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UPDATED: 16:46, March 22, 2007
Ancient town at end of Great Wall to be restored
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China has launched a two-billion -yuan (258 million U.S. dollars) restoration project in the ancient town of Shanhaiguan which is the eastern terminus of the Great Wall, said a provincial cultural heritage official on Wednesday

"We will start eight projects on the main body of the ancient wall and the work will be completed by the end of this year," said Pan Jie, deputy head of Shanhaiguan district in Qinhuangdao city, north China's Hebei province.

The district has already spent 720 million yuan (93 million U.S. dollars) restoring the Drum and Bell towers, several watchtowers, gates and five memorial arches.

Built in 1381 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Shanhaiguan was a strategic military post in northern China that helped defend Beijing.

The wall is built over the Shanhaiguan Pass and ends at the shore of Bohai Bay.

The Chinese government started to work on an overall protection plan since 2003.

The Chinese government started a 2.6-billion-yuan (330 million U.S. dollars) project to revamp the Shanhaiguan Pass section of the Great Wall last December, which will take a year to complete.

Source: Xinhua

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