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Exercisers damage park

MORE than 20,000 people show up every morning to exercise at Chengde Summer Resort, China's largest imperial garden, in northern Hebei Province.

However, 100 ancient trees in the garden are dying because people hang their bags on the branches and climb on the trees, a park official has said.

Visitors also lean on garden walls and made a lot of noise, destroying the atmosphere of the ancient garden, he added.

To give people other places to exercise, the local government planned to build 19 parks totaling 3,040 hectares in 2007. Eleven of the parks have been finished, and they now receive up to 10,000 exercisers every day. The rest are to be finished by the end of this year, said Li Linli from the cultural heritage bureau of Chengde.

Chengde Summer Resort, 230 kilometers north of Beijing, is a World Cultural Heritage site. It was built in 1703 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and was the second center of power at the time after Beijing, as emperors lived there during the summer.


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