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'The Piano Guys' scales the Great Wall for video shoot

Internet sensation, the Piano Guys are in China. The Utah-based group took some precious time off their Asian tour in Singapore and Malaysia to fulfil their China dream - shooting a music video on the Great Wall of China...

September 16, 2013
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Great Wall Forest Festival kicks off

The 2013 Yanqing Great Wall Forest Festival, the fourth edition of its kind, was held from August 24 to August 25 in the Tanglewood Music Valley at the foot of the Great Wall Badaling Section in Beijing's Yanqing County...

August 29, 2013
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Jet Team above the Great Wall

Aircraft of Breitling Jet Team, a famous European aerobatic team, perform above the Great Wall of the Jiayuguan Pass in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 13, 2013...

August 16, 2013
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Unique section of the Great Wall draws in visitors

As people all know what the Great Wall looks like but did you know that some of it is built over water? The Jiumenkou section of the wall in Liaoning Province in North East China is famous for just that...

  August 09, 2013
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Great Wall threatened by green fields

Updated: 2008-01-08 07:13

The Great Wall in Shandan County, Gansu Province, is made of mud. Even so, it is truly spectacular and despite centuries of weathering, it is unbroken for some 80 km.

Great Wall threatened by green fields

Irrigation near the Great Wall in Shandan county, Gansu Province, is causing subsidence. Piao Tiejun

It was here, in 1987, that I was seduced into thinking that following the Wall on foot across China was going to be straightforward.

On my return I looked around Xiakou, once an important town on the Silk Road, now gearing up for tourism. I climbed a nearby hill for a view of the town and saw a new street lined with gray, concrete buildings that sported mock battlements. It was built recently for tourists, I was told.

Later, we drove north along the wall and eventually came to Changchengkou, which means "hole in the long wall".

In 1987 it had been a narrow opening, today it is much wider as National Highway No 312 goes through it. Juggernauts rumbled by, just meters away from one of the tallest watchtowers on this entire section.

We parked the jeep and took a walk, only to find that there were green fields where previously there was the Gobi Desert.

Fertile topsoil had been brought in, permitting crop cultivation immediately beside the Wall. At first I thought this was good news, but later discovered that heavy irrigation was undermining the Wall's foundations.

The Wall was sinking and I do not have to be a structural engineer to predict that if cultivation continues much longer, the Wall, on this section, will eventually crumble.

Saving Shandan's Great Wall is a must to maintain the Wall's continuity. If something is not done soon, we will be losing hundreds of meters of Wall a year.

It won't be long before tourists in Shandan may have to make do with new attractions in stone and concrete, instead of marveling at the serpentine construction of mud that is currently snaking its way across the desert.(China Daily 01/08/2008 page6)

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