Yangtze

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**Etymology and Names:**
– The official name for the Yangtze in Mandarin Chinese is Cháng Jiāng (长江; 長江).
– Europeans applied the local name Yángzǐ Jiāng to the whole river.
– Different names are given to upstream sections of the river, such as Jinsha River and Tongtian River.
– Local names for various sections include Chuān Jiāng, Jīng Jiāng, Wǎn Jiāng, and Yángzǐ Jiāng.
– The name Yángzǐ Jiāng likely comes from an ancient ferry crossing called Yángzǐ Yángzǐjīn.

**Geographic and Significance:**
– The Yangtze is the longest river in Eurasia and the third-longest in the world.
– It flows entirely within China and has a length of 6,300km (3,915mi).
– The river’s drainage basin covers one-fifth of China’s land area.
– It has been crucial for water resources, transportation, and industry in China.
– The Yangtze Delta contributes significantly to China’s GDP and hosts diverse ecosystems.

**Tibetan Influence and Ethnic Areas:**
– The source and upper reaches of the Yangtze are located in ethnic Tibetan areas of Qinghai.
– In Tibetan, the Tuotuo headwaters are known as Machu (རྨ་ཆུ་).
– The Tongtian River is called Drichu (འབྲི་ཆུ་).
– The rivers in Tibetan have names that reflect their characteristics.
– Ethnic Tibetan areas play a significant role in the origin of the Yangtze River.

**Historical and Cultural Significance:**
Human activity in the Three Gorges area dates back to 27,000 years ago.
– The lower Yangtze was a major population center by the 5th millennium BC.
– The Yangtze valley integrated into the North Chinese cultural sphere.
– The lower Yangtze was occupied by ancient cultures like Hemudu and Majiabang.
– The kingdoms of Wu and Yue were powerful states during the later Zhou.

**Economic Development and Infrastructure:**
– Yangtze River region grew vital to China’s economy since the Han dynasty.
– Irrigation systems like Dujiangyan enhanced agriculture productivity.
– Ancient Lingqu Canal linked the Yangtze Basin with the Pearl River Delta.
– Region along the Yangtze became wealthy during the Song dynasty.
– Yangtze served as China’s inland water transportation backbone for almost 2,000 years.

Yangtze (Wikipedia)

Yangtze or Yangzi (English: /ˈjæŋtsi/ or /ˈjɑːŋtsi/) is the longest river in Eurasia, the third-longest in the world, and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the Tanggula Mountains of the Tibetan Plateau and flows 6,300 km (3,915 mi) in a generally easterly direction to the East China Sea. It is the fifth-largest primary river by discharge volume in the world. Its drainage basin comprises one-fifth of the land area of China, and is home to nearly one-third of the country's population.

Yangtze River
长江
Dusk on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River (Three Gorges) 2002
Map of the Yangtze River drainage basin
Native nameCháng Jiāng (Chinese)
Location
CountryChina
ProvincesQinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu
MunicipalitiesChongqing and Shanghai
Autonomous regionTibet
CitiesLuzhou, Chongqing, Yichang, Jingzhou, Yueyang, Wuhan, Jiujiang, Anqing, Tongling, Wuhu, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Nantong, Shanghai
Physical characteristics
SourceDam Qu (Jari Hill)
 • locationTanggula Mountains, Qinghai
 • coordinates32°36′14″N 94°30′44″E / 32.60389°N 94.51222°E / 32.60389; 94.51222
 • elevation5,170 m (16,960 ft)
2nd sourceUlan Moron
 • coordinates33°23′40″N 90°53′46″E / 33.39444°N 90.89611°E / 33.39444; 90.89611
3rd sourceChuma'er River
 • coordinates35°27′19″N 90°55′50″E / 35.45528°N 90.93056°E / 35.45528; 90.93056
4th sourceMuluwusu River
 • coordinates33°22′13″N 91°10′29″E / 33.37028°N 91.17472°E / 33.37028; 91.17472
5th sourceBi Qu
 • coordinates33°16′58″N 91°23′29″E / 33.28278°N 91.39139°E / 33.28278; 91.39139
MouthEast China Sea
 • location
Shanghai and Jiangsu
 • coordinates
31°23′37″N 121°58′59″E / 31.39361°N 121.98306°E / 31.39361; 121.98306
Length6,300 km (3,900 mi)
Basin size1,808,500 km2 (698,300 sq mi)
Discharge 
 • average30,146 m3/s (1,064,600 cu ft/s)
 • minimum2,000 m3/s (71,000 cu ft/s)
 • maximum110,000 m3/s (3,900,000 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
 • locationDatong hydrometric station, Anhui (Uppermost boundary of the ocean tide)
 • average(Period: 1980–2020)905.7 km3/a (28,700 m3/s) 30,708 m3/s (1,084,400 cu ft/s) (2019–2020)
Discharge 
 • locationWuhan (Hankou)
 • average(Period: 1980–2020)711.1 km3/a (22,530 m3/s)
Discharge 
 • locationYichang (Three Gorges Dam)
 • average(Period: 1980–2020)428.7 km3/a (13,580 m3/s)
Basin features
Tributaries 
 • leftYalong, Min, Tuo, Jialing, Han
 • rightWu, Yuan, Zi, Xiang, Gan, Huangpu
Chang Jiang
"Yangtze River (Cháng jiāng)" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese长江
Traditional Chinese長江
Literal meaninglong river
Yangtze River
Simplified Chinese扬子江
Traditional Chinese揚子江
Tibetan name
Tibetanའབྲི་ཆུ་

The Yangtze has played a major role in the history, culture, and economy of China. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking, and war. The prosperous Yangtze Delta generates as much as 20% of China's GDP. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world that is in use. In mid-2014, the Chinese government announced it was building a multi-tier transport network, comprising railways, roads and airports, to create a new economic belt alongside the river.

The Yangtze flows through a wide array of ecosystems and is habitat to several endemic and threatened species including the Chinese alligator, the narrow-ridged finless porpoise, and also was the home of the now extinct Yangtze river dolphin (or baiji) and Chinese paddlefish, as well as the Yangtze sturgeon, which is extinct in the wild. In recent years, the river has suffered from industrial pollution, plastic pollution, agricultural runoff, siltation, and loss of wetland and lakes, which exacerbates seasonal flooding. Some sections of the river are now protected as nature reserves. A stretch of the upstream Yangtze flowing through deep gorges in western Yunnan is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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