Whether to rebuild Yuanmingyuan Park, otherwise known as the old
Summer Palace, has triggered hot debate on the Internet
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
(CRI December 19, 2007)