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  1. #1
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    Slightly OT

    ...but I just can NOT resist posting this here.

    Why Trump's comparison of his wall to the Great Wall of China makes no sense
    WEDNESDAY , MARCH 09, 2016 - 6:00 AM


    Image by: AP
    In this March 7, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Concord, N.C. Can Trump really make good on his promise to build a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border to prevent illegal migration? What’s more, can he make Mexico pay for it? Sure, he can build it, but it’s not nearly as simple as he says. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

    MICHELLE YE HEE LEE, The Washington Post

    "The wall is going to cost $10 billion. It's so easy. . . . They say you'll never be able to build a wall. Well, it's 2,000 miles but we really need 1,000 miles. The Great Wall of China, built 2,000 years ago, is 13,000 miles, folks. . . . They didn't have cranes. They didn't have excavation equipment. The wall is 13,000 miles long. We need 1,000 miles and we have all of the materials."

    — Donald Trump, news conference at Mar-a-Lago, March 1, 2016

    "Two thousand years ago, China built the Great Wall of China. This is a serious wall. And they didn't have Caterpillar tractors. . . . But they didn't have the equipment. And they built a wall. Think of this: 13,000 miles long, and this is a serious wall, okay? This wall is wide."

    — Trump, campaign event at Liberty University, Jan. 18, 2016

    As we all know by now, Trump wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. China did it, after all, and Trump's wall will only be a fraction of what the Chinese built, he frequently explains. And the Chinese didn't even have the building materials we do now!

    We get why it's easy to hearken the world heritage site whose name contains two of Trump's favorite words ("great," "wall"), as it may seem like an iconic physical barrier erected to protect a country's borders. But this is a moot comparison, as history buffs know.

    Trump keeps making the comparison anyway, and he has done so since early on his campaign, joking that he would name the wall the "Great Wall of Trump." And he insists on a questionable estimate for the cost of his wall, which we have debunked. Let's look at the facts.

    The Facts

    Unlike what its name implies, the Great Wall of China is actually a non-contiguous series of walls, trenches, natural barriers and fortresses built in different locations along the border between northern China and southern Mongolia.

    It took a long time to build — over dynasties. The earliest construction of fortifications dates to the Warring States period from the 7th through the 4th century B.C., and the Qin Dynasty of 3rd century B.C. to protect against foreign invaders. The fortifications and castles were used to control commerce or prevent rebellions under Mongolian control of China.

    The majority of what we consider now as the Great Wall was built over some two centuries from 1368-1644 during the Ming Dynasty, after Beijing was made the new capital of China.

    The Ming Dynasty wall measures at 5,499 miles — of which 3,889 miles (70 percent) were actual wall. The figure that Trump uses (13,000 miles) is the updated calculation of the entire wall system combined, including watchtowers, trenches and natural defensive barriers like rivers and hills.

    Ming rulers invested in its construction to prevent future attacks from Mongols from the north and to deny a trade relationship with barbaric nomads attacking Chinese farmers for grain and other products.

    "They are better understood as capital rather than national defenses. Vast amounts of money were spent and they had some effect. But late in the [Ming] dynasty, a genius of a minister decided to permit markets to serve the nomads — and defense expenses collapsed," said Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania historian in Chinese studies and author of "The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth."

    Plus, it wasn't an effective security barrier. As our colleague Ishaan Tharoor wrote: "The Great Wall of China, for all its majesty, was very porous. While a towering monument to Chinese civilization, it was hardly impregnable. The Mongols, Manchus and others all breached this great defense and went on to establish their dominion behind its ramparts. Perhaps that's the best way for Trump to understand the Great Wall's significance — not as a security barrier, but as a work of political propaganda."

    Trump says the Chinese were able to build the wall even without imported equipment, like Caterpillar tractors. Sure. The Chinese didn't have tractors, but they did use forced labor of peasants, criminals and soldiers.

    Labor conditions were so appalling that some 400,000 people are estimated to have died building the wall. The longest human construction project in history was also called the "longest cemetery on Earth" when it was being built.

    In Chinese poetry and through most of Chinese history, the wall was a negative symbol of oppression, cruelty and death, Waldron said — the wall as a symbol of strength and resourcefulness is a part of the myth and misconception of its true history.

    Trump says he would only need to build 1,000 miles of new walls along the U.S.-Mexico border because there are "natural barriers." Border security experts say he is most likely is referring to the deserts along the border, where many migrants have died.

    Trump continues to assert that the wall would cost $10 billion, without providing any serious discussion of the costs. But that's simply not credible.

    For major government projects, $10 billion is not a huge sum. The cost of 1,000 miles of fences — not even a concrete wall — is at least $3 billion. That's not even including the upkeep and maintenance. The Corps of Engineers estimated that the 25-year life cycle cost of the fence would range from $16.4 million to $70 million per mile; the total cost of the fencing so far has been $7 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    A concrete wall would cost much more than that. We updated calculations done by a structural engineer in an article in The National Memo and found raw materials alone would cost $2 billion. A retired estimator and economist for one of the nation's largest construction firms worked through some of the math and said a wall of this type would cost at least $25 billion. That's not even counting the video system to keep watch on the border.

    The border is much harder today to cross than in the past, experts said, thanks to a mix of the proliferation of fencing and walls, increased Border Patrol presence, aerial surveillance and ground sensors. New walls alone wouldn't help increase security, as a physical barrier is just one portion of border security.

    Increased enforcement efforts along the border may explain about 35 to 40 percent of the decline in illegal immigration flow, said Edward Alden, trade policy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. Trump's wall is "a rhetorical talking point and a half-thought-out idea that sounds good to people who don't understand what they're talking about," Alden said.

    The focus on building a wall overlooks many of the other reasons that have led to the number of unauthorized migrants in the country, experts say. Walls are not impregnable — as shown in the example of the Great Wall of China — and simply putting more of it up doesn't help. "You're dealing with symptoms. You've really got to look at the deeper issue of immigrant labor that our economy uses," said Nestor Rodriguez, University of Texas at Austin professor and immigration researcher.

    The Pinocchio Test

    Unless Trump is running to be the emperor of the United States and plans to build a series of fortresses, walls and trenches that will be added on to for dynasties to come beyond a Trump Dynasty, he should really drop this nonsense assertion. It is an apples-to-oranges comparison that shows the Republican front-runner's lack of understanding of the history behind the Great Wall of China, which was built over many millennia to meet a variety of commerce and defensive needs of certain dynasties. And as a security measure, it was not an effective barrier.

    Moreover, Trump continues to assert a questionable estimate for his wall that is much lower than experts have calculated. As we've said before, we welcome a serious discussion of costs and benefits of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, rather than wild rhetoric. Neither his comparison to China nor the wall estimate is rooted in any factual basis.

    Three Pinocchios.

    Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports for The Fact Checker at The Washington POst. Twitter: @myhlee.

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  2. #2
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    And in other Great Wall news

    This has also become our Great Wall thread by default. Maybe some day, I'll split them.

    JULY 30, 2016
    THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA IS DISAPPEARING, BRICK BY BRICK
    ANNE SEWELL

    The Great Wall of China is a well-known UNESCO site and popular tourist destination. However, the wall is gradually being eroded away, as people steal bricks as souvenirs, or to build homes. Now China is taking action to stop this erosion.

    While the Great Wall is not a single, unbroken structure, it is estimated to extend some 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) in total. The wall stretches for thousands of miles in sections, from the east coast of China all the way to the edge of the Gobi desert.

    Construction of the massive defense wall started in the third century BC, but almost 6,300 kilometers were built during the Ming Dynasty from 1368-1644, including the most-visited and popular sections just north of China’s capital, Beijing.

    After bricks started to go missing from the Great Wall around ten years ago, China introduced protection laws, but the problem still continues. The protection campaign, dubbed the “Great Wall Protection Code,” was launched after the rise in tourism and the idea of stealing bricks to build houses took away around a third of the UNESCO site. Natural erosion has also left its mark.

    As reported by the Guardian, further and more stringent laws were introduced, but according to Chinese state media, around 30 percent of the wall has disappeared over the years.

    While the country handed out fines of 5,000 yuan to anyone taking Great Wall bricks, poor villages in Lulong county in the northern province of Hebei were known to knock out thick, grey bricks from a section of the wall in their village in order to build homes.

    There’s also vandalism. As reported recently by the Inquisitr, destruction of part of the Great Wall was captured on video. The footage, which went viral, showed an Asian man kicking at the wall. In other parts of the video footage, the man could be seen forcibly removing a brick from the wall, kicking it, thus causing another brick to fall and portions of the structure to crumble.

    It turns out that person was just trying to gain attention on social media and handed himself in, but more damage continues on a regular basis.


    The Great Wall of China
    [Image via Flickr by Vin Crosbie/CC BY-ND 2.0]
    While this problem continues, China is now taking action to prevent the loss of any more of its UNESCO heritage site. The State Administration of Cultural Heritage is forming “inspection groups to investigate the conservation situation of the Great Wall in each province,” according to a notice on the body’s website. With concerns that the country’s greatest historic site is being eroded away, the project will last until October this year.
    As reported by the Telegraph, local culture official Li Yingnian told the Xinhua state news agency, “We need to invest more resources and money to conserve the Great Wall, particularly in those areas which have not been developed and are unable to make a profit (from tourism).”

    However, it is not just loss of bricks from the Great Wall that is worrying. According to China’s Great Wall Society, they released a survey back in 2014 that warned that many of the towers along its expanse were also becoming increasingly shaky.

    “It doesn’t have large-scale damage, but if you accumulate the different damaged parts, it is very serious,” said the society’s vice-chairman, Dong Yaohui. “The problem is we spend a lot of money on repairing the Great Wall instead of preserving the Great Wall.”

    As the wall passes through 15 provinces and regions of the country, the checks will be carried out throughout, according to regulations, in an effort to prevent the further deterioration of the UNESCO world heritage site.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  3. #3
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    speaking of trying to wrap my head around something...

    srlsy? oh man...

    World's worst restoration? China's Great Wall covered in cement
    By Ben Westcott and Serenitie Wang, CNN
    Updated 9:47 AM ET, Wed September 21, 2016


    A photo posted on China's internet showing the Great Wall repaired with cement.

    Story highlights
    Cement repair widely denounced online by angry netizens
    Expert said the repairs had taken away "history"

    (CNN)It's the repair job that's so ugly you can probably see it from space.
    A 700-year-old "wild" stretch of China's Great Wall has been covered in a smooth, white trail of cement under orders from Suizhong county's Cultural Relics Bureau, Sina reported on Wednesday.
    The repairs were carried out in 2014, but they only came to public attention recently.


    Dong said the repair was done "very badly."

    It was an effort to restore parts of the wall which have fallen into disrepair and are not open to the public, but the restoration has been met with condemnation by social media users and advocates.
    The repair work took place near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province and photos of the results were widely shared by Beijing News on Weibo this week.
    CNN has reached out to the local Heritage Conservation Bureau for comment.
    Restoration 'took away history'
    Chinese internet users have slammed the repair job, with the Weibo hashtag "The most beautiful, wild Great Wall flattened" trending online.
    "Glad Venus de Milo is not in China, or someone would get her a new arm," one user said.


    A photo from before China's Great Wall was cemented.

    Great Wall of China Society deputy director Dong Yaohui said the restoration work had been done "very badly". "It damaged the original look of the Great Wall and took away the history from the people."
    Dong said it was important for the Chinese government as a whole to regulate and streamline Great Wall restoration efforts.
    "Although the local government was well intentioned and wanted to restore the bricks of the Wall, the result turned out to be the opposite."
    Since 2006, the Great Wall Protection Ordinance in China introduced strict rules for the development of tourist destinations.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #4
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    A new indie thread

    I poached all of the posts above off the The Great Wall film thread. This really deserves its own thread.

    NBA player is forced to apologise after leaving graffiti on the Great Wall of China and sharing picture of it on social media

    Bobby Brown of Houston Rockets has been accused of defacing the Wall
    Picture of the graffiti appeared on a Weibo account believed to be Brown's
    The post sparked an outcry among Chinese who condemned his behaviour
    He issued a public apology saying 'I didn't mean any harm'

    By TRACY YOU FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 10:52 EST, 12 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:05 EST, 12 October 2016

    An NBA basketball player has come under fire after allegedly leaving graffiti on the Great Wall of China and sharing the picture of it on social media.
    Bobby Brown, who plays for the Houston Rockets, has issued a public apology for his behaviour after being criticised by the Chinese public for defacing the country's most famous historic landmark, reported the People's Daily Online.
    The 32-year-old athlete and his teammates visited a section of the stone fortress on the outskirts of Beijing on October 10 as part of the NBA Global Games China.


    'BB#6': A picture showing a piece of graffiti scratched on the Great Wall of China was posted by Weibo user 'Bbrownsix', which is believed to be Bobby Brown's account


    The point guard is seen training ahead of the NBA Global Games China in Beijing on October 11


    Brown (centre) played for Houston Rockets against New Orleans Pelicans in Beijing today

    According to the report on People's Daily Online, a state-owned news website, a picture showing a piece of graffiti scratched on the Great Wall was posted to Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, to an account named 'Bbrownsix' on Monday.
    'Bbrownsix', a verified account, is believed to be Bobby Brown's social media account in China.
    The graffiti read 'BB#6'. Bobby Brown's initials are 'BB' and his old jersey number was six.
    In addition to the picture, the post included the words: 'Had a blast at the Great Wall of China today.'
    Brown and his teammates visited Mutianyu, one of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall built in 1368.


    The account, believed to be Bobby Brown's, issued an apology on October 11 for the graffiti


    Brown visited Mutianyu (pictured), one of the best preserved part of the Great Wall of China

    His post quickly triggered an uproar on social media. Many Chinese web users condemned his vandalisation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    One such user said: 'Are you proud of scratching words [onto the Great Wall]? This is a protected heritage site, it's not the toilet in your house.'
    Another user commented: '[He is] trash. The managing office of the Great Wall should hold him accountable and fine him, then block him from entering our border.'
    A third user said: 'Although I like Houston Rockets, but I know that Westerners' ethics are low too.'
    On October 11, a follow-up post appeared on the account 'Bbrownsix' apparently apologising for having scribbled on the Great Wall.
    The post read: 'I'm so sorry for this!! I apologize I didn't mean any harm by this, I respect the Chinese culture I made a [sic] honest mistake… hope you forgive me.'
    Both posts have been taken down from the Weibo.
    MailOnline has reached out to the account holder of 'Bbrownsix' and Houston Rockets for comments on the matter.
    The 6ft 2in man, who is a point guard, played for the Dongguan team in the Chinese national basketball league CBA in 2013-2014 season.
    He will wear the number eight jersey in the 2016-2017 season for Houston Rockets.


    Brown's teammates, Kyle Wiltjer and Gary Payton II, posed on the Great Wall on October 10


    Tyler Ennis and Chinanu Onuaku of the Houston Rockets poses for a photo on the Great Wall

    According to Article 18 of the Regulation on the Protection of the Great Wall, leaving graffiti on the Great Wall is prohibited.
    A spokesman at the Mutianyu Great Wall told Beijing Youth Daily: 'No matter who you are, you should not scratch graffiti on the Great Wall.
    'As a world cultural relic, the Great Wall needs protection from both Chinese people and foreign tourists.'
    Bobby Brown is joining his team on the NBA Global Games in China.
    The Houston Rockets played against the New Orleans Pelicans in Shanghai on October 9 and in Beijing on October 12, winning both games.
    The Texas-based basketball team has been hugely popular among sports fans in China after Chinese basketball star Yao Ming played for it from 2002 to 2011.
    GREAT WALL OF CHINA: THE WORLD'S LARGEST MAN-MADE STRUCTURE
    The Great Wall of China is regarded as the most significant historic monument in China


    The Great Wall of China is regarded as the most significant historic monument in China
    The Great Wall of China is the world's largest man-made structure
    It is thought to be around 13,170 miles long. The wall was constructed in several sections over a period of around 1,000 years.
    Building work started during the Qin dynasty (259BC to 210BC) as part of a defensive line against enemies to the north.
    Large sections were built during the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644) to help defend against the Mongolian tribes.
    The sections built during this period are what most tourists tend to visit today.
    The Great Wall also provided a border boundary that allowed the Chinese authorities to impose duties on goods carried along the Silk Road trade route.
    Source: MailOnline, History magazine
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  5. #5
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    Travel advice

    I've only been to the most touristy area, Badaling. I've been told I missed out. But I did see The Great Wall, in 3D no less.

    Great Wall of China: 5 ways to see one of the great modern wonders while avoiding the crowds
    How to enjoy this landmark in all its epic glory – and avoid being poked with a selfie stick
    Travel desk 18 hours ago


    The Jinshanling section of the Great Wall

    Matt Damon’s monster movie The Great Wall has received a thrashing from the critics, but the real thing tends to get better reviews. The ancient fortifications wind over some of China’s most epic scenery and seeing it is a must-do for any bucket-list-ticking traveller.

    There is, however, one problem – the most-visited sections (there’s more than 5,000 miles of the whole thing) tend to be a bit of a tourist circus, especially at the most popular section, Badaling, or the toboggan ride from the wall down to the Mutianyu section entrance. Not so authentic.

    Want your Great Wall experience to be a bit more special? We turned to Asia specialist Wendy Wu Tours to get tips on lesser-known sections that you can enjoy without risk of selfie-inflicted injuries.

    Huanghuacheng section

    The Huanghuacheng section snakes through the hills about 40 miles north of Beijing and is particularly picturesque owing to the reflecting lake below. Built in 1575 and only partially restored, this is the perfect place to get an idea of the wall’s original structure. Climbs can be steep but conquering a pass not only instils a great feeling of pride, it also gives wonderful views over lakes and countryside.


    The Huanghucacheng section is reflected in a lake at the bottom

    Trek from the Gubeikou to Jinshanling section

    Walk in the footsteps of the ancient dynasties that traversed this incredible structure hundreds of years ago by hiking from the Gubeikou to the Jinshanling section; the trek follows stretches of restored and unrestored parts, taking in wooded countryside and dramatic hills. The walk covers a distance of between 11km and 14km and should take between four to six hours.

    Or just trek the Jinshanling section

    Travellers can also trek along the Jinshanling section of the wall by itself if they don’t have the time to walk from Gubeikou. This is a distance of between 2km to 7km, depending where you start and where you stop. Located north-east of Beijing, this section was built during the Ming Dynasty and offers great panoramic views over countryside and mountain scenery. Departing from Jinshanling village, a circular route along both renovated and unrenovated sections takes about four hours and takes in 67 watchtowers, three beacon towers and five passes.


    The Gubeikou section takes you to unrestored parts of the wall

    Simatai section

    Though it takes a two-hour drive from Beijing to reach Simatai, it’s more than worth it. Travellers should visit just before sunset – the section offers incredible views of the wall as it cuts through valleys and ridges to Jinshanling. It is also the only part of the wall open for night tours. Reached by cable car, followed by a short walk on to the wall itself, this section is only part-renovated.

    It is also one of the most diverse sections with various towers and a range of steepness. There is a part known as the Heavenly Ladder, which offers a steep climb with cliffs on both sides. At the top is the Sky Bridge, a narrow 100-metre stretch. As it can become treacherous in the winter snow, the best times to visit this section are late spring and autumn when the temperatures are pleasant.


    A dilapidated section of the wall at Simatai (Getty)

    Juyongguan section

    It may be one of the closest sections of the wall to Beijing, at only 37 miles from the city, but it is often one of the quietest. The Juyongguan pass is one of the most famous in China, considered one of the three great mountain passes of the wall (the others are Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan). Situated in a valley with mountains on two sides, it is estimated this section was first built as a military stronghold more than 2,000 years ago.

    Wendy Wu Tours (0800 902 0888; wendywutours.co.uk) offers various trips to the above sections as part of its China itineraries, starting from £2,990 per person for 17 days
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
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    "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." - Edmund Burke

    Great Wall of China's troubled history offers lessons for Trump, scholars say
    The president has described his border proposal as ‘the Great Wall of Trump’, evoking what one expert sees as a calamitous and ill-conceived folly


    The Great Wall of China, like Donald Trump’s planned wall, was designed to ‘protect people from outsiders’, says Zhang Xiaodong. Photograph: Tim Makins/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

    Tom Phillips in Jiayuguan, China
    Monday 6 March 2017 05.00 EST Last modified on Monday 6 March 2017 06.57 EST

    There is much Donald Trump might learn from a visit to the westernmost tip of the Great Wall of China – not least that if you are really determined to keep outsiders from entering your country, cow and horse excrement can be useful allies.

    That, local historians claim, was one of the secret weapons Ming dynasty soldiers used to repel nomadic raiders, hurling bucketfuls of manure into the desert winds to blind the barbarians as they galloped towards this sand-swept Gobi outpost.

    But Zhang Xiaodong, who runs a museum dedicated to the Chinese super-structure in the city of Jiayuguan, believes there is an even more valuable lesson the US president must grasp before he begins work on what he has dubbed the Great Wall of Trump.

    “China’s Ming dynasty did all of this at its own expense, while Trump has said the Mexicans are the ones who should pay,” the historian said during a tour of the Jiayu Pass, a 14th-century fort that punctuates the western extreme of the 8,850km Ming-era wall.

    Would the Ming emperor’s foes have agreed to bankroll his Great Wall?

    Zhang laughed. “[They] wouldn’t have done so.”

    Across China, from the wall’s spectacular, cliff-hugging ruins near Beijing to its wind-battered remains here in the barren north-western province of Gansu, scholars and enthusiasts have been pondering Donald Trump’s pledge – repeated this week during the president’s address to congress – to build a “great, great wall” of his own.

    What, if anything, do the two projects have in common?

    What might the designers of Trump’s barrier along the US-Mexico border glean from studying the history of China’s changcheng (“long wall”)?

    What challenges might the president face and what pitfalls might he avoid as he erects his own version of what one 19th-century adventurer called China’s “fantastic serpent of stone”?

    Zhang, a 45-year-old history fanatic who has been visiting the wall since he was a year old, when his father was posted to a steel mill near Jiayuguan, said he saw striking parallels between the initiatives.

    One had targeted unruly nomads and the other Latin American migrants but ultimately both were designed to “protect people from outsiders”, he said.

    That being so, Zhang said there were several design elements Trump might borrow from his Chinese precursors, foremost among them the gaping ditches soldiers carved into the arid soil around the Jiayu Pass, a fortress built on the orders of the Hongwu emperor in 1372.

    “If Trump builds this wall, it would be best for him to dig moats and to fill them with water as well,” Zhang suggested. “That would be my advice.”

    China’s legendary fortification was not created as a single wall but as a network of at least 16 distinct and unconnected barriers built over the course of more than 2,400 years to subdue unwanted outsiders.






    Scholars say that, by describing his frontier project as a “great wall”, the president is evoking not a marvel of engineering but a calamitous and ill-conceived folly.

    “When Trump said, ‘I’m going to build a great wall,’ I thought, ‘What the hell are you talking about? You’re going to have stonemasons down there?’ I mean, it’s ridiculous,” said Arthur Waldron, a University of Pennsylvania professor who wrote one of the most detailed studies of China’s wall.

    “The purpose [of China’s wall] was to keep out tens of thousands of guys on horseback who could ride faster than anybody, who could shoot arrows more accurately than anybody, who didn’t give a whit for all of China’s great civilisation but were very happy to get grain, metals, silks and beautiful Chinese princesses and so forth and take them back out into the steppe,” said Waldron, the author of The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth.

    But in practice, Waldron said, the wall had proved a catastrophic and costly failure that drained the Ming’s coffers and ultimately failed to prevent its downfall when the Manchus stormed China and established the Qing dynasty, in 1644.

    “This wall was the product of imperial oppression, it cost the lives of many innocent people and also it didn’t work,” said Waldron.

    He said Trump was right to claim immigration policy had become “very, very lax” and argued some action was necessary.

    But naming his barrier after a structure synonymous with xenophobia and isolation was a “terrible mistake” for “an extraordinary immigrant nation”.


    Zhang Xiaodong runs a Great Wall museum at the westernmost tip of China’s Ming dynasty wall in Gansu province. Photograph: Tom Phillips for the Guardian

    In China, where the Communist party has transformed the landmark into a potent symbol of the country’s revival, Trump’s project has found a more sympathetic audience.

    “I think it is a good thing for the Americans,” enthused Zhang, who credits China’s Unesco World Heritage site with bringing peace and stability to sparsely populated strategic border regions such as the Hexi corridor, where the Jiayu Pass was built by the Ming.

    Dong Yaohui, one of the founders of China’s Great Wall Society, said the meandering fortification had been an effective means of protecting residents of the empire’s often lawless fringes. Given the exorbitant cost of permanently stationing troops in such villages, how else would the central government have protected farmers whose harvests were pilfered by Mongol raiders?

    Dong conceded many lives had been lost building a structure some called the longest cemetery on earth – “but the cost would have been much higher had there been no such thing as the Great Wall”.

    Zhang, whose museum sits at the foot of the Jiayu Pass, flanked by snow-capped mountains and rock-strewn deserts, has little time for Great Wall detractors.

    A sign at the entrance to its permanent exhibition reads: “The Great Wall was a military system of defense of great magnificence … It is one of the greatest cultural and architectural miracles in the history of world civilisation.”

    Zhang claimed the Ming wall had allowed foreign traders, diplomats and officials to safely come and go along the Silk Road while simultaneously saving farmers from roaming bands of tribesmen who used “guerrilla tactics” to loot their properties.

    However, Dong acknowledged the structure’s history also held some cautionary tales for Trump, perhaps none more urgent than that of the Jiajing emperor, who ruled from 1522 to 1567 and was known for his inflexible policies towards the steppe.

    Jiajing – who was notorious, according to Waldron’s research, for his deep hatred of nomads and lack of understanding of border matters – forbade all trade with outsiders and cut off their access to essential goods such as grain.

    The result, noted Dong, was an almost constant state of war.

    “Trump should understand [the story of Jiajing] when building the wall, and not focus solely on America’s interests,” he warned, arguing that flexible, semi-porous barriers were preferable to closed-off frontiers that often stoked hostilities.

    “Strategic moves such as the Great Wall should be regarded as a means to maintain a balance … and certainly not a way to strangle one’s opponent to death through force,” he said.

    “It’s like when you are driving a car – it is good to transport people or goods but it is bad to simply run people over.”

    Since taking office Trump has vowed to pursue the “immediate construction” of his border wall, despite suspicions that bureaucratic, budgetary and logistical hurdles mean he will end up with little more than a few hundred miles of fence.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    Continued from previous post


    Jiayuguan Fort, in Gansu, China. ‘Strategic moves such as the Great Wall should be regarded as a means to maintain a balance … and certainly not a way to strangle one’s opponent to death through force,’ says Dong Yaohui. Photograph: MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images

    “We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border,” he told Congress on Tuesday. “It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.”

    Zhang said he had mixed feelings over Trump’s pharaonic scheme and suggested he might be better off using US tax dollars to boost Mexico’s economy. “Once the quality of life has improved [there], less people will want to go to the US illegally.”

    Dong was also torn. “There are two possible results from Trump building this wall: one is that it might help him to obtain his goal of maintaining order between the US and Mexico; the other is that it might fuel conflicts – just as happened in the case of the Ming dynasty.”

    Additional reporting by Wang Zhen
    It fascinates me that this has become topical again now.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #8
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    Fake Great Wall

    There's video behind the link.

    China Unveils Replica Of Great Wall
    World News - 05/19/2017 016



    Would YOU Believe This Is The Great Wall Of China? Replica Of The Famous Fortress Is So Realistic ‘Some Tourists Think They’re Climbing The Original Site’

    Video footage uploaded on May 15 shows a replica of the Great Wall of China located in Nanchang
    The ‘copycat Great Wall’ in Nanchang is some 1,500 kilometres away from the real wall in Badaling
    Spanning four kilometres long, the replica is 13,000 shorter than the real wonder of the world
    Some say once you climb the Great Wall of China, you are truly great.

    But it remains unclear what happens when you climb this version of the Great Wall some 1,500 kilometres away from the ‘original’.

    This attraction in Nanchang, China may look close to the wall but it only measures 4 kilometres, 13,000 shorter than the real wonder of the world but some tourists believe it to be real.
    Great Wall + Chinese Counterfeits, Fakes & Knock-Offs
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    Great Wall graffiti

    ‘Vandals are found in all nations’: anger over multilingual graffiti on the Great Wall of China
    Photos of scratchings on Badaling section of the wall prompt calls for stronger punishments for defacing the ancient monument
    PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 August, 2017, 2:57pm
    UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 August, 2017, 4:10pm
    Laurie Chen



    The photographs were published on Monday by the state-run Global Times on its Weibo social media account.
    The pictures were taken at the Badaling section of the wall near Beijing, although some of the graffiti appears to be old and weathered.
    By Tuesday morning, the post had received almost 6,000 comments.
    Most criticised the vandalism with many internet users calling for bigger fines as punishment.
    The top-rated comment, however, simply read: “People of this type are found in all nations.”


    Graffiti on the Great Wall. Photo: Handout

    People found writing graffiti on the Great Wall can be fined between 200 yuan (US$30) and 500 yuan according to the Tianjin-based news website Tengxun.
    This is not the first time graffiti on the Great Wall has attracted media attention.
    The US basketball player Bobby Brown issued a public apology last October after he wrote his initials and team number on the Great Wall at Mutianyu.


    Photo: Handout

    Staff at the same section of the wall even set up a special “graffiti area” for tourists three years ago in to discourage them from vandalising other areas of the site.
    The Great Wall was designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987.
    a graffiti area. srsly.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    TBH, that's not any worse than all the trash tourists leave on Mt. Fuji. Lots of people have no respect or consideration for important places or other people.

  11. #11
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    misty

    JAMES GABRIEL MARTIN
    Lonely Planet Writer
    10 MAY 2018

    One of the most iconic landmarks in world, the Great Wall of China attracts millions of visitors from all over the world every year, with countless numbers of images taken there daily. But one photographer has shared a series of pictures that depict the Great Wall in a mesmerising way, completely empty and shrouded in a haunting mist.


    The Great Wall of China captured in mist. Image by Andres Gallardo

    Taken by Spanish photographer Andres Gallardo, the Solitude at the Endless Wall series was captured at the end of February 2018, and shows the usually-packed iconic landmark without any visitors at all. “In the car I couldn’t really see where we were heading, since the fog didn’t allow us to see the wall. It was up at the wall when I realized I was so lucky to experience such magic and dreamy scenery, with the structure disappearing through the fog. I have seen many photos of the Great Wall, but to be honest I didn’t have much expectations about photographing there. I thought there would be masses of people and it would be very difficult to make interesting photos, different from what everyone else has done,” Andres told Lonely Planet Travel News.


    The photographer journeyed to the landmark while on a trip to Beijing. Image by Andres Gallardo

    Andres decided to visit the wall while on a trip to Beijing, and spent some time researching online the best route to take before heading to a section in Mutianyu. However, the unique weather conditions coupled with some bus cancellations made his journey complicated and longer than expected. Upon reaching the structure, the photographer was surprised to encounter only a few people along the way, taking the opportunity to take some captivating images.


    Despite the fact that the Great Wall of China is one of the most popular sites in the world, Andres managed to capture images free from any tourists. Image by Andres Gallardo

    “What I found most interesting when shooting was the feeling of solitude, the silence and the dreamy scenery. Although there were a few people, I was amazed to find myself looking in every direction and not seeing anyone quite often. This has been a great reminder of a traveling lesson. Quite often the best memories and photos of a trip come from unexpected situations.”

    More of Andres’ work is available at his official website.
    I scanned Andres' site for more Great Wall but didn't find any.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #12
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    Win a night on the Great Wall

    CHINA
    Spend the Night on the Great Wall of China, Thanks to Airbnb
    by MEREDITH CAREY
    August 2, 2018
    All you have to do is enter a contest to enjoy the one-night stay.
    In the past, Airbnb has offered some pretty exciting one-off stays: There was a night in Paris's catacombs, a stay at Abbey Road Studios, and an overnight at Guinness's Dublin Storehouse. But this new, once-in-a-lifetime stay makes those offers look like peanuts in comparison: That's because Airbnb just built a room on the Great Wall of China—and you can be among the very first guests to sleep over on the 13,000-mile-long wonder of the world. For free.

    All you have to do is enter a contest to enjoy the one-night stay. Should you win, you and the guest of your choice will share a bedroom in one of the wall's towers between September 4 and 7. The bedroom has an open roof and 360-degree views of the wall, so you can lounge and stargaze all in one. Since the cozy bedroom is, well, in the middle of the Great Wall, you'd be forgiven for asking where are the bathrooms? Luckily, you won't have to go far: Airbnb is bringing in a portable toilet, or you can walk to the nearby visitors center, though we'd reserve that trip for daylight hours.


    A look at the open-air bedroom on China's Great Wall.

    With all Airbnbs, there are a few house rules to follow: "Respect the neighbors, all 1.38 billion of them. No loud music that might disturb the ancient wall guards. If you see any dragons, do not disturb them, but be sure to report it. On WeChat or Instagram," the listing says.
    As if spending the night at the Great Wall wasn't enough, the trip comes with a few extra perks. You'll get a multi-course dinner in your tower at sunset, accompanied by a traditional concert, and at sunrise the following morning, you'll hike along parts of the architectural feat with the wall’s official historian, Dong Yaohui. From there, you'll leave to check out one of Airbnb's Beijing Experiences, like a calligraphy or dumpling making class with a local host.

    The four winners won't get drawn out of a hat; instead, you'll have to enter here by August 11, and "describe why it is more important now than ever to break down barriers between cultures" in 550 characters or less.
    Good luck everyone. Hope someone here wins.


    Hope I win.
    Gene Ching
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  13. #13
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    then again, maybe a night stay won't be so nice...

    I knew someone who backpacked a section of the Wall, really got off the beaten path. I've only been to the tourist areas but there are allegedly many areas that are more desolate.

    WORLD
    GREAT WALL OF CHINA COLLAPSE: POOR RENOVATION WORKS AND HEAVY RAINFALL BLAMED
    BY CHRISTINA ZHAO ON 8/2/18 AT 9:01 AM

    A northern section of the Great Wall of China collapsed after a period of heavy rain last month, with many blaming poor-quality renovations for the deterioration of the iconic landmark.

    The damaged section of the historical wall is located near Yanmen Pass, in Dai County, in the Shanxi province. After the section’s collapse, the wall was partially closed on July 22, prompting many critics to blame the recent renovations for weakening the structure’s foundation.

    The Chinese Communist Party newspaper, Global Times, pointed out in a report on Tuesday that “the 500-year-old Yanmen Pass has stood for centuries without ‘help’ from local officials.”


    A Chinese tourist walks on a slippery section of ice as snow is seen on the Great Wall after a snowfall on November 23, 2015 near Beijing, China. A newly renovated section of the wall collapsed after a spell of heavy rain.
    GETTY

    Another report on WeChat, a popular Chinese social networking platform, said that another Great Wall site by the Yellow River also recently collapsed as a result of the heavy rainfall.

    "Sometimes I was thinking why you [people renovating the Wall] can't do things more seriously. Why can't you devote all your energy?" a citizen journalist, using the account called Xiaozhanbianjibu, wrote.

    According to a statement released by the Yanmen Pass Scenic Area on July 23, the collapsed area will be closed for repairs and a reopening date will be announced when it becomes available.

    “Due to the recent heavy rains, some areas of Yanmenquan Scenic Area have collapsed. In order to maintain the safety of the scenic spots and tourists, the operation will be suspended and closed for repairs from July 22, 2018. The opening hours will be announced separately,” the notice said.

    In recent years, the Chinese government has increased efforts to maintain and renovate sections of the Great Wall in a bid to attract more tourism into the country. However, incidents like the collapse in the Yanmen Pass has prompted citizens and experts to warn of low-quality renovations that could inflict permanent damage onto the structure.

    In June, the workers who renovated a section of the Wall in Datong, in the Shanxi Province, were criticized for using modern materials disguised as ancient bricks. According to the Daily Caller, authorities denied all reports accusing them of using “handmade bricks based on the ancient methods.”

    Chinese citizens were outraged in 2016 after eyewitnesses reported that a Wall renovation in the Liaoning Province had left a section of the monument paved with smooth cement. The local tourism administration defended the works, explaining that it was planned to make the section “more suitable for tourists to walk on.”

    Early structures of the Great Wall of China date back to as early as the 7th century BC. It was constructed along an east-to-west line across China’s historical northern borders to protect the country’s states from invasions from various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe.

    Throughout the years, the wall has been rebuilt, maintained, and expanded over various dynasties. The current wall is approximately 13,173 miles long.
    Gene Ching
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  14. #14
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    ttt for 2019!

    Seems like walls are all people are talking about nowadays...

    CHINA'S NEW ‘GREAT WALL’ CAN STOP MISSILES TOO FAST FOR ANY DEFENSE SYSTEM, EXPERT SAYS
    BY TOM O'CONNOR ON 1/14/19 AT 4:29 PM

    China has developed a sprawling underground defense complex capable of intercepting missiles often described as being too fast for any existing defense system, a leading expert has claimed.

    Qian Qihu, who last week was awarded the prestigious 2018 State Preeminent Science and Technology Award due to his contributions to national defense, told the ruling Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper The Global Times the country has developed an impenetrable, so-called "Underground Steel Great Wall" deep beneath the mountains. He called the vast series of missile facilities the "country's last national defense line."

    While the tough, mountainous terrain would reportedly be enough to prevent most conventional weapons from penetrating the bases, Qihu was said to have further upgraded these defenses to protect exposed facilities and shield the site from bunker-busting armaments. Qihu explained the systems would also be able to block an incoming hypersonic missile—a weapon capable of traveling at least Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound and roughly 3,800 MPH—should other anti-missile measures fail.

    "The development of the shield must closely follow the development of spears. Our defense engineering has evolved in a timely manner as attack weapons pose new challenges," Qian told The Global Times.


    A military vehicle carries the DF-21D missile past a display screen featuring an image of the Great Wall of China at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 3, 2015, after a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II. The so-called "carrier killer" missile was deployed to the country's northwest amid rising U.S.-China tensions.
    GREG BAKER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

    Qian, 82, a retired major general of the People's Liberation Army, is a member of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, two national institutions run by the State Council of China. He received his reward last week alongside radar expert Liu Yongtan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and will be granted a prize of 8 million yuan, or about $1.18 million.

    In Friday's interview with The Global Times, Qian said his work was partially inspired by geopolitical instability, as leading powers the United States, Russia and China have all embarked upon research into hypersonic weapons. During his State of the Nation speech in March, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile, touted as hitting Mach 10 speeds, and the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, said to be capable of traveling up to Mach 20.

    Putin described such weapons as "invincible," and China too has delved into the hypersonic arena. In August, the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics announced that it had tested the Starry Sky 2, which it described as a hypersonic aircraft capable of riding its own shock waves, according to China Daily. It reportedly reached a top speed of Mach 6 and exceeded an altitude of 18.6 miles.

    The U.S. is also investing in hypersonic technology. Also in August, Lockheed Martin secured the second of two multibillion-dollar contracts from the Pentagon to build a pair of hypersonic weapons known as the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon. Since 2010, the U.S. has also tested the Boeing X-51 Waverider, capable of reaching Mach 6. Another U.S. device, the NASA X-43, set the current aircraft speed record at Mach 9.6. Russia held the title for the fastest manned aircraft with its Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25, traveling at about Mach 2.8.


    This image from NASA television shows the Pegasus booster rocket with the X-43A hypersonic research aircraft attached at the front firing after release from the launch craft, breaking its own aircraft-speed record by flying at about 7,000 mph, about 10 times the speed of sound, 16 November 2004 at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
    ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

    Last month, a Government Accountability Office report noted that "China and Russia are pursuing hypersonic weapons because their speed, altitude and maneuverability may defeat most missile defense systems, and they may be used to improve long-range conventional and nuclear strike capabilities," concluding: "There are no existing countermeasures."

    As the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon's emerging technologies wing, scrambles to come up with an answer, ties between the U.S. and its Russian and Chinese competitors have eroded. Washington has accused Moscow of intervening in sovereign affairs abroad and of throwing its weight around Europe and the Middle East, while Beijing has been charged with attempting to monopolize the South China Sea and of conducting unfair trade practices.

    In the face of what they perceive to be an expansionist and hegemonic U.S. position in the world, Russia and China have grown closer in recent years, cooperating more closely in joint military and scientific projects.
    Gene Ching
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  15. #15
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    Great Walls make great neighbors.

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