, BEIJING, Jun 5 – China’s existing Great Wall, which first kicked off construction more than 2,200 years ago, is 21,196 kilometres long, according to the latest survey results released by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) on Tuesday.
An archaeological survey jointly conducted by the SACH and the former State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping since 2007 found that the Great Wall structures span the country’s 15 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
A total of 43,721 heritage sites were identified nationwide during the survey, including stretches of the wall, defence works and passes, as well as other related Great Wall facilities and ruins, Tong Mingkang, SACH deputy chief, said at Tuesday’s press briefing.
This was the first time for such figures to be released, as a preliminary survey in 2008 only showed that the Great Wall structures built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) extended more than 8,850 km.
The Great Wall was first built more than 2,200 years ago to fend off foreign invaders, and was reinforced and extended many times during later dynasties.