Skip to content

China’s Great Wall eaten away by mining

BY REUTERS.

Cultural protection experts say that more than 70 percent of the Wall lies in ruins.

China’s Great Wall is falling victim to development as legal and illegal mines tear vast chunks out of the hills below the landmark, conservationists are warning.

Voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the 4,000-mile wall snakes its way across 11 Chinese provinces and draws millions of tourists every year, mostly to restored sections near the capital, Beijing.

Away from the tourist trail, however, some parts of the wall are being allowed to crumble away.

About 124 miles southwest of Beijing, in rural Laiyuan county in Hebei province, dozens of small mines are threatening the stability of the centuries-old wall as prospectors dig for copper, iron, molybdenum and nickel, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Some mines have excavated within about 100 yards of the wall.

‘Mess’
But since many of these mines have legal permits, there is nothing conservationists can do, said Dong Yaohui, Vice Chairman of the Great Wall Society. “The exploitation of the mineral resources falls under the jurisdiction of the Land Resources Bureau, so if the bureau issues mining permits to the mining companies, they can legally extract the mineral resources within areas designated in the contract,” Dong said. “But in this process the Land Resources Bureau does not take into consideration the Great Wall as a factor, or consult the opinion of the Department of Cultural Heritage as there is no rule requiring a consultation as such. So this creates the mess in organization.”

The Laiyuan Land Resources Bureau blames the destruction on small, illegal mines, and Xinhua quoted them as saying that operators of such mines use sophisticated communication devices to dodge law enforcement.

taken from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44985854/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/#.TqFnkZvBZT-

Print Friendly
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Improve Your Life, Go The myEASY Way™