Dunhuang's Cultural Relics Threatened by the Kumtag Desert

October 14, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: October 14, 2007 12:00 am

TAIPEI- The grottoes and other famous cultural spots in Dunhuang City, Gansu province are threatened by the expansion of the Kumtag desert, the sixth biggest desert in China.

The Kumtag desert extends from Xinjiang to Gansu province. According to state media, Wang Jihe, member of the Kumtag desert scientific research team and director of Gansu Desert Control Research Institute, said that the latest investigation showed that desert is expanding towards Dunhuang at three to thirteen feet per year.

The investigation stated that the slow-moving sand hills are threatening the Akesai Farm, the Dunhuang Nanhu Oasis, and the Dunhuang Xihu National Preservation Area in Gansu province.

Based on this report, large areas of farmland and grassland have been surrounded by the slow-moving sand hills near the Crescent Spring on Mingsha Mountain.

Gao Hua, the director of the Dunhuang Forestry Administration, pointed out that Kumtag has become a serious threat to the oases in Dunhuang. The front edge of Kumtag is less than three miles away from the Dunhuang city boundary.