2. Tilt up along section of wall with tourists walking in distance
3. Close of businessman Yang Yongfu looking at the part of the wall he helped rebuild
4. Close of hands of Yang touching wall
5. Wide of Yang looking at section of wall
6. Wall running along hill ridge
7. SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) Yang Yongfu, Owner, Shiguanxia Great Wall Tourist Area:
"The foundation of the Great Wall here built during the Ming dynasty is made of earth so it was levelled and converted into fields to grow crops. This is because it's not easy to get land to grow crops here. It's such a pity because this portion of the Wall no longer exists."
FILE: Beijing - 22 February 2002
8. Wide of Great Wall just outside Beijing with US President George W Bush and entourage walking through
9. Mid of George and Laura Bush walking on wall with entourage
10. Wide of Bush and entourage walking with US and China flags being waved in foreground
Beijing - 18 July 2007
11. Wide of hundreds of tourists walking on Great Wall, which winds into distance
12. View through archway in wall, zoom to wide of Great Wall in distance crowded with tourists
13. Wide of crowds of tourists on section of wall
14. Mid of tourists on wall
Jiayuguan, Gansu Province - 14/15 April 2008
15. Exterior of factory, pull focus to piece of crumbling wall in foreground
16. Wide of badly damaged earthen wall with factories and industry in background
17. Close of cigarette boxes and litter on ground next to crumbling wall
18. Bridge built over crumbling section of the wall
19. Wide of ancient Western-most end of the Great Wall pan to taxi which drives on a road that cuts through the wall
20. Close of sign that reads: 'Climbing ban' with crumbling wall in background
21. Wide of person planting fields near wall
22. Wide of person driving tractor near wall
23. Wide of farming lands with parts of wall in foreground
"If there is a bridge above the wall and cars pass through, you simply aren't doing justice to that stretch of the Wall. So if finances and resources allow we encourage that roads should be built to pass beneath the wall, and that if preservation is done properly, people shouldn't feel that anything has been done to touch the Great Wall."
It's been named one of the new seven wonders of the world and has for decades been an enduring symbol of China, but the survivability of the Great Wall is now in peril.
The Wall, which was built by several dynasties over the past two millenniums, may have helped to stave off Northern invaders but is now struggling to hold out against the millions of tourists that visit each year and the centuries of battering by harsh weather.
Forty-six- year-old Yang Yongfu grew up in a village just next to a section of the Wall in Gansu Province's Jiayuguan City.
Since his younger years he formed a special attachment to the Wall, which is mostly made from rammed earth unlike other sections built with brick and stone.
Yang previously worked as a government contractor in several Great Wall restoration projects in the 1980s, and in 2000 the farmer turned businessman invested 120,000 US dollars to restore a crumbling part of the wall in Northwest China's Gansu Province.
He bemoans the destruction caused to the Wall, and works hard to preserve his renovated Shiguanxia section of the Great Wall near Jiayuguan City which has now become a tourist attraction.
"The foundation of the Great Wall here, built during the Ming dynasty, is made of earth so it was levelled and converted into fields to grow crops. This is because it's not easy to get land to grow crops here. It's such a pity because this portion of the Wall no longer exists," said Yang.
China's Great Wall has indeed become a victim of its own popularity.
The Badaling section of the Wall just outside Beijing has become a favourite photo opportunity for visiting world leaders and celebrities.
An estimated 10 (m) million tourists visit the Great Wall each year and vandals have damaged many of its sections.
To cater to the large numbers of visitors, unsightly hotels, restaurants and trinket shops have opened up in popular parts of the wall.
The Great Wall is also treated badly by some.
In recent years, the government fined highway crews in Inner Mongolia for smashing holes in the Ming-era part of the wall to build a new road.
Police also broke up a huge dance party by Chinese ravers on a section of the Wall just outside Beijing.
A survey by the Great Wall Society of China in 2006 found that about 50 percent of the Wall has disappeared while 30 percent was in ruins.
Only 20 per cent of the Wall's 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometres) was in "reasonable" condition.
The extent of neglect is evident in parts of the Wall in China's North West region.
Factories and heavy industries have been built close to parts of the crumbling Wall.
Some sections are strewn with garbage while flyovers have been carelessly built over other parts.
To facilitate traffic and the influx of visitors, roads also cut through sections of the Wall.
The government has now put in place national regulations to protect the Wall.
Vandals face stiff fines and possible criminal penalties but much of the damage has already been done.
Some of the greatest destruction to the Wall took place in the 1950s to 1970s when farmers emboldened by Chairman Mao Zedong's disdain for the "past", demolished parts.
Many took bricks to build houses and used earth from sections of the Wall as fertiliser for their fields.
Even today, human farming activity continues to be threat to the Wall, some villages are situated only a stone's throw from badly damaged sections.
And though local Chinese are now much better educated on the need for preservation, the inertia of the past still lingers.
"The wall is useless, some people come from afar to see it, but there's nothing much to see, the earth is useless, there is no value and not worth digging," said farmer Gao Wen Jun.
The Great Wall stretches over 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometres) through a dozen provinces and regions across Northern China, and the challenges of preservation have clearly played out at its Western most point, near Jiayuguan City in Gansu province.
The 600-year-old section of wall near Jiayuguan City was built around 1372 in the early Ming dynasty and underwent a massive restoration project in the 1980s.
Since then Jiayuguan, which is the first pass at the western end of the Wall, has become a major tourist attraction.
Even frequent visitors who live near the area have seen the damage done to the Wall by an increasing number of tourists.
"You see those people who are vandalising and people who use stones to hit a part of a wall where superstition says you can hear birds calling out? If you do that won't you damage the wall?" said Yin Fengjun a resident in Jiayuguan City.
"I'm not that optimistic, there are many places that the government needs to work harder (to preserve)," said Mu Qinghua.
Great Wall preservation experts like Yu Chunrong, say that while preservation for key sections have been well funded, much of the Wall in remote areas was neglected and deteriorating rapidly.
And in China's arid Northwest region the problem is even more pronounced.
The area's sand storms and harsh climatic conditions have reduced parts of the earth-rammed Wall to mounds of dirt and may cause them to disappear in 20 years, according to Xinhua.
"After many years of wind and rain, the top portion is starting to crumble," said Yu pointing to a part of the damaged wall.
Manmade construction through parts of the walls has also contributed to its destruction and Yu's Jiayuguan Great Wall Protection Institute has been working closely with local authorities to minimise human damage.
"If there is a bridge above the wall and cars pass through, you simply aren't doing justice to that stretch of the Wall. So if finances and resources allow we encourage that roads should be built to pass beneath the wall, and that if preservation is done properly, people shouldn't feel that anything has been done to touch the Great Wall," said Yu.
Yu says officials and preservation experts are constantly fighting a war against time to preserve a Wall that is not only crumbling but fast disappearing.
And China, he says, must quickly find the delicate balance between meeting the needs of a fast developing nation yet also preserving its history.
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