The re-establishment of friendly relations between the People's Republic of China and the outside world has been emphasised by the recent bout of ping-pong diplomacy.
The re-establishment of friendly relations between the People's Republic of China and the outside world has been emphasised by the recent bout of ping-pong diplomacy. But the extent of China's new contacts can be better gauged by the rapid extension of tourist facilities, particularly the Great Wall of China.
Until six months ago, the Great Wall was "out of bounds" to all tourists. Now the Chinese are developing the tourist potential of the greatest building enterprise ever undertaken by man. A section of about 3 miles(5 Kilometres) has been completely rebuilt and visitors can now take advantage of new facilities -- picnic areas, rest rooms, restaurants and even loud speakers presenting selections from Chinese opera, interspersed with broadcasts of the thoughts of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung.
This film was shot by VISNEWS staffman Russell Spurr, who went into China with the party of journalists following the invitation of the foreign table tennis teams extended by Chinese officials after the world championships in Japan.
SYNOPSIS: The Great Wall of China, extending nearly two thousand miles from the Gulf of Chili to the gates of central Asia, is the greatest building enterprise ever undertaken by man. Until six months ago the Wall was forbidden to visitors but now the Chinese have realised its commercial value and have opened up new facilities for tourists -- picnic areas, restaurants and car parks.
Where the Great Wall crosses the Chu Yung, Pass, the gateway for the invaders of China, three miles of it have been completely restored. Now, where once entire columns of troops marched to patrol their section of China's first line of defence, coaches arrive to show tourists' the fortifications.
In the third century before Christ the first emperor of China, Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, linked up son already existing walls and built new sections to create the Great Wall, defending the country from the Huns of the north. It was built of earth and stone, and its eastern sections were faced with bricks.
Towers about 30 feet high were built at intervals of 200 yards. These were to house the troops and their defensive weapons. The top of the Wall was in fact an elevated road, wide enough to march line-abreast.
Now the parade grounds have been replaced by car parks, built to accommodate the droves of tourists on conducted tours. Virtually all foreign visitors to Peking are given a chance to see one of the world's greatest wonders.
Chinese tourists make good use of the new picnic areas. While they eat, they also take advantage of the opera -- piped to them over a sophisticated loud speaker system. At timely intervals, they also hear the broadcast thoughts of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. More tourist facilities are to the opened soon.