Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search   

Message Board
Voice of Readers
 China At a Glance
 Constitution of the PRC
 CPC and State Organs
 Chinese President Jiang Zemin
 White Papers of Chinese Government
 Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping
 English Websites in China
About Us

U.S. Mirror
Japan Mirror
Tech-Net Mirror
Edu-Net Mirror
Monday, November 05, 2001, updated at 15:47(GMT+8)

Beijing Reinforces Protection of Ancient City Wall

Beijing, the Chinese capital, plans to build a park around a section of its ancient wall built in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

The park is now being designed with the aim to provide better protection for the last existing part of the third ring of the ancient city wall, which is about one kilometer long.

To ensure that the park construction be carried out smoothly, the municipal government will clear out all factors jeopardizing the maintenance of the cultural relic, including pulling down all the illegal or dilapidated buildings occupying the city wall site.

As the ancient capital of several dynasties in China's history, Beijing first served as the capital city for Yan Kingdom over 3,000 years ago. It was formerly surrounded by four rings of city wall. The famous Imperial Palace, known as the Forbidden City, is encircled in the innermost ring.

Beijing is making considerable efforts to renovate its large number of historic sites. Recently, the Huangchenggen Site Park established for a section of the second ring of the city wall near the Wangfujing Avenue, the city's busiest commercial street,was opened to the public.

About 2.4 kilometers long and 29 meters wide, the park has cost an enormous cost of 850 million yuan (about 102 million U.S. dollars), a large proportion of which was used to compensate over 900 households of residents who had to move to other places.

With a myriad of trees, flowers, and a large area of grass, the Huangchenggen site has taken an entirely new look.

The second ring city wall was demolished in the chaos caused by war between different factions of warlords in the 1920s. The government of the Northern Warlords (1912-1927) once used the bricks dismantled from the wall to build gully drains or sold them for firewood.

In the 1950s and 1960s, broad ring roads were built, but at a cost of toppling down the third and fourth rings of the city wall, which aroused strong opposition among experts and professionals as well as ordinary people.

Liang Sicheng, a famous Chinese architect, was one of the dissenters. He wrote articles appealing for public's concern over the protection of the city wall, but his efforts were in vain.

"When I participated in removing the ancient walls, I was still a middle-school student. I worked as hard as others. In my eyes, they were no more worthy than any earth mound in Beijing's suburbs," said Cai Yuanjiang, a Chinese writer, "It was years later that I got to understand what an awful mistake we had made."

In December, 1996, the program of "Loving Ancient Beijing, Donating City Wall Bricks" was initiated, collecting a total of 18,000 bricks in a short period of 20 days.

Up till now, only a few historical cities, such as Xi'an, Pingyao and Xingcheng, have kept complete city walls, which have all been protected as invaluable cultural heritage. Among them, the ancient city of Pingyao has been inscribed on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Recently, a group of architects and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference put forward a proposal to help Beijing gain an additional "World Cultural Heritage" title for the ancient city wall.

Last October, the Beijing municipal government designated 25 historic sites, including Shishahai Lake and the Imperial College, as major protected sites of ancient culture.

So far, 37 percent of Beijing's ancient area, which came into shape in the dynasties of Ming and Qing (1644-1911), has been covered under the city's comprehensive cultural relics protection plan.

In This Section

Beijing, the Chinese capital, plans to build a park around a section of its ancient wall built in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

Advanced Search



Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved