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Yangtze River

Yangtze River

During the 40 million years history of the life and 50,000years history of human civilization, Yangtze River, a mother river of the Chinese people,brings up billions of Huaxia people.

Facts of Yangtze River

Snaking its way 6,300 kilometres from western China's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the East China Sea, the Yangtze River stretches nine provinces and serves as a drain for 695,000 square miles of land. It drains one-fifth of China's land area and its river basin is home to one-third of China's population.

It is less in length only to the Amazon and Nile, and spans so many regions that it has acquired half a dozen names. In the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Tibetans title it Dri Chu-Female Yak River. The Chinese in the area know it as Tongtian He, Travelling-Through-the-Heavens River. Where it borders Sichuan and runs through Yunnan, it is referred to as Jinsha Jiang, River of Golden Sand. Often the word Wanli prefixes the common Chang Jiang (Long River), designating it Ten Thousand Li River. Only in the lower reaches does this great flood go by its name common to foreigners: Yangtze River.

Along with the Yellow River, the Yangtze River is the most important river in the history, culture and economy of China. The prosperous Yangtze River Delta generates as much as 20% of China's GDP. The Yangtze river is an important physical and cultural dividing line between North and South China.

History of Yangtze River

It was 100,000 years ago that the human beings have lived in the Yangtze River drainage area. Lantian Man, Changyang Man, Yunxian Man are all the Chinese remote ancestors. And the ancient human remains and ruins of the Old and New stone Ages have been discovered everywhere along the Yangtze River nowaday. 7000 years ago, our ancestors were fishing, cultivating, planting rices and bringing up descendants here. When it was in civilzed society, varies of distinctive national features were born here. Such as Jingchu Culture, Wu and Yue Cultrue, Bashu Culture and several minority nationalities cultures. They are all the priceless treasure in Chinese traditional cultures.

Famous Scenic Area of Yangtze River

The Yangzte River also winds through some of China's most famous scenic areas. The common Chinese saying, 'If you haven't travelled up the mighty Yangzte River, you haven't been anywhere', well describes the river's range of picturesque landscapes. North of the Himalayas at the Yangtze River's origin, the Tibetan Plateau has mighty glaciers and enduring snows which continuously melt into the Yangtze River. Winding south, the river meets the world-renowned Three Gorges which tower above it in the western Wu Shan (Witch Mountains) in Chongqing.

Known in the past for their dramatic beauty as well as religious and historical sites, the Three Gorges have recently received much attention due to the building of the controversial dam. The Yangtze River stretches 192 km through the Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge, Wuxia Gorge, and Xiling Gorge. The perilous Xiling Gorge, furthest down river, often stands shrouded in mists. It threatens weary river vessels with whirlpools, rapids, and water cannons that can easily leave even large watercraft upside down. It is known for its skying walls and the accelerated river beneath them. The Wuxia Gorge is tranquil and quiet with a deep valley and twelve peaks along its shores. Qutang Gorge boasts great magnificence in a brief eight-kilometre distance. Its scenic shores contain the Meng Liang Staircase, the ancient Plank Road, and the Seven Gate Cave.

Three Gorges Dam on Yangtze River

One and a half miles wide and 610 feet tall, the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam is China's largest construction project since the Great Wall. The People's Republic of China decided to dam the Yangtze River in 1994 with a steel and concrete wall that would take 15 years and over $30 billion to build. The dam contains twice the amount of concrete of the Itaipu Dam in Brazil, currently the world's largest. It creates a five trillion gallon reservoir hundreds of feet deep and about 400 miles long, able to absorb an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale. It allows 10,000-ton freighters to easily navigate into the nation's interior and increase agricultural and manufacturing opportunities. As the world's largest hydroelectric power plant, the dam's turbines are expected to create the equivalent electricity of 18 nuclear power plants.

As the longest river in China and the third longest in the world, Yangtze River plays an important role in history, culture, economy and agriculture. As the development of China, Yangtze River will become more important and more beautiful in the future.