Report: $258 Billion Makeover For Ancient Town At End Of Great Wall

Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 11:41 am
By: News On 6

BEIJING (AP) _ A $258 billion restoration project is planned for an ancient town where the Great Wall meets the sea, state media reported Thursday.

The project will transform Shanhaiguan, built in 1381 during the Ming Dynasty as a strategic military post to help defend Beijing, the Xinhua News Agency said.

``We will start eight projects on the main body of the ancient wall and the work will be completed by the end of this year,'' Pan Jie, deputy head of Shanhaiguan district in Qinhuangdao city in Hebei province, was quoted as saying.

Xinhua said the district has already spent $93 million restoring watchtowers, gates and five memorial arches on the wall in Shanhaiguan.

China in recent years has begun restoring parts of the wall as well as trying to rein in commercial development on and around it.

The government said in October it would use remote-sensing satellites and other high technology to check the wall's length, now estimated at 3,000 to 4,000 miles.

The earliest sections of the wall were built more than 2,000 years ago to guard against Mongols and other invaders. Other sections were added over the centuries.