Foreigners blacklisted for flouting the Great Wall boundary sign

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Two foreigners who posed for photos in a prohibited section of the Great Wall in Beijing have been blacklisted by the management of the tourist site.

The two men can be seen behind and atop a section of the wall with a bilingual “no crossing” sign posted up front.

“The bad behavior of these two individuals had a negative influence, and we took appropriate action immediately after receiving the reports,” the Mutianyu tourism section of the Great Wall said on Tuesday via its public account on the application of WeChat messaging.

The company that operates the tourist attraction identified the two from their registration information and prohibited them from purchasing tickets to visit the area in the future.

The photos show two strangers behind and atop a section of the Great Wall with a bilingual “no way through” sign in front. From @ 北京 慕田峪 长子 旅游 服务 有限公司 on Weibo

Mutianyu is one of the most famous and important sections of the Great Wall, first built almost 1,500 years ago to protect itself from enemy attacks, and then enlarged in the Ming Dynasty.

According to Tuesday’s statement, the prohibited section of wall the men landed on is damaged and needs to be repaired. In addition to pointing out security concerns, the advisory also warned tourists not to violate official messages so as not to damage the aesthetic appearance of the site.

Contacted by telephone on Wednesday, the Mutianyu Great Wall tourist site confirmed the disciplinary measure against the two tourists but refused Sixth Tone’s request for an interview.

Since 2000, Beijing Municipality, home to 520 kilometers from the Great Wall, has invested 470 million yuan ($ 73 million) in dozens of restoration projects along the old site, according to official data.

Sanctions, including fines and a blacklist, have been introduced at the Great Wall in response to repeated incidents of bad behavior by tourists. In April 2020, police detained a local man for five days after carving figures from bricks on the Great Wall. Almost a year later, three tourists were arrested and fined for the same offense in the Badaling section of the wall.

As such cases suggest, it is difficult to control uncivilized behavior at the iconic site, especially in places that have not been developed for tourism. In August, a publication by the state-run Xinhua News Agency criticized locals for unofficially developing “wild” sections of the wall for camping and team-building trips. And ahead of Chinese National Day week last October, Beijing officials pleaded with the public not to visit unauthorized sections of the wall for fear of damaging them.

In 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism set up a system for recording uncivilized behavior at tourist sites, including spitting, disruption of public order and degradation of facilities. These files, which are kept for up to two years, can then be reported to law enforcement and other relevant authorities for disciplinary action.

Publisher: David Paulk.

(Header image: A view of the Mutianyu tourist section of the Great Wall (left); Two foreigners behind and atop a section of the wall with a bilingual “no way through” sign posted at the before. From @ 北京 慕田峪 长子 旅游 服务 有限公司 on Weibo)



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