A popular tourist-area of the Great Wall has been specifically sectioned-off for tourists to plaster with graffiti, in an effort to save other parts of the structure from being covered with notices that someone “was here” and/or who to call “for a good time.”
The Mutianyu section, about 70 km northeast of Beijing, is one of the most popular tourist spots along the wall and attracts millions of tourists per year. 40% of the tourists are estimated to be foreigners, which explains why most of the graffiti is reported to be in English.
Graffiti has long been a problem with Chinese scenic sites, and has sparked innovative responses from authorities, like the officials in Wuhan who setup touch-screen graffiti platforms to keep visitors from carving their initials into a local pagoda. The minders of the Great Wall are reportedly also considering “an electronic graffiti board,” to hopefully cut down on permanent desecration of the site.
While it’s certainly not a perfect solution, accepting a small amount of graffiti in a controlled area is probably a better fix than constantly busting individuals along the entire length of the wall, or issuing stupid state-media pleas for Chinese tourists to behave themselves.