October 5, 2023
BEIJING – China should strengthen the protection of the Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and inherit the Great Wall cultural heritage in a more professional, collaborative and innovative way, according to a high-level forum held on Sept 23 in northwestern Beijing’s Yanqing district, where the most renowned Badaling Great Wall is located.
The Badaling Great Wall Summit Forum, part of this year’s Beijing Great Wall Cultural Festival, brought together experts, scholars of Great Wall, and officials and related stakeholders to discuss the protection and development of the Great Wall, its culture as well as the Great Wall National Cultural Park under the theme of “protection, inheritance, innovation, development”.
“The Great Wall is a symbol of architectural miracle, which links the past and the future,” said Xia Zehan, director of the East Asia Regional Representative Office of the UNESCO, in the opening speech at the forum via video. “We should explore innovative solutions and sustainable ways to protect the Great Wall and inherit its rich cultural heritage,” Xia added.
He also encouraged open dialogue, idea exchanges and close partnership to enhance the protection.
Yu Bo, governor of Yanqing district, Beijing, said the district released a three-year action plan in 2019 for the Great Wall protection, taking the lead nationwide in implementing a series of punishment measures, which has effectively restrained the behaviors of damaging cultural relics like graffiti.
The district has set up digital archives for the Great Wall, initiated the Beijing Great Wall Cultural Research Association, held cultural festivals and academic seminars, and published literary works to inherit the Great Wall culture. It has also launched featured cultural brand activities including Great Wall concert, Great Wall night tour and produced Great Wall cultural and creative products such as Great Wall National Gifts and Great Wall Ice Cream.
Ma Honghuan, head of the Publicity Department of the Yanqing district, shared the district’s experience in protecting the Great Wall from professional research to reliable volunteers and teams to the use of information technology and digital techniques.
The district leveraged the Great Wall resources with local tourism, cultural industry and rural revitalization, greatly shoring up its high-quality development and regional coordination, according to Ma.
The forum also witnessed the share of some methods and experience in developing the Great Wall culture as well as building national cultural parks. Many speakers urged the building of a Great Wall culture and tourism industrial ecosystem.
Five major travel routes suggested for the Beijing section of the Great Wall National Cultural Park were announced at the forum.