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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion -> 
Solution needed to preserve the Great Wall
    2015-07-06  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Lei Xiangping

    lagon235@163.com

    THE Great Wall is a series of fortifications mainly made of bricks, stones and rammed earth built along an east-to-west line spanning across 17 provinces in northern China. Today’s remaining walls were mainly finished in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). As a World Cultural Heritage, the Great Wall is an indispensable symbol of Chinese culture, but this symbol is being tarnished because the Wall has not been well preserved.

    According to a recent report by The Great Wall Society of China, thanks to natural erosion by wind and rain, human destruction and insufficient maintenance, the Great Wall is in danger of being ruined. The report says 30 percent of the 8,850-km-long Ming Great Wall has almost vanished, and less than 10 percent is in “good” condition, and those are mainly tourist areas such as Badaling in Beijing, Juyongguan Pass in Gansu Province and Shanhaiguan Pass in Hebei Province.

    Apart from the report, I have also noticed worsening destruction of the Great Wall myself. As a hiking fan, after climbing many sections of the Wall in different places, I found that there are two types of walls facing ruin: one was built with bricks and stones (masonry) and is vulnerable to rain and wind while the other type was built with rammed earth and is easily subject to desertification.

    People have been advocating for Great Wall protection for years, but hardly any national protection campaigns have been waged.

    Compared with the domestic deficiency in protecting the Wall, what really causes embarrassment is that many foreign experts have had some success in protecting the Wall. American writer Peter Hessler wrote in his bestselling book “Country Driving” that there are hardly any scholars specifically researching the subject of protecting the Wall in China despite the fact that it is something most Chinese people are proud of. Instead of studying how to protect the Wall, Chinese history scholars would rather study the political systems behind the Great Wall, and Chinese archaeologists prefer to unearth and study ancient tombs. Ironically, two foreign volunteers, David Spindler, an American self-funded scholar of the Great Wall, and William Lindesay, a U.K. geographer, have both employed their individual enthusiasm and relic-preserving expertise over the past 10 years to raise awareness within the Heritage Authority and have pressed people to protect the Great Wall.

    Unfortunately, how to protect the Great Wall is a knotty problem for the authority. Unlike other relics that can be protected easier, the Great Wall is too lengthy to be taken good care of. It needs not only detailed outdoor research regarding how to protect it properly, but also persistent regular maintenance, which requires a lot of money. Even if the Heritage Authority knows the recipe to protecting the Wall, who should pay the money is still unresolved, and the 17 provinces that possess parts of the Great Wall have divided opinions on future uses of the Wall.

    To address these problems, a national solution should be put in place. The solution should not only put the protection of the whole Great Wall into one package with standardized policies, but also regulate the responsibilities of everyone involved, and any lawbreakers must be held responsible.

    (The author is an editor with the News Desk at China Radio International.)

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