April 24, 2011
The Yangtze River is the third largest river in the world, with only the Amazon River and the Nile River are longer than it. The river impacts just about every aspect of China’s way of life including providing means of transportation, agricultural impact, pollution, and most recently, helps supply the much needed increase in electricity. Because of these impacts, the Yangtze River has been a topic great concern in China for many years, and I believe it is something that everyone should pay attention to. In the following, I hope to provide a brief overview of the river and importance it has.
Stretching over 3900 miles and serving as a drain for nearly 695,000 square miles and nine provinces, the Yangtze River has for over the last 200 years acted as a transportation highway. Along the river you will find some of China’s most important cities. Just south of the river’s mouth, the Huangpu tributary, you will find Shanghai. Shanghai is known as the gateway to the Yangtze and is also China’s largest metropolis. The harbor here is quite crowded and busy with commerce. Another important city and most historic you will find along the Yangtze is Nanjing. Dating back over 2500 years, Nanjing has been around for eight dynasties but is mainly remembered by the Rape of Nanjing in 1937 when Japan attacked. Now the city is a symbol of Chinese strength and boasts some of China’s most advanced technology. The next major city you will come across is Wuhan. Located in the central part of China, Wuhan has grown into a center of industry, finance, commerce, science and education. Thanks to the development of the Yangtze River valley, Wuhan is now experiencing a significant increase in local and foreign investment that may help it develop similarly to Nanjing and Shanghai. Yichang is not a new port along Yangtze. For centuries, steamers can travel as far as Yichang. Yichang is where the middle and upper reaches of the...