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The Great Wall News

'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

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

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

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

Great Wall forests scorched in blaze


Police are investigating after a blaze close to the iconic Great Wall destroyed 33 hectares of forest and fruit plantations.

The fire, which started at about noon on Tuesday, swept through the trees surrounding Simatai, a picturesque village in Miyun county. It was extinguished early the next day.

"It took more than 100 firefighters from five or six nearby villages to put out the flames," said Li, a 50-year-old farmer who declined to give his full name.

A spokesman for the county police's forestry department confirmed the incident when contacted by METRO but said no more details were available.

However, several residents told METRO that they believe the fire may have been an act of arson, with feelings still running high over the relocation of villages last August to allow China Youth Travel Service (CYTS) to develop the area.

"Only CYTS employees are working in the area. Police released a man responsible for the fire," said a female resident who refused to be identified.

CYTS has invested 3.5 billion yuan into transforming the historic site into a tourism economic zone.

The site, which has steel doors and uniformed security guards at the entrance, has been closed since last July and no date has been announced for when it will reopen.

METRO was unable to contact a spokesman for the company before going to press.

The villagers' opposition to the remodeling lies largely with the matter of compensation, according to farmer Li. "They (the government) paid 2,000 yuan for each square meter of my house," he said. "What can I live on once I lose the revenue from my (farm) site?"

Ash from the scorched trees and bushes covered several slopes of the hills nearby Simatai on Wednesday, along with a scattering of beer cans and lunch boxes left by firefighters.

Li was among many villagers who lost their entire crop of fruit-bearing plants, which had stood alongside the area's once-rich forests of pine and cypress.

"It takes more than 30 years for a pine to grow," he said. "Even the ones left standing will definitely die this year or next due to the damage they've suffered in the fire," he said.

Li Dongfang, head of Gubeikou township, said no one was killed in the blaze and that the cause is still under investigation. "There was no damage caused to the Great Wall," he added.

The Simatai section of the Great Wall was built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is regarded by many as the best place to enjoy the ancient relic.

(China Daily 05/05/2011)

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