assist in getting Baxian Cave (???) -- a prehistoric cultural site on the county's coast facing the Pacific Ocean -- listed as a potential world heritage site. Baxian Cave, located on cliffs that face the ocean in Changbin Township, is made up of dozens of natural sea caves that were originally underwater. Today, they are scattered among 150 meter cliffs due to the rising of the Earth's crust on the East Coast of Taiwan, and as a result of erosion that has carved out the softer rocks. In 1968, local geologists and archeologists discovered in the caves evidence of a Paleolithic pottery culture dating back 30,000 years, which was later named the Changbin Culture (????), according to the Bureau of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture (MOC). It is the oldest prehistoric site to have been found in Taiwan, and has been designated as a national heritage site. A lawmaker from Taitung, Liu Chao-hao (???) of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, said at the Legislature Monday that Baxian Cave has the potential to become a world heritage site, and asked the MOC to achieve this by adding the heritage site to the list of 18 potential world heritage sites in Taiwan. If Baxian Cave is added to the list, it will be the third potential world heritage site in Taiwan situated in the eastern Taiwan county, following the Beinan prehistoric cultural site and Mount Dulan, and Orchid Island and the Tao. The government will continue to promote Taiwan's cultural and natural assets to earn "world heritage" status, which refers to sites, groups of buildings, monuments and natural environments of outstanding universal value listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. To make Baxian Cave a potential world heritage site, the Taitung County government will first have to submit an application to the Bureau of Cultural Heritage for review. (By Tyson Lu and Elizabeth Hsu)