In late June the Chinese government began to claim that the Great Wall is actually 2.5 times longer than it had suspected in 2009. Officials now claim that the wall is 13,171 miles long, a distance that would equal more than two times the Earth’s circumference if its pieces were laid down side-to-side.
Many observers are critical of China’s new claim which places some of the walls sections as far east as the North Korean border. One French diplomat tells the Los Angeles Times
“I’m very suspicious. China wants to rewrite history to make sure history conform with the borders of today’s China.”
Chinese officials say they adjusted their measurements after discovering thousands of new sections of the wall which had been disconnected from other main structures.
Koreans in the meantime insist that the pieces of wall discovered were actually created by ancient Koreans. People in the area fear that China is attempting to push out the Korean legacy as they are doing with the Tibetans and Uighurs.
Other observers note that the Chinese are trying to name various walls as part of the Great Wall even if the structure is just “any old wall.”
Some publications have gone so far as to make fun of China for its new estimate, FXStreet titled an article “If China can’t measure a wall, how can it measure GDP?”
Regardless of its size historians are urging officials to preserve the wall as a reminder of China’s past. The aging wall was actually built over a long stretch of time that included the dynasties of Qin (221-206 BC), Han (206BC-220) and Ming (1368-1644).