From Comment is free:
Those are two wonders of the world in China. One is used to defend Beijing and the rich lands in central and southern China from invasion and pillage by Mongolians and other northern nomads. The other is used to defend the republic’s society and fragile ideology from the “invasion” and “poisoning” of the west’s “corrupted culture” and “anti-China powers”.
History will show that the Great Wall eventually failed to protect either China or its rulers. In my opinion, that will be mainly because of the advance of new technologies. These are not only overwhelming the old protection, but also providing new ways to defend it. The differences between the old (physical) wall and the new (virtual) one are these:
1) It’s easier to experience the new one. You just need to enter China. No need to even bother going to Beijing.
2) The new one does work, at least for now.
3) The new one is easier to maintain.