News Flash: China Has Not One, But Three Great Walls

Sameera Ehteram
Centuries ago, China built the Great Wall to stop its enemies. It is now building at least two others to beat another kind of foe.

The Great Wall of China Itself

The Great Wall of China

The original Great Wall of China was built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China – ­measuring approximately 21,196 kilometers – to protect the country against its enemies. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC and were later joined together to form one massive wall great enough to be enlisted as one of the greatest wonders of the world.

Now, there are two more – or will be very soon.

The Great Wall in the Sea

China has found an ingenious way of solving its long-time maritime disputes. Instead of continuing with the so far aggressive policies with Vietnam, Japan and Philippines, it has slyly started “dredging its atolls,” turning coral reefs into permanent islands.

What it is trying to do is build artificial lands by pumping sand on to live coral reefs and covering them with concrete, turning them in to islands.

According to U.S. Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., “China has now created over four square kilometers of artificial landmass.”

The image below shows the extent of this build up over the last few months:

The images are from March 30 and 7 August 2014 and 30 January 2015

The Great Green Wall

China is planting massive numbers of new trees – i.e., creating a Great Wall of Trees – on the edge of the great Gobi desert, to combat not only deforestation but help in maintaining better environmental conditions as well.

The band of trees spanning 2,800 miles is rightfully said to be the “world’s largest ecological engineering project.”

In doing so, the country seems to be making amends for being the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

There are reservations about the amount of groundwater new forests may take up but the counter argument is that the very large numbers of trees is likely to produce enough more oxygen to help reinforce the water cycle.