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How long is China's Great Wall?

Bi Nan

China Daily/Asia News Network

 /  Fri, December 2, 2016  /  02:11 pm
How long is China's Great Wall?

The sections of the Great Wall in China total a distance of 21,196.18 kilometers, distributed throughout 404 counties, cities or regions in 15 provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities nationwide, such as Beijing, Hebei and Shanxi. (Shutterstock/File)

According to a report on China's Great Wall protection, recently released by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the sections of the Great Wall in China total a distance of 21,196.18 kilometers, distributed throughout 404 counties, cities or regions in 15 provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities nationwide, such as Beijing, Hebei and Shanxi.

You may not realize what 21,196 km means. While the world's longest river Nile is around 6,670 km, the Great Wall is more than three times the river's length.

The length of the Great Wall means it's very difficult to protect and maintain. The state administration reveals that an overall plan for the protection of the Great Wall will be finished before the end of next year. Rescue and reinforcement projects will be implemented first on a batch of endangered wall sections, drones will be used to strengthen inspection and financial support for less developed regions along the Great Wall will be made a priority.

Drones will be used to patrol

The report says that as most parts of the Great Wall were built with local materials and concreted by rammed earth, after having gone through weathering, erosion and damage from human activities, many sections have collapsed or have been destroyed.

However, protection work was ignored by local governments and some parts of the Great Wall were left with no supervision.

Liu Yuzhu, head of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage said that a national-level monitoring and supervision system will be established, and by collaborating with mapping departments, drones will be used to strengthen patrol and regular maintenance.

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Over 40 km out of 573 km in Beijing has been repaired

According to statistics, Beijing has 573 km of the Great Wall, distributed to six districts around the capital.

According to staff from Beijing's cultural relic department, Beijing staged regulations on Great Wall protection quite early on and the city has provided financial support to protect it. Besides, a volunteer team has been set up this year to regularly patrol the Great Wall, to dissuade and report uncivilized behavior.

The wild side of the Great Wall will gradually be repaired in the next five years. "The sections which travelers frequently go and need urgent protection will be restored in advance", the staff said. Now the Jiankou section of the Great Wall is under restoration, which is also the most precipitous part of the world wonder in Beijing.

The staff revealed that over 40 km of the Great Wall has been renovated in Beijing and the process is quite difficult due to geography conditions. "Some building materials have to be carried by mule or donkey."

The Great Wall, one of the eight world wonders, was first built during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). It is one of the most magnificent ancient military defenses, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups such as the Hun from the north.

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This article appeared on the China Daily newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post