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The Great Wall
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The Great Wall by Heran Liu
In c. 220 B.C., from Qin dynasty under Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defense system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure (UNESCO). The total length of the Great Wall is more than 20,000 kilometers. The Great Wall starts in the east at Shanhaiguan in Hebei province and ends at Jiayuguan in Gansu province to the west. Its main body consists of walls, horse tracks, watches towers, beacon towers and shelters on the wall, and includes fortresses and passes along the Wall. The Great Wall reflects collisions between nomadic civilizations and agricultural civilizations in ancient China (WHC).
The components of the Great Wall have been listed as provincial priority protected sites under the law of Protection of Cultural Relics (UNESCO). Also, according to UNESCO, the Regulations on the Protection of the Great Wall published in 2006 is a special document for conserve and manage the Great Wall. The China’s National Administration on Cultural heritage and provincial cultural heritage administrations have the responsibility to guiding the local governments to measures the Great Wall with conservation and management.
There is a project to protect the western end of the Great Wall taken by Gansu province in 2011. The aim of the project is to repair and construct the western Great Wall which takes 2.03 billion yuan (317 million U.S. dollars), mostly financed by the central government.
There are 3 major conservation parts of the Great Wall:
- Badaling section, a 7 km popular stretch
- Jiayuguan Pass, the starting point of the western section of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty
- Shanhaiguan, 26km of the northern wall until it meets the sea
Those 3 well protected places have become the most popular tourist destinations in recent years. It become very crowd in these 3 places in holidays. It become a chaotic scenes on the Great Wall as 8 million visitors swamp Badaling section in one day, and 16 million visitors during the ‘Golden Week’. That makes visitors and potential visitors uncomfortable.
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Daily mail. Would these tourists be visible from space? Chaotic scenes on the Great Wall of China as EIGHT MILLION visitors swamp heritage site in one day. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2786244/Chaotic-scenes-Great-Wall-China-EIGHT-MILLION-visitors-swamp-heritage-site-one-day.html#ixzz3JK3KY8KJ [Accessed 15 November, 2014]
TheGreatWall.com.cn. China kicks of 2-bil-yuan Great Wall Protection Project. Available at: http://www.thegreatwall.com.cn/en/news/index.php?action=view&id=21#.VGnMHvlIpJ1 [Accessed 15 November, 2014]
TheGreatWall.com.cn. Protection for Great Wall urged. Available at: http://www.thegreatwall.com.cn/en/news/index.php?action=view&id=32#.VGnR2flIpJ1 [Accessed 15 November, 2014]
UNESCO, 2013. The Great Wall. Available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/438 [Accessed 15 November, 2014]
World Heritage Site, 2007-2014. Great Wall. Available at: http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/greatwall.html [Accessed 15 November, 2014]
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