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The Yangtze
Yangtze
(English: /ˈjæŋtsi/ or /ˈjɑːŋtsi/), which is 6,380 km (3,964 miles) long, is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. The river is the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It drains one-fifth of the land area of the People's Republic of China
China
(PRC) and its river basin is home to nearly one-third of the country's population.[7] The Yangtze
Yangtze
is the sixth-largest river by discharge volume in the world. The English name Yangtze
Yangtze
derives from the Chinese name Yángzǐ Jiāng ( listen), which refers to the lowest 435 km of the river between Nanjing
Nanjing
and Shanghai. The whole river is known in China
China
as Cháng Jiāng ( listen; literally: "Long River"). The Yangtze
Yangtze
plays a large role in the history, culture and economy of China. The prosperous Yangtze River Delta
Yangtze River Delta
generates as much as 20% of the PRC's GDP. The Yangtze River
Yangtze River
flows through a wide array of ecosystems and is habitat to several endemic and endangered species including the Chinese alligator, the finless porpoise, the Chinese paddlefish, the (possibly extinct) Yangtze River dolphin
Yangtze River dolphin
or baiji, and the Yangtze
Yangtze
sturgeon. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking and war. The Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam on the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world.[8][9] In recent years, the river has suffered from industrial pollution, agricultural run-off, 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
Yunnan
is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan
Yunnan
Protected Areas, a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site. 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.[10]

Contents

1 Names

1.1 Chinese

1.1.1 Chang Jiang – "Long River" 1.1.2 Jinsha Jiang – "Gold Sands River" 1.1.3 Tongtian River 1.1.4 Tuotuo River

1.2 English 1.3 Tibetan

2 Geography

2.1 Image gallery

3 Characteristics 4 History

4.1 Geologic history 4.2 Early history 4.3 Age of steam 4.4 U.S. and French conflicts 4.5 Navigation on the upper river 4.6 Navy ships

5 Hydrology

5.1 Periodic floods 5.2 Degradation of the river 5.3 Contribution to ocean pollution 5.4 Reconnecting lakes

6 Major cities along the river 7 Crossings 8 Dams 9 Tributaries 10 Protected areas 11 Wildlife

11.1 Fish 11.2 Other animals

12 See also 13 References 14 Further reading 15 External links

Names[edit]

Chang Jiang

" Yangtze River
Yangtze River
(Cháng jiāng)" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters

Chinese name

Simplified Chinese 长江

Traditional Chinese 長江

Literal meaning "The Long River"

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Cháng Jiāng

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Charng Jiang

Wade–Giles Ch'ang2 Chiang1

IPA [ʈʂʰǎŋ tɕjáŋ] ( listen)

Wu

Romanization Zan入 Kaon平

Xiang

IPA dɒŋ13kiɒŋ44

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Chèuhng Gōng

IPA [tsʰœ̏ːŋ kɔ́ːŋ]

Jyutping Coeng4 Gong1

Southern Min

Tâi-lô Tiông Kang

Middle Chinese

Middle Chinese ɖjang kæwng

Old Chinese

Baxter–Sagart (2014)

Cə-[N]-traŋ kˤroŋ

Yangtze
Yangtze
River

Simplified Chinese 扬子江

Traditional Chinese 揚子江

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin  Yángzǐ Jiāng

Wade–Giles Yang-tzu Chiang

IPA [jǎŋtsì tɕjáŋ]

Wu

Romanization Yang入 Tse平 Kaon平

Xiang

IPA jɒŋ13tsɯ31kiɒŋ44

Yue: Cantonese

Jyutping Joeng4-zi2 Gong1

Tibetan name

Tibetan འབྲི་ཆུ་

Transcriptions

Wylie 'Bri Chu

THL Dri Chu

Chinese[edit] Because the source of the Yangtze
Yangtze
was not ascertained until modern times, the Chinese have given different names to lower and upstream sections of the river.[11][12] "Yangtze" was actually the name of Chang Jiang for the lower part from Nanjing
Nanjing
to the river mouth at Shanghai. However, due to the fact that Christian missionaries
Christian missionaries
carried out their activities mainly in this area and were familiar with the name of this part of Chang Jiang, " Yangtze
Yangtze
river" was used to refer to the whole Chang Jiang in the English language. In modern Chinese, Yangtze
Yangtze
is still used to refer to the lower part of Chang Jiang from Nanjing
Nanjing
to the river mouth. Yangtze
Yangtze
never stands for the whole Chang Jiang. Chang Jiang – "Long River"[edit] Chang Jiang (长江/長江) is the modern Chinese name for the lower 2,884 km (1,792 mi) of the Yangtze
Yangtze
from its confluence with the Min River at Yibin
Yibin
in Sichuan Province
Sichuan Province
to the river mouth at Shanghai. Chang Jiang literally means the "Long River." In Old Chinese, this stretch of the Yangtze
Yangtze
was simply called Jiang/Kiang 江,[13] a character of phono-semantic compound origin, combining the water radical 氵 with the homophone 工 (now pronounced gōng, but *kˤoŋ in Old Chinese[14]). Krong was probably a word in the Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
language of local peoples such as the Yue. Similar to *krong in Proto-Vietnamese
Proto-Vietnamese
and krung in Mon, all meaning "river", it is related to modern Vietnamese sông (river) and Khmer kôngkea (water).[15] By the Han Dynasty, Jiang had come to mean any river in Chinese, and this river was distinguished as the "Great River" 大江 (Dàjiāng). The epithet 長 (of which the modern, simplified version 长), means "long", was first formally applied to the river during the Six Dynasties period.[citation needed] Various sections of Chang Jiang have local names. From Yibin
Yibin
to Yichang, the river through Sichuan
Sichuan
and Chongqing
Chongqing
Municipality is also known as the Chuan Jiang (川江, p Chuānjiāng) or "Sichuan River." In the Hubei
Hubei
Province, the river is also called the Jing Jiang (荆江, p Jīngjiāng) or the "Jing River" after Jingzhou. In Anhui
Anhui
Province, the river takes on the local name Wan Jiang after the shorthand name for Anhui, wan (皖). And Yangzi Jiang t 揚子江s 扬子江, p Yángzǐjiāng) or the "Yangzi River", from which the English name Yangtze
Yangtze
is derived, is the local name for the Lower Yangtze
Yangtze
in the region of Yangzhou. The name likely comes from an ancient ferry crossing called Yangzi or Yangzijin (揚子 or 揚子津, p Yángzǐ or Yángzǐjīn).[16][17][18] Europeans
Europeans
who arrived in the Yangtze Delta
Yangtze Delta
region applied this local name to the Å river.[11] The dividing sites of upstream, midstream and downstream are considered to be Yichang
Yichang
and Hukou (Jiujiang) respectively.[clarification needed These 3 terms seem to be linked to 2 places.][citation needed] Jinsha Jiang – "Gold Sands River"[edit] The Jinsha River
Jinsha River
(金沙江, lit. "Gold Dust"[19] or "Golden-Sanded River"[20]) is the name for 2,308 km (1,434 mi) of the Yangtze
Yangtze
from Yibin
Yibin
upstream to the confluence with the Batang River near Yushu in Qinghai
Qinghai
Province. From antiquity until the Ming Dynasty, this stretch of the river was believed to be a tributary of the Yangtze
Yangtze
while the Min River was thought to be the main course of the river above Yibin. In the Tribute to Yu, written in the fifth century BCE, this section is called the Hei Shui 黑水 or the "Black Water." The name "Jinsha" originates in the Song dynasty when the river attracted large numbers of gold prospectors. Gold prospecting along the Jinsha continued to this day.[21] Prior to the Song dynasty, other names were used including, for example Lújiāng (瀘江) from the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
period.[22] Tongtian River[edit] The Tongtian River (通天河, lit. "River Passing Through Heaven") describes the 813 km (505 mi) section from Yushu up to the confluence with the Dangqu River. The name comes from a fabled river in the Journey to the West. In antiquity, it was called the Yak River. In Mongolian, this section is known as the Murui-ussu (lit. "Winding Stream").[23] and sometimes confused with the nearby Baishui.[12] Tuotuo River[edit] The Tuotuo River
Tuotuo River
(沱沱河, p Tuótuó Hé, lit. "Tearful River"[24] is the official headstream of the Yangtze, and flows 358 km (222 mi) from the glaciers of the Gelaindong Massif in the Tanggula Mountains
Tanggula Mountains
of southwestern Qinghai
Qinghai
to the confluence with the Dangqu River to form the Tongtian River.[26]) In Mongolian, this section of the river known as the Ulaan Mörön or the "Red River". The Tuotuo is one of three main headstreams of the Yangtze. The Dangqu River (当曲, p Dāngqū) is the actual geographic headwater of the Yangtze. [27] The name is derived the Classical Tibetan for "Marsh River" (འདམ་ཆུ, w 'Dam Chu). The Chumar River (楚玛尔河) is the Chinese name for the northern headwater of the Yangtze, which flows from the Hoh Xil
Hoh Xil
Mountains in Qinghai
Qinghai
into the Tongtian. Chumar is Tibetan for the "Red River." English[edit] The river was called Quian (江) and Quianshui (江水) by Marco Polo[28] and appeared on the earliest English maps as Kian or Kiam,[29][30] all recording dialects which preserved forms of the Middle Chinese
Middle Chinese
pronunciation of 江 as Kæwng.[13] By the mid-19th century, these romanizations had standardized as Kiang; Dajiang, e.g., was rendered as "Ta-Kiang". "Keeang-Koo",[31] "Kyang Kew",[32] "Kian-ku",[33] and related names derived from mistaking the Chinese term for the mouth of the Yangtze
Yangtze
(江口, p Jiāngkǒu) as the name of the river itself.

A map of China
China
depicting the Yellow River's southerly path following its stabilization by the Grand Eunuch Li Xing's public works after the 1494 flood.

The name Blue River began to be applied in the 18th century,[29] apparently owing to a former name of the Dam Chu[35] or Min[37] and to analogy with the Yellow River,[38][39] but it was frequently explained in early English references as a 'translation' of Jiang,[40][41] Jiangkou,[31] or Yangzijiang.[42] Very common in 18th- and 19th-century sources, the name fell out of favor due to growing awareness of its lack of any connection to the river's Chinese names[20][43] and to the irony of its application to such a muddy waterway.[43][44] The 1615 Latin account of the Jesuit missions to China
China
included descriptions of the "Iansu" and "Iansuchian".[45] The posthumous account's translation of the name as "Son of the Ocean"[45][46] shows that Ricci, who by the end of his life was fluent in literary Chinese, was introduced to it as the homophonic 洋子江 rather than the 'proper' 揚子江. Further, although railroads and the Shanghai concessions subsequently turned it into a backwater, Yangzhou
Yangzhou
was the lower river's principal port for much of the Qing Dynasty, directing Liangjiang's important salt monopoly and connecting the Yangtze
Yangtze
with the Grand Canal to Beijing. (That connection also made it one of the Yellow River's principal ports between the floods of 1344 and the 1850s, during which time the Yellow River
Yellow River
ran well south of Shandong and discharged into the ocean only a few hundred kilometres away from the mouth of the Yangtze.[20][33]) By 1800, English cartographers such as Aaron Arrowsmith
Aaron Arrowsmith
had adopted the French style of the name[47] as Yang-tse or Yang-tse Kiang.[48] The British diplomat Thomas Wade emended this to Yang-tzu Chiang as part of his formerly popular romanization of Chinese, based on the Beijing
Beijing
dialect instead of Nanjing's and first published in 1867. The spellings Yangtze
Yangtze
and Yangtze Kiang was a compromise between the two methods adopted at the 1906 Imperial Postal Conference in Shanghai, which established postal romanization. Hanyu Pinyin
Hanyu Pinyin
was adopted by the PRC's First Congress in 1958, but it was not widely employed in English outside mainland China
China
prior to the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and the PRC in 1979; since that time, the spelling Yangzi has also been used. Tibetan[edit] The source and upper reaches of the Yangtze
Yangtze
are located in ethnic Tibetan areas of Qinghai.[49] In Tibetan, the Tuotuo headwaters are the Machu (རྨ་ཆུ་, w rMa-chu, literally "Red River" or (perhaps "Wound-[like Red] River?")). The Tongtian is the Drichu (འབྲི་ཆུ་, w 'Bri Chu, literally "River of the Female Yak"; transliterated into Chinese as 直曲, p Zhíqū). Geography[edit]

Yangtze
Yangtze
drainage basin

Cruise on the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
before sunset

The river originates from several tributaries in the eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, two of which are commonly referred to as the "source". Traditionally, the Chinese government has recognized the source as the Tuotuo tributary at the base of a glacier lying on the west of Geladandong
Geladandong
Mountain in the Tanggula Mountains. This source is found at 33°25′44″N 91°10′57″E / 33.42889°N 91.18250°E / 33.42889; 91.18250 and while not the furthest source of the Yangtze, it is the highest source at 5,342 m (17,526 ft) above sea level. The true source of the Yangtze, hydrologically the longest river distance from the sea, is at Jari Hill at the head of the Dam Qu tributary, approximately 325 km (202 mi) southeast of Geladandong.[50] This source was only discovered in the late 20th century and lies in wetlands at 32°36′14″N 94°30′44″E / 32.60389°N 94.51222°E / 32.60389; 94.51222 and 5,170 m (16,960 ft) above sea level just southeast of Chadan Township in Zadoi County, Yushu Prefecture, Qinghai.[51] As the historical spiritual source of the Yangtze, the Geladandong
Geladandong
source is still commonly referred to as the source of the Yangtze
Yangtze
since the discovery of the Jari Hill source.[50] These tributaries join and the river then runs eastward through Qinghai
Qinghai
(Tsinghai), turning southward down a deep valley at the border of Sichuan
Sichuan
(Szechwan) and Tibet to reach Yunnan. In the course of this valley, the river's elevation drops from above 5,000 m (16,000 ft) to less than 1,000 m (3,300 ft). The headwaters of the Yangtze
Yangtze
are situated at an elevation of about 4,900 m (16,100 ft). In its descent to sea level, the river falls to an altitude of 305 m (1,001 ft) at Yibin, Sichuan, the head of navigation for riverboats, and to 192 m (630 ft) at Chongqing
Chongqing
(Chungking). Between Chongqing
Chongqing
and Yichang
Yichang
(I-ch'ang), at an altitude of 40 m (130 ft) and a distance of about 320 km (200 mi), it passes through the spectacular Yangtze Gorges, which are noted for their natural beauty but are dangerous to shipping. It enters the basin of Sichuan
Sichuan
at Yibin. While in the Sichuan
Sichuan
basin, it receives several mighty tributaries, increasing its water volume significantly. It then cuts through Mount Wushan bordering Chongqing and Hubei
Hubei
to create the famous Three Gorges. Eastward of the Three Gorges, Yichang
Yichang
is the first city on the Yangtze
Yangtze
Plain. After entering Hubei, the Yangtze
Yangtze
receives water from a number of lakes. The largest of these lakes is Dongting Lake, which is located on the border of Hunan
Hunan
and Hubei
Hubei
provinces, and is the outlet for most of the rivers in Hunan. At Wuhan, it receives its biggest tributary, the Han River, bringing water from its northern basin as far as Shaanxi. At the northern tip of Jiangxi, Lake Poyang, the biggest freshwater lake in China, merges into the river. The river then runs through Anhui
Anhui
and Jiangsu
Jiangsu
provinces, receiving more water from innumerable smaller lakes and rivers, and finally reaches the East China
China
Sea at Shanghai. Four of China's five main freshwater lakes contribute their waters to the Yangtze
Yangtze
River. Traditionally, the upstream part of the Yangtze River refers to the section from Yibin
Yibin
to Yichang; the middle part refers to the section from Yichang
Yichang
to Hukou County, where Lake Poyang meets the river; the downstream part is from Hukou to Shanghai. The origin of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
has been dated by some geologists to about 45 million years ago in the Eocene,[52] but this dating has been disputed.[by whom?].[53][54] Image gallery[edit]

The glaciers of the Tanggula Mountains, the traditional source of the Yangtze
Yangtze
River

The Tuotuo River, a headwater stream of the Yangtze
Yangtze
River, known in Tibetan as Maqu, or the "Red River"

The first turn of the Yangtze
Yangtze
at Shigu (石鼓) in Yunnan
Yunnan
Province, where the river turns 180 degrees from south- to north-bound

The Jinsha River
Jinsha River
in Yunnan

The Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge
near Lijiang downstream from Shigu

Qutang Gorge, one of the Three Gorges

Wu Gorge, one of the Three Gorges

Xiling Gorge, one of the Three Gorges

Characteristics[edit] The Yangtze
Yangtze
flows into the East China
China
Sea and was navigable by ocean-going vessels up 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from its mouth even before the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam was built.[dubious – discuss] As of June 2003, this dam spans the river, flooding Fengjie, the first of a number of towns affected by the massive flood control and power generation project. This is the largest comprehensive irrigation project in the world and has a significant impact on China's agriculture. Its proponents argue that it will free people living along the river from floods that have repeatedly threatened them in the past and will offer them electricity and water transport—though at the expense of permanently flooding many existing towns (including numerous ancient cultural relics) and causing large-scale changes in the local ecology. Opponents of the dam point out that there are three different kinds of floods on the Yangtze
Yangtze
River: floods which originate in the upper reaches, floods which originate in the lower reaches, and floods along the entire length of the river. They argue that the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
dam will actually make flooding in the upper reaches worse and have little or no impact on floods which originate in the lower reaches. Twelve hundred years of low water marks on the river were recorded in the inscriptions and the carvings of carp at Baiheliang, now submerged. The Yangtze
Yangtze
is flanked with metallurgical, power, chemical, auto, building materials and machinery industrial belts and high-tech development zones. It is playing an increasingly crucial role in the river valley's economic growth and has become a vital link for international shipping to the inland provinces. The river is a major transportation artery for China, connecting the interior with the coast. The river is one of the world's busiest waterways. Traffic includes commercial traffic transporting bulk goods such as coal as well as manufactured goods and passengers. Cargo transportation reached 795 million tons in 2005.[55][56] River cruises several days long, especially through the beautiful and scenic Three Gorges
Three Gorges
area, are becoming popular as the tourism industry grows in China. Flooding
Flooding
along the river has been a major problem. The rainy season in China
China
is May and June in areas south of Yangtze
Yangtze
River, and July and August in areas north of it. The huge river system receives water from both southern and northern flanks, which causes its flood season to extend from May to August. Meanwhile, the relatively dense population and rich cities along the river make the floods more deadly and costly. The most recent major floods were the 1998 Yangtze
Yangtze
River Floods, but more disastrous were the 1954 Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Floods, which killed around 30,000 people.[57] History[edit] See also: The Sand Pebbles (novel), The Sand Pebbles (film), USS Asheville (PG-21), and Yangtze
Yangtze
Patrol Geologic history[edit] Although the mouth of the Yellow River
Yellow River
has fluctuated widely north and south of the Shandong peninsula
Shandong peninsula
within the historical record, the Yangtze
Yangtze
has remained largely static. Based on studies of sedimentation rates, however, it is unlikely that the present discharge site predates the late Miocene (c. 11 Ma).[58] Prior to this, its headwaters drained south into the Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin
along or near the course of the present Red River.[59]

Afternoon light on the jagged grey mountains rising from the Yangtze River gorge

Early history[edit] Further information: Baiyue, state of Wu, state of Yue, state of Chu, and Southward expansion of the Han Dynasty The Yangtze River
Yangtze River
is important to the cultural origins of southern China
China
and Japan.[60] Human activity has been verified in the Three Gorges area as far back as 27,000 years ago,[61] and by the 5th millennium BC, the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
was a major population center occupied by the Hemudu and Majiabang cultures, both among the earliest cultivators of rice. By the 3rd millennium  BC, the successor Liangzhu culture
Liangzhu culture
showed evidence of influence from the Longshan peoples of the North China
China
Plain.[62] A study of Liangzhu remains found a high prevalence of haplogroup O1, linking it to Austronesian and Daic
Daic
populations;[63] the same study found the rare haplogroup O3d at a Daxi site on the central Yangtze, indicates possible connection with the Hmong, although "only small traces" of haplogroup O3d remains in Hmong today.[64] What is now thought of as Chinese culture developed along the more fertile Yellow River
Yellow River
basin; the "Yue" people of the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
possessed very different traditions – blackening their teeth, cutting their hair short, tattooing their bodies, and living in small settlements among bamboo groves[65] – and were considered barbarous by the northerners. The Central Yangtze
Yangtze
valley was home to sophisticated Neolithic Cultures.[66] Later on it was the earliest part of the Yangtze
Yangtze
valley to be integrated into the North Chinese cultural sphere. North Chinese people were active there from the Bronze Age.[67]

A map of the Warring States
Warring States
around 350 BC, showing the former coastline of the Yangtze
Yangtze
delta.

In the lower Yangtze, two Yue tribes, the Gouwu
Gouwu
in southern Jiangsu and the Yuyue
Yuyue
in northern Zhejiang, display increasing Zhou (i.e., North Chinese) influence from the 9th century BC. Traditional accounts[68] credit these changes to northern refugees (Taibo and Zhongyong in Wu and Wuyi in Yue) who assumed power over the local tribes, though these are generally assumed to be myths invented to legitimate them to other Zhou rulers. As the kingdoms of Wu and Yue, they were famed as fishers, shipwrights, and sword-smiths. Adopting Chinese characters, political institutions, and military technology, they were among the most powerful states during the later Zhou. In the middle Yangtze, the state of Jing seems to have begun in the upper Han River valley a minor Zhou polity, but it adapted to native culture as it expanded south and east into the Yangtze
Yangtze
valley. In the process, it changed its name to Chu.[69] Whether native or nativizing, the Yangtze
Yangtze
states held their own against the northern Chinese homeland: some lists credit them with three of the Spring and Autumn period's Five Hegemons
Five Hegemons
and one of the Warring States' Four Lords. They fell in against themselves, however. Chu's growing power led its rival Jin to support Wu as a counter. Wu successfully sacked Chu's capital Ying in 506 BC, but Chu subsequently supported Yue in its attacks against Wu's southern flank. In 473 BC, King Goujian of Yue
King Goujian of Yue
fully annexed Wu and moved his court to its eponymous capital at modern Suzhou. In 333 BC, Chu finally united the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
by annexing Yue, whose royal family was said to have fled south and established the Minyue kingdom in Fujian. Qin was able to unite China
China
by first subduing Ba and Shu on the upper Yangtze
Yangtze
in modern Sichuan, giving them a strong base to attack Chu's settlements along the river. The state of Qin conquered the central Yangtze
Yangtze
region, previous heartland of Chu, in 278 BC, and incorporated the region into its expanding empire. Qin then used its connections along the Yangtze River the Xiang River
Xiang River
to expand China
China
into Hunan, Jiangxi
Jiangxi
and Guangdong, setting up military commanderies along the main lines of communication. At the collapse of the Qin Dynasty, these southern commanderies became the independent Nanyue Empire
Nanyue Empire
under Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
while Chu and Han vied with each other for control of the north. From the Han Dynasty, the region of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
became more and more important to China's economy. The establishment of irrigation systems (the most famous one is Dujiangyan, northwest of Chengdu, built during the Warring States
Warring States
period) made agriculture very stable and productive. The Qin and Han empires were actively engaged in the agricultural colonization of the Yangtze
Yangtze
lowlands, maintaining a system of dikes to protect farmland from seasonal floods.[70] By the Song dynasty, the area along the Yangtze
Yangtze
had become among the wealthiest and most developed parts of the country, especially in the lower reaches of the river. Early in the Qing dynasty, the region called Jiangnan
Jiangnan
(that includes the southern part of Jiangsu, the northern part of Zhejiang, and the southeastern part of Anhui) provided ⅓–½ of the nation's revenues. The Yangtze
Yangtze
has long been the backbone of China's inland water transportation system, which remained particularly important for almost two thousand years, until the construction of the national railway network during the 20th century. The Grand Canal connects the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
with the major cities of the Jiangnan
Jiangnan
region south of the river (Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou) and with northern China
China
(all the way from Yangzhou
Yangzhou
to Beijing). The less well known ancient Lingqu Canal, connecting the upper Xiang River
Xiang River
with the headwaters of the Guijiang, allowed a direct water connection from the Yangtze
Yangtze
Basin to the Pearl River Delta.[71] Historically, the Yangtze
Yangtze
became the political boundary between north China
China
and south China
China
several times (see History of China) because of the difficulty of crossing the river. This occurred notably during the Southern and Northern Dynasties, and the Southern Song. Many battles took place along the river, the most famous being the Battle of Red Cliffs in 208 AD during the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
period. The Yangtze
Yangtze
was the site of naval battles between the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
and Jurchen Jin during the Jin–Song wars. In the Battle of Caishi
Battle of Caishi
of 1161, the ships of the Jin emperor Wanyan Liang
Wanyan Liang
clashed with the Song fleet on the Yangtze. Song soldiers fired bombs of lime and sulphur using trebuchets at the Jurchen warships. The battle was a Song victory that halted the invasion by the Jin.[72][73] The Battle of Tangdao was another Yangtze
Yangtze
naval battle from the same year. Politically, Nanjing
Nanjing
was the capital of China
China
several times, although most of the time its territory only covered the southeastern part of China, such as the Wu kingdom in the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
period, the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and during the Southern and Northern Dynasties and Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
periods. Only the Ming occupied most parts of China
China
from their capital at Nanjing, though it later moved the capital to Beijing. The ROC capital was located in Nanjing in the periods 1911–12, 1927–37, and 1945–49.

Ten Thousand Miles of the Yangtze
Yangtze
River, a Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
landscape painting.

Age of steam[edit] Main articles: Steamboats on the Yangtze River
Steamboats on the Yangtze River
and China
China
Station The first merchant steamer in China, the Jardine, was built to order for the firm of Jardine Matheson
Jardine Matheson
in 1835. She was a small vessel intended for use as a mail and passenger carrier between Lintin Island, Macao
Macao
and Whampoa. However, after several trips, the Chinese authorities, for reasons best known to themselves, prohibited her entrance into the river. Lord Palmerston, the British Foreign Secretary who personified gunboat diplomacy, decided to wage war on China
China
mainly on the "suggestions" of Jardine Matheson[citation needed]. In mid-1840, a large fleet of warships appeared on the China coast, and with the first cannon fire aimed at a British ship, the Royal Saxon, the British started the First Opium
Opium
War. The Imperial Government, forced to surrender, gave in to the demands of the British. British military was vastly superior during the conflict. British warships, constructed using such innovations as steam power combined with sail and the use of iron in shipbuilding, wreaked havoc on coastal towns; such ships (like the Nemesis) were not only virtually indestructible using contemporary available weapons, but also highly mobile and able to support a gun platform with very heavy guns. In addition, the British troops were armed with modern rifled muskets and cannons, unlike the Qing forces. After the British took Canton, they sailed up the Yangtze
Yangtze
and took the tax barges, a devastating blow to the Empire as it slashed the revenue of the imperial court in Beijing
Beijing
to just a small fraction of what it had been. In 1842, the Qing authorities sued for peace, which concluded with the Treaty of Nanjing
Nanjing
signed on a gunboat in the river, negotiated in August of that year and ratified in 1843. In the treaty, China
China
was forced to pay an indemnity to Britain, open five ports to Britain, and cede Hong Kong
Hong Kong
to Queen Victoria. In the supplementary Treaty of the Bogue, the Qing empire also recognized Britain as an equal to China and gave British subjects extraterritorial privileges in treaty ports.

Play media

Yangtze River
Yangtze River
steam boats filmed in 1937

U.S. and French conflicts[edit] The US, at the same time, wanting to protect its interests and expand trade, ventured the USS Wachusett six-hundred miles up the river to Hankow
Hankow
sometime in the 1860s, while the USS Ashuelot, a sidewheeler, made her way up the river to Yichang
Yichang
in 1874. The first USS Monocacy, a sidewheel gunboat, began charting the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
in 1871. The first USS Palos, an armed tug, was on Asiatic Station into 1891, cruising the Chinese and Japanese coasts, visiting the open treaty ports and making occasional voyages up the Yangtze
Yangtze
River. From June to September 1891, anti-foreign riots up the Yangtze
Yangtze
forced the warship to make an extended voyage as far as Hankow, 600 miles upriver. Stopping at each open treaty port, the gunboat cooperated with naval vessels of other nations and repairing damage. She then operated along the north and central China
China
coast and on the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
until June 1892. The cessation of bloodshed with the Taiping Rebellion, Europeans put more steamers on the river. The French engaged the Chinese in war over the rule of Vietnam. The Sino-French Wars of the 1880s emerged with the Battle of Shipu
Battle of Shipu
having French cruisers in the lower Yangtze.

USS Luzon

The China
China
Navigation Company was an early shipping company founded in 1876 in London, initially to trade up the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
from their Shanghai
Shanghai
base with passengers and cargo. Chinese coastal trade started shortly after and in 1883 a regular service to Australia
Australia
was initiated. Most of the company's ships were seized by Japan
Japan
in 1941 and services did not resume until 1946. Robert Dollar
Robert Dollar
was a later shipping magnate, who became enormously influential moving Californian and Canadian lumber to the Chinese and Japanese market. Yichang, or Ichang, 1,600 km (990 mi) from the sea, is the head of navigation for river steamers; oceangoing vessels may navigate the river to Hankow, a distance of almost 1,000 km (almost 600 mi) from the sea. For about 320 km (200 mi) inland from its mouth, the river is virtually at sea level. The Chinese Government, too, had steamers. It had its own naval fleet, the Nanyang Fleet, which fell prey to the French fleet. The Chinese would rebuild its fleet, only to be ravaged by another war with Japan (1895), Revolution (1911) and ongoing inefficiency and corruption. Chinese companies ran their own steamers, but were second tier to European operations at the time. Navigation on the upper river[edit]

Yangtze
Yangtze
in 1915

Cruise boats on Yangtze

A vehicle carrier on Yangtze

A container carrier on Yangtze

Steamers came late to the upper river, the section stretching from Yichang
Yichang
to Chongqing. Freshets from Himalayan snowmelt created treacherous seasonal currents. But summer was better navigationally and the three gorges, described as an "150-mile passage which is like the narrow throat of an hourglass", posed hazardous threats of crosscurrents, whirlpools and eddies, creating significant challenges to steamship efforts. Furthermore, Chongqing
Chongqing
is 700 – 800 feet above sea level, requiring powerful engines to make the upriver climb. Junk travel accomplished the upriver feat by employing 70 - 80 trackers, men hitched to hawsers who physically pulled ships upriver through some of the most risky and deadly sections of the three gorges.[74] Achibald John Little took an interest in Upper Yangtze
Yangtze
navigation when in 1876, the Chefoo Convention opened Chongqing
Chongqing
to consular residence but stipulated that foreign trade might only commence once steamships had succeeded in ascending the river to that point. Little formed the Upper Yangtze
Yangtze
Steam Navigation Co., Ltd. and built Kuling but his attempts to take the vessel further upriver than Yichang
Yichang
were thwarted by the Chinese authorities who were concerned about the potential loss of transit duties, competition to their native junk trade and physical damage to their crafts caused by steamship wakes. Kuling was sold to China
China
Merchants Steam Navigation Company for lower river service. In 1890, the Chinese government agreed to open Chongqing
Chongqing
to foreign trade as long as it was restricted to native crafts. In 1895, the Treaty of Shimonoseki provided a provision which opened Chongqing
Chongqing
fully to foreign trade. Little took up residence in Chongqing
Chongqing
and built Leechuan, to tackle the gorges in 1898. In March Leechuan completed the upriver journey to Chongqing
Chongqing
but not without the assistance of trackers. Leechuan was not designed for cargo or passengers and if Little wanted to take his vision one step further, he required an expert pilot.[75] In 1898, Little persuaded Captain Samuel Cornell Plant to come out to China
China
to lend his expertise. Captain Plant had just completed navigation of Persia's Upper Karun River
Karun River
and took up Little's offer to assess the Upper Yangtze
Yangtze
on Leechuan at the end of 1898. With Plant's design input, Little had SS Pioneer built with Plant in command. In June 1900, Plant was the first to successfully pilot a merchant steamer on the Upper Yangtze
Yangtze
from Yichang
Yichang
to Chongqing. Pioneer was sold to British Royal Navy
British Royal Navy
after its first run due to threat from the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
and renamed HMS Kinsha. Germany's steamship effort that same year on SS Suixing ended in catastrophe. On Suixing's maiden voyage, the vessel hit a rock and sunk, killing its captain and ending realistic hopes of regular commercial steam service on the Upper Yangtze. In 1908, local Sichuan merchants and their government partnered with Captain Plant to form Sichuan
Sichuan
Steam Navigation Company becoming the first successful service between Yichang
Yichang
and Chongqing. Captain Plant designed and commanded its two ships, SS Shutung and SS Shuhun. Other Chinese vessels came onto the run and by 1915, foreign ships expressed their interest too. Plant was appointed by Chinese Maritime Customs Service
Chinese Maritime Customs Service
as First Senior River Inspector in 1915. In this role, Plant installed navigational marks and established signaling systems. He also wrote Handbook for the Guidance of Shipmasters on the Ichang-Chungking Section of the Yangtze
Yangtze
River, a detailed and illustrated account of the Upper Yangtze's currents, rocks, and other hazards with navigational instruction. Plant trained hundreds of Chinese and foreign pilots and issued licenses and worked with the Chinese government to make the river safer in 1917 by removing some of the most difficult obstacles and threats with explosives. In August 1917, British Asiatic Petroleum became the first foreign merchant steamship on the Upper Yangtze. Commercial firms, Robert Dollar
Robert Dollar
Company, Jardine Matheson, Butterfield and Swire
Butterfield and Swire
and Standard Oil
Standard Oil
added their own steamers on the river between 1917 - 1919. Between 1918 -1919, Sichuan warlord violence and escalating civil war put Sichuan
Sichuan
Steam Navigational Company out of business.[76] Shutung was commandeered by warlords and Shuhun was brought down river to Shanghai
Shanghai
for safekeeping.[77] In 1921, when Captain Plant died tragically at sea while returning home to England, a Plant Memorial Fund was established to perpetuate Plant's name and contributions to Upper Yangtze navigation. The largest shipping companies in service, Butterfield & Swire, Jardine Matheson, Standard Oil, Mackenzie & Co., Asiatic Petroleum, Robert Dollar, China
China
Merchants S.N. Co. and British-American Tobacco Co., contributed alongside international friends and Chinese pilots. In 1924, a 50-foot granite pyramidal obelisk was erected in Xintan, on the site of Captain Plant's home, in a Chinese community of pilots and junk owners. One face of the monument is inscribed in Chinese and another in English. Though recently relocated to higher ground ahead of the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam, the monument still stands overlooking the Upper Yangtze River
Yangtze River
near Yichang, a rare collective tribute to a westerner in China.[78][79] Until 1881, the India
India
and China
China
coastal and river services were operated by several companies. In that year, however, these were merged into the Indo- China
China
Steam Navigation Company Ltd, a public company under the management of Jardine's. The Jardine company pushed inland up the Yangtsze River on which a specially designed fleet was built to meet all requirements of the river trade. For many years, this fleet gave unequalled service. Jardine's established an enviable reputation for the efficient handling of shipping. As a result, the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
invited the firm to attend to the Agency of their Shire Line which operated in the Far East. Standard Oil ran the tankers Mei Ping, Mei An and Mei Hsia, which were all destroyed on December 12, 1937 when Japanese warplanes bombed and sank the U.S.S. Panay. One of the Standard Oil
Standard Oil
captains who survived this attack had served on the Upper River for 14 years.[80] Navy ships[edit]

The Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
armored cruiser Izumo at Shanghai
Shanghai
in 1937. She sank riverboats on the Yangtze
Yangtze
in 1941.

See also: Yangtze
Yangtze
Incident With the Treaty Ports, the European powers and Japan
Japan
were allowed to sail navy ships into China's waters. The British, Americans, and French did this. A full international fleet featured on Chinese waters: Austro-Hungarian, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and German navy ships came to Shanghai
Shanghai
and the treaty ports. The Japanese engaged in open warfare with the Chinese over conquest of the Chinese Qing Empire in the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
in 1894-1895, and with Russia over Qing Empire territory in the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
of 1904-1905. Incidentally, both the French and Japanese navies were heavily involved in running opium and narcotics to Shanghai, where it was refined into morphine. It was then transhipped by liner back to Marseille
Marseille
and France
France
(i.e. French Connection) for processing in Germany and eventual sale in the U.S. or Europe. In 1909 the gunboat USS Samar changed station to Shanghai, where she regularly patrolled the lower Yangtze River
Yangtze River
up to Nanking
Nanking
and Wuhu. Following an anti-foreign riots in Changsha
Changsha
in April 1910, which destroyed a number of missions and merchant warehouses, Samar sailed up the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
to Hankow
Hankow
and then Changsa to show the flag and help restore order. The gunboat was also administratively assigned to the Asiatic Fleet
Asiatic Fleet
that year, which had been reestablished by the Navy to better protect, in the words of the Bureau of Navigation, "American interests in the Orient." After returning to Shanghai
Shanghai
in August, she sailed up river again the following summer, passing Wuhu
Wuhu
in June but then running aground off Kichau on July 1, 1911. After staying stuck in the mud for two weeks, Samar broke free and sailed back down river to coal ship. Returning upriver, the gunboat reached Hankow
Hankow
in August and Ichang
Ichang
in September where she wintered over owing to both the dry season and the outbreak of rebellion at Wuchang in October 1911. Tensions eased and the gunboat turned downriver in July 1912, arriving at Shanghai
Shanghai
in October. Samar patrolled the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
after fighting broke out in the summer 1913, a precursor to a decade of conflict between provincial warlords in China. In 1919, she was placed on the disposal list at Shanghai following a collision with a Yangtze River
Yangtze River
steamer that damaged her bow. The Spanish boats were replaced in the 1920s by USS Luzon and USS Mindanao were the largest, USS Oahu and USS Panay next in size, and USS Guam and USS Tutuila the smallest. China
China
in the first fifty years of the 20th century, was in low-grade chaos. Warlords, revolutions, natural disasters, civil war and invasions contributed. Yangtze
Yangtze
boats were involved in the Nanking Incident in 1927 when the Communists and Nationalists broke into open war. The Chiang Kai-shek's massacre of the Communists in Shanghai
Shanghai
in 1927 furthered the unrest, U.S. Marines with tanks were landed. River steamers were popular targets for both Nationalists and Communists, and peasants who would take periodic pot-shots at vessels. During the course of service the second USS Palos protected American interests in China
China
down the entire length of the Yangtze, at times convoying U.S. and foreign vessels on the river, evacuating American citizens during periods of disturbance and in general giving credible presence to U.S. consulates and residences in various Chinese cities. In the period of great unrest in central China
China
in the 1920s, Palos was especially busy patrolling the upper Yangtze
Yangtze
against bands of warlord soldiers and outlaws. The warship engaged in continuous patrol operations between Ichang
Ichang
and Chungking throughout 1923, supplying armed guards to merchant ships, and protecting Americans at Chungking while that city was under siege by a warlord army. The British Royal Navy
British Royal Navy
had a series of Insect-class gunboats which patrolled between Chungking and Shanghai. Cruisers and destroyers and Fly-class gunboats[citation needed] also patrolled. The most infamous incident was when Panay and HMS Bee in 1937, were dive-bombed by Japanese aeroplanes during the notorious Nanking
Nanking
Massacre. The Westerners were forced to leave the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
with the Japanese takeover in 1941. The former steamers were either sabotaged or pressed into Japanese or Chinese service. Probably the most curious incident involved HMS Amethyst in 1949 during the Chinese Civil War between Kuomintang
Kuomintang
and People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
forces; and led to the award of the Dickin Medal
Dickin Medal
to the ship's cat Simon. Hydrology[edit] Periodic floods[edit] Tens of millions of people live in the floodplain of the Yangtze valley, an area that naturally floods every summer and is habitable only because it is protected by river dikes. The floods large enough to overflow the dikes have caused great distress to those who live and farm there. Floods of note include 1931, 1935, 1954, 1998. See also: 1931 China
China
floods The 1931 Central China
China
floods or the Central China
China
floods of 1931 were a series of floods that occurred in the Republic of China. The floods are generally considered among the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded, and almost certainly the deadliest of the 20th century (when pandemics and famines are discounted). Estimates of the total death toll range from 145,000 to between 3.7 million and 4 million. The Yangtze
Yangtze
again flooded in 1935, causing great loss of life. See also: 1954 Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Floods From June to September 1954, the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Floods were a series of catastrophic floodings that occurred mostly in Hubei
Hubei
Province. Due to unusually high volume of precipitation as well as an extraordinarily long rainy season in the middle stretch of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
late in the spring of 1954, the river started to rise above its usual level in around late June. Despite efforts to open three important flood gates to alleviate the rising water by diverting it, the flood level continued to rise until it hit the historic high of 44.67 m in Jingzhou, Hubei
Hubei
and 29.73 m in Wuhan. The number of dead from this flood was estimated at around 33,000, including those who died of plague in the aftermath of the disaster. See also: 1998 Yangtze River
Yangtze River
floods The 1998 Yangtze River floods
1998 Yangtze River floods
(1998年中国洪水) was a major flood that lasted from middle of June to the beginning of September 1998 in the People's Republic of China
China
at the Yangtze
Yangtze
River.[81] The event was considered the worst Northern China
China
flood in 40 years.[82] In the summer of 1998, China
China
experienced massive flooding of parts of the Yangtze
Yangtze
River, resulting in 3,704 dead, 15 million homeless and $26 billion in economic loss.[83] Other sources report a total loss of 4150 people, and 180 million people were affected.[82] A staggering 25 million acres (100,000 km2) were evacuated, 13.3 million houses were damaged or destroyed. The floods caused $26 billion in damages.[82] See also: 2016 China
China
floods Degradation of the river[edit] See also: Water resources in China
China
§ Water quality

Barges on the river.

Beginning in the 1950s dams and thousands of kilometres of dikes were built for flood control, land reclamation, irrigation and for the control of diseases vectors such as blood flukes that caused Schistosomiasis. More than a hundred lakes were thus cut off from the main river.[84] There were gates between the lakes that could be opened during floods. However, farmers and settlements encroached on the land next to the lakes although it was forbidden to settle there. When floods came, it proved impossible to open the gates since it would have caused substantial destruction.[85] Thus the lakes partially or completely dried up. For example, Baidang Lake shrunk from 100 square kilometers (39 sq mi) in the 1950s to 40 square kilometers (15 sq mi) in 2005. Zhangdu Lake dwindled to one quarter of its original size. Natural fisheries output in the two lakes declined sharply. Only a few large lakes, such as Poyang Lake and Dongting Lake, remained connected to the Yangtze. Cutting off the other lakes that had served as natural buffers for floods increased the damage done by floods further downstream. Furthermore, the natural flow of migratory fish was obstructed and biodiversity across the whole basin decreased dramatically. Intensive farming of fish in ponds spread using one type of carp who thrived in eutrophic water conditions and who feeds on algae, causing widespread pollution. The pollution was exacerbated by the discharge of waste from pig farms as well as of untreated industrial and municipal sewage.[84][86] In September 2012, the Yangtze
Yangtze
river near Chongqing
Chongqing
turned red from pollution.[87] The erection of the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam has created an impassable "iron barrier" that has led to a great reduction in the biodiversity of the river. Yangtze sturgeon
Yangtze sturgeon
use seasonal changes in the flow of the river to signal when is it time to migrate. However, these seasonal changes will be greatly reduced by dams and diversions. Other animals facing immediate threat of extinction are the Baiji Dolphin, finless porpoise and the Yangtze
Yangtze
Alligator. These animals numbers went into freefall from the combined effects of accidental catches during fishing, river traffic, habitat loss and pollution. In 2006 the baiji dolphin became extinct; the world lost an entire genus.[88] Contribution to ocean pollution[edit] The Yangtze River
Yangtze River
produces the majority of the world's ocean pollution[89], according to The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch environmental research foundation that focuses on ocean pollution. Reconnecting lakes[edit] In 2002 a pilot program was initiated to reconnect lakes to the Yangtze
Yangtze
with the objective to increase biodiversity and to alleviate flooding. The first lakes to be reconnected in 2004 were Zhangdu Lake, Honghu
Honghu
Lake, and Tian'e-Zhou in Hubei
Hubei
province on the middle Yangtze. In 2005 Baidang Lake in Anhui Province
Anhui Province
was also reconnected.[86] Reconnecting the lakes improved water quality and fish were able to migrate from the river into the lake, replenishing their numbers and genetic stock. The trial also showed that reconnecting the lake reduced flooding. The new approach also benefitted the farmers economically. Pond farmers switched to natural fish feed, which helped them breed better quality fish that can be sold for more, increasing their income by 30%. Based on the successful pilot project, other provincial governments emulated the experience and also reestablished connections to lakes that had previously been cut off from the river. In 2005 a Yangtze
Yangtze
Forum has been established bringing together 13 riparian provincial governments to manage the river from source to sea.[90] In 2006 China’s Ministry of Agriculture made it a national policy to reconnect the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
with its lakes. As of 2010, provincial governments in five provinces and Shanghai
Shanghai
set up a network of 40 effective protected areas, covering 16,500 km2 (6,400 sq mi). As a result, populations of 47 threatened species increased, including the critically endangered Yangtze alligator. In the Shanghai
Shanghai
area, reestablished wetlands now protect drinking water sources for the city. It is envisaged to extend the network throughout the entire Yangtze
Yangtze
to eventually cover 102 areas and 185,000 km2 (71,000 sq mi). The mayor of Wuhan announced that six huge, stagnating urban lakes including the East Lake (Wuhan) would be reconnected at the cost of US$2.3 billion creating China’s largest urban wetland landscape.[84][91] Major cities along the river[edit] See also: Category:Populated places on the Yangtze
Yangtze
River

Map of the Yangtze
Yangtze
river locating the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam

Satellite map showing the lake created by the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam. Compare Nov. 7, 2006 (above) with April 17, 1987 (below)

Yushu Panzhihua Yibin Luzhou Hejiang Chongqing Fuling Fengdu Wanzhou Yichang Yidu Jingzhou Shashi Shishou Yueyang Xianning Wuhan Ezhou Huangshi Huanggang Chaohu Chizhou Jiujiang Anqing Tongling Wuhu Hefei Chuzhou Ma'anshan Taizhou Yangzhou Zhenjiang Nanjing Jiangyin Nantong Shanghai

Crossings[edit] Main articles: Yangtze River
Yangtze River
bridges and tunnels and Yangtze
Yangtze
River Power Line Crossings

Map all coordinates in " Yangtze River
Yangtze River
bridges and tunnels" using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps

Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Until 1957, there were no bridges across the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
from Yibin to Shanghai. For millennia, travelers crossed the river by ferry. On occasions, the crossing may have been dangerous, as evidenced by the Zhong’anlun disaster (October 15, 1945). The river stood as a major geographic barrier dividing northern and southern China. In the first half of the 20th century, rail passengers from Beijing
Beijing
to Guangzhou
Guangzhou
and Shanghai
Shanghai
had to disembark, respectively, at Hanyang and Pukou, and cross the river by steam ferry before resuming journeys by train from Wuchang or Nanjing
Nanjing
West. After the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, Soviet engineers assisted in the design and construction of the Wuhan
Wuhan
Yangtze
Yangtze
River Bridge, a dual-use road-rail bridge, built from 1955 to 1957. It was the first bridge across the Yangtze
Yangtze
River. The second bridge across the river was built a single-track railway bridge built upstream in Chongqing
Chongqing
in 1959. The Nanjing
Nanjing
Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Bridge, also a road-rail bridge, was the first bridge to cross the lower reaches of the Yangtze, in Nanjing. It was built after the Sino-Soviet Split
Sino-Soviet Split
and did not receive foreign assistance. Road-rail bridges were then built in Zhicheng (1971) and Chongqing
Chongqing
(1980). Bridge-building slowed in the 1980s before resuming in the 1990s and accelerating in the first decade of the 21st century. The Jiujiang Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Bridge was built in 1992 as part of the Beijing-Jiujiang Railway. A second bridge in Wuhan
Wuhan
was completed in 1995. By 2005, there were a total of 56 bridges and one tunnel across the Yangtze River between Yibin
Yibin
and Shanghai. These include some of the longest suspension and cable-stayed bridges in the world on the Yangtze
Yangtze
Delta: Jiangyin
Jiangyin
Suspension Bridge (1,385 m, opened in 1999), Runyang Bridge (1,490 m, opened 2005), Sutong Bridge
Sutong Bridge
(1,088 m, opened 2008). The rapid pace of bridge construction has continued. The city of Wuhan
Wuhan
now has six bridges and one tunnel across the Yangtze. A number of power line crossings have also been built across the river.

Wuhan
Wuhan
Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Bridge, the first bridge crossing Yangtze, was completed in 1957.

The Nanjing
Nanjing
Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Bridge, a beam bridge, was completed in 1968.

The Jiujiang
Jiujiang
Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Bridge, an arch bridge, was completed in 1992.

The Yichang
Yichang
Yangtze
Yangtze
Highway Bridge, a suspension bridge near the Gezhouba Dam
Gezhouba Dam
lock, was completed in 1996.

The Sutong Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Bridge, between Nantong
Nantong
and Suzhou, was one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world when it was completed in 2008.

The Caiyuanba Bridge, an arch bridge in Chongqing, was completed in 2007.

The cable-stayed Anqing
Anqing
Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Bridge at Anqing, was completed in 2005.

Dams[edit]

The Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam in 2006

Diagram showing dams planned for the upper reaches of the Yangtze River

As of 2007, there are two dams built on the Yangtze
Yangtze
river: Three Gorges Dam and Gezhouba Dam. The Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam is the largest power station in the world by installed capacity, at 22.5 GW. Several dams are operating or are being constructed on the upper portion of the river, the Jinsha River. Among them, the Xiluodu Dam
Xiluodu Dam
is the third largest power stations in the world, and the Baihetan Dam, planned to be commissioned in 2021, will be the second largest after the Three Gorges Dam. Tributaries[edit]

A shipyard on the banks of the Yangtze
Yangtze
building commercial river freight boats

The Yangtze River
Yangtze River
has over 700 tributaries. The major tributaries (listed from upstream to downstream) with the locations of where they join the Yangtze
Yangtze
are:

Yalong River
Yalong River
(Panzhihua, Sichuan
Sichuan
Province) Min River (Yibin, Sichuan
Sichuan
Province) Tuo River
Tuo River
(Luzhou, Sichuan
Sichuan
Province) Chishui River
Chishui River
(Southwest China)(Hejiang, Sichuan
Sichuan
Province) Jialing River
Jialing River
(Chongqing) Wu River (Fuling, Chongqing) Qing River
Qing River
(Yidu, Hubei
Hubei
Province) Yuan River
Yuan River
(Dongting Lake) Lishui River(Dongting Lake) Zi River(Dongting Lake) Xiang River
Xiang River
(Yueyang, Hunan) Han River (Wuhan, Hubei) Gan River
Gan River
(near Jiujiang, Jiangxi
Jiangxi
Province.) Shuiyang River (Dangtu, Anhui
Anhui
Province) Qingyi River(Wuhu, Anhui
Anhui
Province) Chao Lake
Chao Lake
water system (Chaohu, Anhui
Anhui
Province) Lake Tai
Lake Tai
water system (Shanghai)

Gan River
Gan River
in Jiangxi
Jiangxi
Province

Han River in Hubei
Hubei
Province

Lake Dongting
Lake Dongting
and the Yuan, Zi, Li, and Xiang Rivers in Hunan
Hunan
Province

Wu River in Guizhou Province

Jialing River
Jialing River
in eastern Sichuan Province
Sichuan Province
and Chongqing
Chongqing
Municipality

Min River in central Sichuan

Yalong River
Yalong River
in western Sichuan

Protected areas[edit]

Sanjiangyuan ("Three Rivers' Sources") National Nature Reserve in Qinghai Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan

Wildlife[edit] The Yangtze River
Yangtze River
has a high species richness, including many endemics. A high percentage of these are seriously threatened by human activities.[92] Fish[edit]

The two sturgeon species in the Yangtze
Yangtze
(here Chinese sturgeon) are both seriously threatened

As of 2011[update], 416 fish species are known from the Yangtze
Yangtze
basin, including 362 that strictly are freshwater species. The remaining are also known from salt or brackish waters, such as the river's estuary or the East China
China
Sea. This makes it one of the most species rich rivers in Asia and by far the most species rich in China
China
(in comparison, the Pearl River has almost 300 fish species and the Yellow River 150).[92] 178 fish species are endemic to the Yangtze
Yangtze
River Basin.[92] Many are only found in some section of the river basin and especially the upper reach (above Yichang, but below the headwaters in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau) is rich with 279 species, including 147 Yangtze
Yangtze
endemics and 97 strict endemics (found only in this part of the basin). In contrast, the headwaters, where the average altitude is above 4,500 m (14,800 ft), are only home to 14 highly specialized species, but 8 of these are endemic to the river.[92] The largest orders in the Yangtze
Yangtze
are Cypriniformes
Cypriniformes
(280 species, including 150 endemics), Siluriformes
Siluriformes
(40 species, including 20 endemics), Perciformes
Perciformes
(50 species, including 4 endemics), Tetraodontiformes
Tetraodontiformes
(12 species, including 1 endemic) and Osmeriformes (8 species, including 1 endemic). No other order has more than four species in the river and one endemic.[92] Many Yangtze
Yangtze
fish species have declined drastically and 65 were recognized as threatened in the 2009 Chinese red list.[93] Among these are two that are considered entirely extinct (Anabarilius liui liui and Atrilinea macrolepis), two that are extinct in the wild ( Anabarilius polylepis
Anabarilius polylepis
and Schizothorax parvus) and five that are critically endangered (Chinese paddlefish, Euchiloglanis kishinouyei, Megalobrama elongata, Schizothorax longibarbus and Leiocassis longibarbus).[93] Additionally, both the Yangtze sturgeon
Yangtze sturgeon
and Chinese sturgeon are considered critically endangered by the IUCN. The survival of these two sturgeon may rely on the continued release of captive bred specimens.[94][95] The Chinese sturgeon
Chinese sturgeon
and Chinese paddlefish are the largest fish in the river and among the largest freshwater fish in the world, reaching lengths of 5 m (16 ft) and 7 m (23 ft) respectively.[96][97] Although listed as critically endangered rather than extinct by both the Chinese red list and IUCN, the continued survival of the Chinese paddlefish is questionable. Surveys conducted between 2006 and 2008 by ichthyologists failed to catch any, but two probable specimens were recorded with hydroacoustic signals.[98] The last definite record was a 3.6 m-long (12 ft) specimen caught during illegal fishing in 2007; despite attempts to keep it alive, it died shortly afterwards.[99]

The silver carp is native to the river, but has (like other Asian carp) been spread through large parts of the world with aquaculture

The largest threats to the Yangtze
Yangtze
native fish are overfishing and habitat loss (such as building of dams and land reclamation), but pollution, destructive fishing practices (such as fishing with dynamite or poison) and introduced species also cause problems.[92] About ​2⁄3 of the total freshwater fisheries in China
China
are in the Yangtze
Yangtze
Basin,[100] but a drastic decline in size of several important species has been recorded, as highlighted by data from lakes in the river basin.[92] Some experts recommend a 10-year fishing moratorium to allow the remaining populations to recover.[101] Dams present another serious problem, as several species in the river perform breeding migrations and most of these are non-jumpers, meaning that normal fish ladders designed for salmon are ineffective.[92] For example, the Gezhouba Dam
Gezhouba Dam
blocked the migration of the paddlerfish and two sturgeon,[94][95][97] while also effectively splitting the Chinese high fin banded shark population into two[102] and causing the extirpation of the Yangtze
Yangtze
population of the Japanese eel.[103] In an attempt of minimizing the effect of the dams, the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam has released water to mimic the (pre-dam) natural flooding and trigger the breeding of carp species downstream.[104] In addition to dams already built in the Yangtze
Yangtze
basin, several large dams are planned and these may present further problems for the native fauna.[104] While many fish species native to the Yangtze
Yangtze
are seriously threatened, others have become important in fish farming and introduced widely outside their native range. A total of 26 native fish species of the Yangtze
Yangtze
basin are farmed.[101] Among the most important are four Asian carp: grass carp, black carp, silver carp and bighead carp. Other species that support important fisheries include northern snakehead, Chinese perch, Takifugu
Takifugu
pufferfish (mainly in the lowermost sections) and predatory carp.[92] Other animals[edit]

The critically endangered Chinese alligator
Chinese alligator
is one of the smallest crocodilians, reaching a maximum length of about 2 m (7 ft)[105]

Due to commercial use of the river, tourism, and pollution, the Yangtze
Yangtze
is home to several seriously threatened species of large animals (in addition to fish): the finless porpoise, baiji (Yangtze River dolphin), Chinese alligator, Yangtze giant softshell turtle
Yangtze giant softshell turtle
and Chinese giant salamander. This is the only other place besides the United States that is native to an alligator and paddlefish species. In 2010, the Yangtze
Yangtze
population of finless porpoise was 1000 individuals. In December 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin
Yangtze River dolphin
was declared functionally extinct after an extensive search of the river revealed no signs of the dolphin's inhabitance.[106] In 2007, a large, white animal was sighted and photographed in the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
and was tentatively presumed to be a baiji.[107] However, as there have been no confirmed sightings since 2004, the baiji is presumed to be functionally extinct at this time.[108] "Baijis were the last surviving species of a large lineage dating back seventy million years and one of only six species of freshwater dolphins". It has been argued that the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin
Yangtze River dolphin
was a result of the completion of the Three Gorges
Three Gorges
Dam, a project that has affected many species of animals and plant life found only in the gorges area.[109] Numerous species of land mammals are found in the Yangtze
Yangtze
valley, but most of these are not directly associated with the river. Three exceptions are the semi-aquatic Eurasian otter, water deer and Père David's deer.[110]

The entirely aquatic Chinese giant salamander
Chinese giant salamander
is the world's largest amphibian, reaching up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft) in length[111]

In addition to the very large and exceptionally rare Yangtze
Yangtze
giant softshell turtle, several smaller turtle species are found in the Yangtze
Yangtze
basin, its delta and valleys. These include the Chinese box turtle, yellow-headed box turtle, Pan's box turtle, Yunnan
Yunnan
box turtle, yellow pond turtle, Chinese pond turtle, Chinese stripe-necked turtle and Chinese softshell turtle, which all are considered threatened.[112] More than 160 amphibian species are known from the Yangtze
Yangtze
basin, including the worlds largest, the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander.[113] It has declined drastically due to hunting (it is considered a delicacy), habitat loss and pollution.[111] The polluted Dian Lake, which is part of the upper Yangtze
Yangtze
watershed (via Pudu River), is home to several highly threatened fish, but was also home to the Yunnan
Yunnan
lake newt. This newt has not been seen since 1979 and is considered extinct.[114][115] In contrast, the Chinese fire belly newt from the lower Yangtze
Yangtze
basin is one of the few Chinese salamander species to remain common and it is considered Least Concern
Least Concern
by the IUCN.[115][116][117]

The Chinese mitten crab
Chinese mitten crab
is a commercially important species in the Yangtze,[118] but invasive in other parts of the world.[119]

The Yangtze
Yangtze
basin contains a large number of freshwater crab species, including several endemics.[120] A particularly rich genus in the river basin is the potamid Sinopotamon.[121] The Chinese mitten crab is catadromous (migrates between fresh and saltwater) and it has been recorded up to 1,400 km (870 mi) up the Yangtze, which is the largest river in its native range.[119] It is a commercially important species in its native range where it is farmed,[118] but the Chinese mitten crab
Chinese mitten crab
has also been spread to Europe
Europe
and North America where considered invasive.[119] The freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii, now an invasive species in large parts of the world, originates from the Yangtze.[122] See also[edit]

China
China
portal

Category: Tributaries of the Yangtze
Yangtze
River List of rivers in China Northern and Southern China, traditionally divided by the Huai River but sometimes considered to separate at the Yangtze Rediscovering the Yangtze
Yangtze
River Ship lifts in China South-North Water Transfer Project Steamboats on the Yangtze
Yangtze
River Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Crossing Yangtze
Yangtze
Service Medal

References[edit]

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Chinese mitten crab
(Eriocheir japonica sinensis) in Yangtze
Yangtze
lakes". Aquaculture. 255 (1): 456–465. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2006.01.005.  ^ a b c Veilleux, É; and de Lafontaine, Y. (2007). Biological Synopsis of the Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis). Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2812. ^ Neil Cumberlidge, N.; Ng, P.K.L.; Yeo, D.C.J.; Naruse, T.; Meyer, K.S.; Esser, L.J. (2011). "Diversity, endemism and conservation of the freshwater crabs of China
China
(Brachyura: Potamidae
Potamidae
and Gecarcinucidae)". Integrative Zoology. 6 (1): 45–55. doi:10.1111/j.1749-4877.2010.00228.x.  ^ Fang, F.; Sun, H.; Zhao, Q.; Lin, C.; Sun, Y.; Gao, W.; Xu, J.; Zhou, J.; Ge, F.; and Liu, N. (2013). Patterns of diversity, areas of endemism, and multiple glacial refuges for freshwater crabs of the genus Sinopotamon in China
China
(Decapoda: Brachyura: Potamidae). PLOS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053143 ^ Didžiulis, Viktoras. "NOBANIS – Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet – Craspedacusta sowerbyi" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

Carles, William Richard, "The Yangtse Chiang", The Geographical Journal, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Sep., 1898), pp. 225–240; Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Danielson, Eric N. 2004. Nanjing
Nanjing
and the Lower Yangzi, From Past to Present, The New Yangzi River Trilogy, Vol. II. Singapore: Times Editions/Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 981-232-598-0. Danielson, Eric N. 2005. The Three Gorges
Three Gorges
and The Upper Yangzi, From Past to Present, The New Yangzi River Trilogy, Vol. III. Singapore: Times Editions/Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 981-232-599-9. Grover, David H. 1992 American Merchant Ships on the Yangtze, 1920-1941. Wesport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers. Van Slyke, Lyman P. 1988. Yangtze: nature, history, and the river. A Portable Stanford Book. ISBN 0-201-08894-0 Winchester, Simon. 1996. The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze
Yangtze
and Back in Chinese Time, Holt, Henry & Company, 1996, hardcover, ISBN 0-8050-3888-4; trade paperback, Owl Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0-8050-5508-8; trade paperback, St. Martins, 2004, 432 pages, ISBN 0-312-42337-3

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yangtze River
Yangtze River
(Chang Jiang).

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Along the Yangtze
Yangtze
River.

Geographic data related to Yangtze
Yangtze
at OpenStreetMap

v t e

The Seven Great Rivers of China

Amur River Hai River Huai River Liao River Pearl River Yangtze
Yangtze
River Yellow River

v t e

Major rivers of China

Seven Great Rivers of Eastern China Yangtze
Yangtze
· Yellow · Pearl · Heilongjiang · Huai · Hai · Liao

Yangtze
Yangtze
system

Yalong Min Dadu Qingyi (Sichuan) Tuo Jialing Bailong Fu (Sichuan) Qu Wu Hanshui Muma Chi Du Bao Qing Chishui Xiang

Xiao Lei Mi

Zi Yuan Lishui Miluo Gan Fu (Jiangxi) Xin Qingyi (Anhui) Qinhuai Xitiao Huangpu Suzhou
Suzhou
Creek

Yellow system

Daxia Tao Qingshui Wuding Fen Wei Jing Luo (Henan) Luo (Shaanxi) Qin Xiaoqing

Pearl system

North East Han (Guangdong) Mei Ting West Yujiang Yong Xun Qian Hongshui Nanpan Beipan Rong Li (Guangxi) Gui Liu

Heilongjiang system

Songhua 2nd Songhua Nen Mudan Ussuri Argun Kherlen Woken Huifa

Huai system

Guo Ying Shiguan Quan Hui Hong

Hai system

Chaobai Yongding Hutuo Ziya Daqing Wenyu Juma Sanggan Fuyang Wei Ju Jiyunhe

Liao system

Hun Taizi Xar Moron Xinkai Western Liao Eastern Liao

Other major rivers

Tarim Black Karatash Ili Shule Tumen Yalu Luan Red Minjiang Longjiang Lancang Beilun Nujiang Lion Spring Elephant Spring Yarlung Tsangpo (Horse Spring) Nyang Subansiri Irtysh Suifen Qiantang Puyang Jiao (Shandong) Dai Si Shu Cao'e Jiao (Zhejiang) Ou Mulan Jin (Fujian) Nandu Wanquan Taping

Major canals

Grand Canal Lingqu North Jiangsu
Jiangsu
Main Irrigation
Irrigation
Canal

v t e

Cities along the Yangtze

Province-level

Cities (from upper reaches to lower reaches)

Yunnan

Lijiang (SIchuan see below) Dongchuan

Sichuan

Panzhihua (Yunan see above) Yibin Luzhou

Chongqing

Jiangjin Central Chongqing Fuling Wanzhou

Hubei

Yichang Yidu Zhijiang Songzi Jingzhou Shishou ( Hunan
Hunan
see below) Honghu Chibi Wuhan Ezhou Huangshi Huanggang Wuxue

Hunan

Yueyang Linxiang

Jiangxi

Ruichang Jiujiang

Anhui

Anqing Chizhou Tongling Wuhu Ma'anshan

Jiangsu

Nanjing Yizheng Jurong Zhenjiang Yangzhou Taizhou Yangzhong Taixing Danyang Changzhou Jingjiang Jiangyin Zhangjiagang Rugao Nantong Changshu Taicang Haimen Qidong

Shanghai

Baoshan Pudong

Major cities along the Pearl River · Major cities along the Yellow River

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 251209406 GND: 4109116-4 SUDOC: 027637573 BNF: cb11963625t (data) NDL: 00647676 B