Great Wall in Yexian, Henan Destroy by Wind Power Company

According to a news report in 2010, sections of the Great Wall dating back to the Chu State in Yexian County, Pingdingshan City, Southern Henan were destroyed by the Henan Zhongtou Yingke Wind Power Company because of the company’s construction of a wind power station. Ten places along a 2.2 kilometer (1.4 mile) stretch were damaged before the problem came to the attention of the local cultural relics officials. Later the construction was stopped and the company was fined 400,000 CNY.


Great Wall of the Chu State in Henan

The Chu Great Wall, valuable in archaeology, was built during the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC – 476BC) about 2,700 years ago. It was the earliest part of the Great Wall in China. The description of the Wall could be only found in historic records. In March 2010, the positions and outlines of these walls were found in a survey conducted by the Henan Cultural Relics Bureau. The Chu Great Wall, ran from Zhuxi County, Hubei Province to Miyang County, Henan Province, and stretched about 500km (around 310 miles).

The southern parts of Henan province used to be the territory of the Chu State, so about 390km (242 miles) of the Wall during that time was found in the province. The sections are scattered throughout 25 counties in four cities: Pingdingshan, Nanyang, Zhumadian and Xinyang. Overtime, the Chu Great Wall was damaged not only by natural forces but also by local people. In Nanshao County, Nanyang City, some local people built new walls based on the old Great Wall. In Yexian County, Pingdingshan city, these added walls are regarded as “Dragon”, because no one knows how they were made. In addition, the locals used stone from the remains of the Wall for other construction. Their lack of knowledge, led to irrecoverable damage to these valuable relics.

How the Damage Occurred

Matou Mountain, located to the southwest of Yexian County, is one of the nine big mountain passes in China. This place is a great location for a wind power station because of the frequent strong winds. In 2010, a project to construct a wind power station at a profit of 100 million Yuan was launched. However, this mountain is also one of the places where the Great Wall of Chu is located. In March 2011, for the purpose of construction, roads that passed the Wall in several places were repaired. The program principal claimed that the machines needed for construction could not otherwise be transported, and that they were not informed that the Wall was on the mountain.

In fact, the Cultural Relics Bureau of Yexian County had already inspected this place before the area was approved to build the power station and noted the existence of the Wall. They asked the builders to avoid the Great Wall during construction and ordered the builders to fulfill their obligations to protect the Wall. But by the time the officials from the Cultural Relics Bureau of Yexian County patrolled in the county on 19 April 2011, the damage had already been done.

The publishing of this report aroused a great deal of attention for the Chu Great Wall and its protection. Currently, both the local construction and the recovery of the Wall are urgent. The local experts tried their best to figure out how to recover the Wall. The local government is also determined to protect these ruins. But what concerns the protectors is that more damage will be done since wall sections are scattered about the construction area. They believe that it will be hard to restore the wall to its original state.

Protection of Local Great Wall

In Henan, a group of people has formed an advocacy group to protect the wall. Those people live in different counties or cities and are sparing no effort to prevent the valuable wall from being ruined. Investigations are often organized by the group and some the members walk several miles just to guard the wall. They were the first to find the damage in Yexian County, and they spread the news via internet and appealed for more people to participate in protecting the remains of the wall.

- Last modified on Jul. 11, 2019 -
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