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Regulation Issued to Protect Great Wall
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China issued a regulation on Tuesday banning vandalism and driving on the Great Wall as part of a series of measures to protect the ancient wonder.

The regulation, promulgated by the State Council, also forbids anyone from removing soil or bricks from the Great Wall, planting trees, carving or building anything on the wall that is not designed to protect it.

It also bans the use of vehicles on the wall and the organization of activities on sections not open to tourists.

Anyone who violates the regulations is subject to a fine of between 10,000 and 50,000 yuan (US$1,250 to 6,250). Entities such as institutions or companies can be fined between 50,000 and 500,000 yuan (US$6,250 to 62,500).

The regulation cements the legal obligation of all citizens, legal entities and organizations to protect the Great Wall.

The principle of "preserving its original appearance" is enshrined in the regulation, which emphasizes that no construction projects are allowed in off-limits areas.

The regulation, which comes into effect on December 1, 2006, adds that the state encourages citizens and organizations to donate money to Great Wall protection funds.

The Great Wall stretches 6,700 km from west to northeast China, traversing Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hebei and Liaoning.

Its construction dates back to the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), when separate sections were built over scattered strategic areas to defend China against invasion by northern nomadic tribes.

(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)

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