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Netizens oppose reconstruction of Yuanmingyuan
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Whether to rebuild Yuanmingyuan Park, otherwise known as the old Summer Palace, has triggered hot debate on the Internet recently.

The People's Daily reported on Wednesday that according to an online survey, over 72 percent of Chinese netizens are opposed to the rebuilding plan.

The park, which lies in the north-west of Beijing, was built in the early 18th century and represents the perfection of Chinese imperial gardens. Sadly, it was burnt to the ground by British and French forces in 1860.

The park is regarded as a painful reminder of the lesson the Chinese people learnt from its history of foreign invasion. For most of the netizens, the best possible strategy is to keep the ruins as they are, as a testament to the centuries gone by, instead of reconstructing a beautified front.

Many people consider that the rebuilding project is meaningless, and that the money would be better invested in infrastructure projects in rural areas, the development of western regions, education, the environment, agriculture, science and technology and so forth.

(CRI December 19, 2007)


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