China restricts climbing ‘wild Great Wall’

As China approaches the busiest holiday season, Beijing authorities have warned that it will punish those who plan to climb the “wild Great Wall”.

This refers to parts of the Great Wall that are unrestored and aren’t officially open to tourists – people can be fined if they flout rules, the BBC reported.

Rules will be enforced more strictly over Golden Week, with thousands of domestic tourists expected to visit.

China is banking on the holiday to boost its badly hit tourism industry.

Beijing reminded the public that trespassers on these parts of the Great Wall could be fined between 200 and 30,000 yuan (3,430; $4404)

It will also be stepping up security, with a Beijing Daily report saying that all 131 guards usually stationed along the Great Wall would be on duty over Golden Week.

Authorities are also proactively scouring social media to see if any “wild Great Wall” expeditions are being organised.

“This year’s National Day holiday lasts eight days and the number of visitors to explore the ‘wild Great Wall’ is bound to increase,” Yu Hankuan, Director of the Yanqing District Cultural Relics Administration told the Global Times.

Hankuan added that some sections of the Great Wall are very steep – and it is possible for tourists to get lost or fall off.

The parts of the Great Wall that are usually visited by tourists is just a small section of the famous landmark, which stretches for thousands of kilometres.

Typically, hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists travel abroad over the eight-day holiday period – but this year, with travel restrictions in place, its likely that domestic tourism will soar.

China has appeared to largely recover from the virus, and many restrictions have been lifted.