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How long is the Great Wall Of China?
This is a very complicated question as many dynasties in Chinese history built, modified or extended the Great Wall. The latest construction took place in Ming Dynasty and the length built was over 6,000 kilometres. This is the one often referred to when we talk about the Great Wall. However, if including all the walls built in different dynasties around China, the total length will exceed 50,000 kilometres.
The Great Wall is not just a wall. Other defensive works such as forts, passes and beacon towers were built along the Wall to house auxiliary soldiers, store grain and weapons, and transmit military information. As a product of the clashes between agricultural and nomadic economies, the Great Wall provided protection to the economic development and cultural progress, safeguarded the trading routes such as the Silk Road, and secured transmission of information and transportation.
Today the world has completely changed. No wall can withhold the progress that modern science has brought about in our life. The Great Wall has lost its former function. But does this mean that anyone has the right to use the Wall's stones to build their own houses? It happened to Hadrian's Wall, it is still happening to our Great Wall. How to promote the national awareness of the archaeological value of the Great Wall? That is a challenge we are facing. And for that purpose, everyone is welcome to join us to better understand the Great Wall, and to better protect the precious remains for generations to come.
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