Great Wall crumbling due to illegal mining

Updated: 2011-10-13 11:59

By Yan Weijue (

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Parts of China's famous Great Wall are being damaged due to illegal mining for minerals, reported Tuesday.

Great Wall crumbling due to illegal mining

A damaged section of the Great Wall in Laiyuan county, North China's Hebei province is visible. [Photo/]

At one wild section in Laiyuan county, North China's Hebei province, the wall has completely crumbled due to fly-by-night operators who are stealing reserves of iron, copper, molybdenum and nickel that are buried along a 150 kilometer stretch of the famous landmark.

A survey has revealed more than 80 percent of the Great Wall in Hebei province is in bad shape due to tourism and inappropriate infrastructure. But it is the illegal mining that is causing the most damage to site.

"We have no idea how many enterprises are engaged in the mining along the Great Wall site," says Guo Jianyong, an engineer from the Hebei provincial ancient architecture protection institution. "The cultural heritage department has no knowledge of the specific information on the passages in the mining, either."

He claims that the government should play a more active role in protecting the Great Wall.

"Because of the remote location and the length of the Great Wall, its protection needs the attention and support from the local government, who we suggest deploy more personnel and increase the financial assistance."

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