Rapid urban growth has "devastated" historical buildings and cultural relics, said China's vice-minister for construction. Qiu Baoxing said the country's cultural heritage is facing a third round of havoc since 1949, the first two being the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and the Cultural Revolution between 1966-76, the Financial Times reported. Some local officials "are totally unaware of the value of cultural heritage," Qiu said during a conference in Beijing. Many Chinese cities have seen construction booms over the past decade, which have often meant flattening entire neighborhoods and replacing them with high-rise developments. Urban development in Beijing itself has accelerated over the past two years ahead of the Olympics.