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People's Daily Online>>China Features

Farmers give up operating rights to Great Wall

(Xinhua)

16:20, November 22, 2011

JIAYUGUAN, Gansu, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Yang Yongfu, a Chinese farmer, is the only individual allowed to operate a section of the Great Wall in the country, but he has long planned to give up this "privilege."

"I don't want to continue the project any longer," the 49-year-old man who lives in Jiayuguan in northwestern Gansu province told Xinhua.

A decade ago, Yang restored a 300-meter-long section of the Ming-era Great Wall and turned it into a scenic spot with the approval of the local government. However, the country's increasingly tightened control over cultural heritage has put his business in limbo.

A BOLD EFFORT

The Shiguanxia Great Wall, located in Jiayuguan, is the first pass at the western end of the entire fortification.

The Shiguanxia section was established more than 400 years ago in the reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but the walls had become deteriorated by the end of the last century.

In 1999, the city government of Jiayuguan issued a document encouraging individuals and the private sector to invest in tourism in historical relics.

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