Thursday, February 28, 2008

China blasts U.S. role in illegal relics trade
China has labeled the United States the world's largest importer of smuggled Chinese relics, and demanded the country do more to combat the trade, state media reported on Wednesday.

China has repeatedly called on museums in Western countries to return artifacts taken by European and American archaeologists and adventurers, often crudely hacked out of caves and tombs.

Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, called on the United States to sign a memorandum of understanding with China to speed up cooperation in preventing relics' theft and illegal trade.