BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Saturday marks this year's Cultural and Natural Heritage Day in China, with the theme focusing on cultural relics protection and utilization, as well as cultural confidence and strength.
President Xi Jinping has always attached great importance to the protection of the Great Wall, one of the most famed icons of the country's cultural relics.
On Aug. 20, 2019, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visited the Jiayu Pass and learned about the architectural layout and terrain of the fortress during his inspection tour to the northwestern province of Gansu.
The Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, consists of many interconnected walls, some dating back 2,000 years. The existing sections have a total length of over 21,000 km.
"When people mention China, they will think of the Great Wall, and when they talk about Chinese civilization, they will also think of the Great Wall," Xi said at the Jiayu Pass, a famed part of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The Great Wall represents great resilience, determination to strive forward, and patriotism of the Chinese nation, said Xi, adding that more efforts must be made in discovering the cultural value of the Great Wall and the inheritance and protection of the cultural heritage.
Over the years, China has made great efforts to protect the Great Wall. During a maintenance project on the Jiayu Pass from 2012 to 2017, traditional construction methods and materials were widely used to help restore the past glory of the military fortress and protect its cultural heritage.
Today, high-tech gadgets, including drones, meteorological and hydrological devices, have been adopted to monitor the surrounding environment to see if there are any potential safety hazards by comparing data.
About one month before his trip to Gansu in 2019, Xi presided over a meeting in Beijing, in which a plan on the construction of national cultural parks for the Great Wall, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Long March was reviewed and approved.
In recent years, a total of 15 provincial-level regions along the Great Wall have been advancing the building of the national cultural park.
At its 44th session in 2021, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO adopted a decision that praised China's continued efforts in conserving the Great Wall, such as on-site conservation activities, public outreach activities, and the active use of new technologies for protection. ■