THE destruction of a section of the Great Wall to construct a factory in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province has triggered public furor.
The demolition of a wall section near the village of Wujialing in the city of Yulin attracted attention after an Internet user with the name “jixuelu” wrote about it on Sina Weibo.
“The Great Wall in Yulin was razed and buildings are being built on it,” wrote “ji-xuelu,” who called for people to condemn the action.
A photo of a bulldozer standing under a weathered tower on the wall was also posted.
Internet commenters expressed anger and blamed local relic authorities for failing to exercise supervision.
“Those in charge of construction should be held criminally liable and officials should be held responsible,” said a commenter using the name “ami.”
Zhu Jianping, a private entrepreneur who leased the land from the village to build the factory in question, said the project was suspended for a month after failing to receive a construction permit from urban construction authorities.
Zhu said the section of the wall had been damaged years before construction began.
“We didn’t damage the Great Wall. It was damaged long before we started construction,” he said.
Dai Feng, the director of relic management under the culture and sports affairs bureau of Yulin’s Yuyang district, confirmed Zhu’s remarks, adding that farmers took clay from the wall in the 1960s and ’70s to make bricks at a local brick factory. After the brick plant went bankrupt, the village leased the land to a driving school until last year, when the school’s lease expired, Dai said.
Dai said the bureau issued a circular calling for the relocation of Zhu’s plant.
Dai said the size of the section of wall makes it hard to supervise, as it is 76 kilometers long and has more than 200 towers.
“Currently, the biggest threats to the ancient wall are construction projects, such as roads and factories,” Dai said.
The local relic department has organized a group to investigate the case and penalize anyone who broke the law.
Signs warning people to avoid damaging the wall will be built near the area after the factory is torn down, according to an official from the relic protection department of Yuyang District.
“The case rings an alarm for our relic protection work and we will strengthen our efforts to prevent similar incidents,” the official said.(Xinhua)