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Great Wall Protection

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Several centuries ago, the Chinese ancestors built the over 10,000-li-long (3,107 miles) Great Wall (Wan Li Chang Cheng in Chinese) in order to protect the people and territories from being invaded by the northern nomadic tribes. Thousands of years later, the wall now faces a new threat from the inside rather than from the outside.

Even in the well-known Badaling, Mutianyu, and Simatai sections, it is unfortunately common to see litter along the wall or Chinese characters carved on the stone. Some of the bricks and stones have already been taken away by local people to build enclosures for their livestock. The earth-rammed sections in Shaanxi, Shanxi, Gansu and Ningxia are suffering even more serious damage. Neighboring farmers have directly dug holes in the wall to create sheep pens. Meanwhile, some of the sections have also been destroyed through tourism development, reconstruction and renovation. For instance, tourism developers built farmhouses at the foot of the wall; some sections have been cut off in order to build highways or railways; other sections have been altered beyond recognition during their repair because of ignorance of their historical appearance.

In addition, many sections of the early-built earth-rammed wall located in remote grasslands and deserts have been exposed to thousands of years of sunshine, rain and wind. Thus, even before they were known to the public, some sections have been swallowed by sand, or completely eroded. According to official research, the current status is: less than 30% in good condition, 30% in ruins, and over 30% extinct forever.

In recent years, the public has expressed great concern about the protection and control of the wall. However, owing to its remote location, huge scale and complex structures, the protection work involves enormous difficulties. At present, policies and measures implemented are as follows:
A. Regulation on Great Wall Protection was specially issued by the State Council on September 20, 2006, and was enforced on December 2 of the same year. It consists of 31 articles, clearly stipulating the rights and obligations of the public and government, some prohibitions for the local people and visitors, rules for relative administration, as well as some punitive measures.
B. Carrying out various propaganda work to let society know about the importance of the wall through media such as broadcasting, newspapers, cinema and TV.
C. Making on-the-spot investigations to obtain accurate and detailed information so as to devise relevant measures.
D. Improving the surrounding environment, especially in remote grassland and desert areas, by increasing reforestation.

Here, Chinatour360 calls for everyone's concern regarding the protection of the great wall! Once on the wall, please behave responsibly and try our best to avoid damaging the world's cultural and natural heritages!

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