The Great Chinese Wall in China

The "Long Wall" has a long history — more than 2,300 years. It was built in different areas by different states/dynasties to protect different territorial borders.

In the Qin Dynasty, the First Emperor of Qin inked the northern walls to prevent invasion from northern nations. In the Han Dynasty, the emperors extended the Great Wall far into today's western China to protect Silk Road trade.

The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, it winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 21,196 kilometers from east to west of China.

It was Robert Ripley, the American illustrator who made a fortune with his cartoon feature Believe It Or Not!, who called the Great Wall “The mightiest work of man – the only one that would be visible to the human eye from the Moon”. This statement was, of course, founded on no evidence at all, since it was made 30 years before anyone had been in space. Yet it became sanctioned by use. Even the eminent Sinologist Joseph Needham, author of Science and Civilisation in China, stated that “the Wall has been considered the only work of man which could be picked out by Martian astronomers”. Though discredited by astronauts, the Moon version is still widely quoted as a “fact”. The truth was established once and for all during the first Chinese space flight in 2003, when astronaut Yang Liwei said he couldn’t see anything of it from orbit.

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