Last month, China adjusted its estimate of the Great Wall's length to 13,171 miles—more than half the Earth's circumference and 2.5 times the length estimated in 2009, as China found vast new swaths as it measured it for the first time. (The measurement considers how long the wall would be if all the segments that have been discovered were laid end to end.) But some are wary, especially as Beijing asserts its borders, the Los Angeles Times reports. "I'm very suspicious. China wants to rewrite history to make sure history conforms with the borders of today's China," says one former French diplomat.
The new measurement comes as thousands of new sections of the wall have been discovered, and last month's adjustment pushes the wall as far east as the North Korean border. But Koreans insist the relics in question were actually built by ancient Koreans. "This is a distortion. The Chinese are using the wall to wipe out the Korean legacy, the same as they are doing with the Uighurs and Tibetans," says one military historian. There is also some controversy over what, exactly, constitutes the Great Wall versus just any old wall. See the Times for more.