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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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New Great Wall sites in tourism blueprint

 

The Great Wall may open three new sections totaling 50 km in a government-funded move to protect the World Heritage site over the next five years.

A proposal released yesterday by the Beijing municipal administration of cultural heritage said it will open up as many as three new sections of the wall but without stating where they are located.

A spokesperson for the administration told METRO that Huanghuacheng and Qinglongxia, both located in Beijing's less-developed Huairou district, were good candidates.

Expanding the Great Wall is part of the government's 3-billion-yuan project for the conservation of its cultural heritage between 2010 and 2014. The conservation also includes other historic sites like the Ming Tombs, the Old Summer Palace and the Fragrant Hills.

The cultural authority said by opening up new sections of the Great Wall, it would not only attract more fans from other countries but also reduce damage inflicted by campers who break into restricted areas.

"The 'wild wall' with little supervision remains ecologically fragile when visitors approach it. That's why the administration hopes to conserve them and make them suitable for tourism," Wang Yuwei, director of the heritage protection division of the administration, said at a meeting attended by cultural protection officials and experts citywide yesterday.

However, no development companies in the region would provide details of the expansion yesterday.

Some Great Wall fans in Beijing yesterday said they want the sites to stay untouched.

"Do they really need more tourists?" Michele Hearty, an attorney who moved to Beijing from London in June, told METRO. "I don't think so."

"Gaining more access to those areas is important for tourism because it would help local communities around those areas," Aaron Davis, a landscape architect from Florida, said.

"The most beautiful parts of it are the unrestored parts of the wall," Davis said. "I would hate to see a lot of money go into it and then all of these unrestored places become restored. You will ruin the natural character of the wall."

Beijing boasts nearly 530 km of the Great Wall. Four sections, totaling 30 km long, are currently open to tourists and attract six million visitors annually. They are Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Juyongguan.

The heritage is a favorite destination for China's most prominent guests. Tomorrow, US President Barack Obama will pay a visit to the Mutianyu section in northeast Beijing on the final excursion of his maiden journey to China.

(By Cui Xiaohuo and Lara Farrar, China Daily 11/17/2009 page25)

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