The government of China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region has announced a five-year plan to establish a comprehensive administration system for the protection and preservation of the expanse of the Great Wall of China within its borders. According to the proposal, the project will begin by surveying more than 7,000km of the barrier in Inner Mongolia to identify the most endangered sections, such as those that have been damaged by natural disasters or are near major highways and construction projects.
The region’s government aims to restore the most threatened sections of the Unesco World Heritage Site by 2020, prioritising those in the most ruined condition and those with the greatest historical significance. Inner Mongolia contains the longest and most historically diverse stretch of the Great Wall: this section has parts constructed during 11 different periods, beginning in the fourth century BC, during the Warring States Period.
The plan stresses the policies of “minimum intervention” and “not changing the status quo”, with “resolute opposition to [putting] financial resources towards excessive repairs that would build a ‘new Great Wall’”. It also calls for resources to support archaeological excavation and historical research.