From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Yangzi" redirects here. For other uses, see Yangzi (disambiguation).
"Chang Jiang" redirects here. For other uses, see Changjiang.
Dusk on the Yangtze River
|- left||Yalong, Min, Tuo, Jialing, Han|
|- right||Wu, Yuan, Zi, Xiang, Gan, Huangpu|
|Cities||Yibin, Luzhou, Chongqing, Wanzhou, Yichang, Jingzhou, Yueyang, Wuhan, Jiujiang, Anqing, Tongling, Wuhu, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Nantong, Shanghai|
|- location||Tanggula Mountains, Qinghai|
|- elevation||5,042 m (16,542 ft)|
|Mouth||East China Sea|
|- location||Shanghai, and Jiangsu|
|Length||6,300 km (3,915 mi) |
|Basin||1,808,500 km2 (698,266 sq mi) |
|- average||30,166 m3/s (1,065,302 cu ft/s) |
|- max||110,000 m3/s (3,884,613 cu ft/s) |
|- min||2,000 m3/s (70,629 cu ft/s)|
|Literal meaning||The Long River|
The Yangtze River plays a large role in the history, culture and economy of China. The prosperous Yangtze River Delta generates as much as 20% of the PRC's GDP. The Yangtze River flows through a wide array of ecosystems and is itself habitat to several endemic and endangered species including the Chinese alligator, the finless porpoise, the Chinese paddlefish, the (possibly extinct) Yangtze River dolphin or baiji, and the Yangtze sturgeon. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking and war. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world.
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 Yangtze flowing through deep gorges in western Yunnan is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a 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.
ChineseBecause the source of the Yangtze was not ascertained until modern times, the Chinese have given different names to lower and upstream sections of the river.
"Yangtze" was actually the name of Chang Jiang for the lower part from Nanjing to the river mouth at Shanghai. But due to the fact that western missionaries carried out their activities mainly in this area and got to know the name of this part of Chang Jiang, so somehow the Yangtze river was mistaken to the whole Chang Jiang in English language. It should be noted that in modern Chinese, Yangtze is still used to call the lower part of Chang Jiang from Nanjing to the river mouth. Yangtze never stands for the whole Chang Jiang.
Chang Jiang – "Long River"Chang Jiang (长江/長江) is the modern Chinese name for the lower 2,884 km (1,792 mi) of the Yangtze from its confluence with the Min River at Yibin in Sichuan Province to the river mouth at Shanghai. Chang Jiang literally means the "Long River." In antiquity, this stretch of the Yangtze was simply called Jiang 江, a character that combines the water radical 氵 with the homophone 工 (now pronounced gōng, but *kˤoŋ in Old Chinese). Krong was probably a word in the Austroasiatic language of local peoples such as the Yue and is similar to *krong in Proto-Vietnamese and krung in Mon, all meaning "river". 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 (or the simplified 长), which means "long", was first formally applied to the river during the Six Dynasties period.
Various sections of Chang Jiang have local names. From Yibin to Yichang, the river through Sichuan and Chongqing Municipality is also known as the Chuan Jiang (川江, p Chuānjiāng) or "Sichuan River." In Hubei Province, the river is also called the Jing Jiang (荆江, p Jīngjiāng) or the "Jing River" after Jingzhou. In 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 is derived, is the local name for the Lower 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). Europeans who arrived in the Yangtze Delta region applied this local name to the entire river.
Jinsha Jiang – "Gold Sands River"The Jinsha River (金沙江, lit. "Gold Dust" or "Golden-Sanded River") is the name for 2,308 km (1,434 mi) of the Yangtze from Yibin upstream to the confluence with the Batang River near Yushu in Qinghai Province. From Antiquity until the Ming Dynasty, this stretch of the river was believed to be a tributary of the 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 continues to this day. Prior to the Song dynasty, other names were used including, for example Lújiāng (瀘江) from the Three Kingdoms period.
Tongtian RiverThe 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"). and sometimes confused with the nearby Baishui.
Tuotuo RiverThe Tuotuo River (沱沱河, p Tuótuó Hé, lit. "Tearful River" is the official headstream of the Yangtze, and flows 358 km (222 mi) from the glaciers of the Gelaindong Massif in the Tanggula Mountains of southwestern Qinghai to the confluence with the Dangqu River to form the Tongtian River.) In Mongolian, this section of the river known as the Ulaan Mörön or the "Red River".
The Tuotuo one of three main headstreams of the Yangtze. The Dangqu River (当曲, p Dāngqū) is the actual geographic headwater of the Yangtze. The name is derived the 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 Mountains in Qinghai into the Tongtian. Chumar is Tibetan for the "Red River."
EnglishThe river was called Quian (江) and Quiansui (江水) by Marco Polo and appeared on the earliest English maps as Kian or Kiam, all recording dialects which preserved forms of the Middle Chinese pronunciation of 江 as Kæwng. By the mid-19th century, these romanizations had standardized as Kiang; Dajiang, e.g., was rendered as "Ta-Kiang". "Keeang-Koo", "Kyang Kew", "Kian-ku", and related names derived from mistaking the Chinese term for the mouth of the Yangtze (江口, p Jiāngkǒu) as the name of the river itself.
The 1615 Latin account of the Jesuit missions to China included descriptions of the "Iansu" and "Iansuchian". The posthumous account's translation of the name as "Son of the Ocean" 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 was the lower river's principal port for much of the Qing Dynasty, directing Liangjiang's important salt monopoly and connecting the 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 ran well south of Shandong and discharged into the ocean only a few hundred kilometres away from the mouth of the Yangtze.) By 1800, English cartographers such as Aaron Arrowsmith had adopted the French style of the name as Yang-tse or Yang-tse Kiang. The British diplomat Thomas Wade emended this to Yang-tzu Chiang as part of his formerly popular romanization of Chinese, based on the Beijing dialect instead of Nanjing's and first published in 1867. The spellings Yangtze and Yangtze Kiang was a compromise between the two methods adopted at the 1906 Imperial Postal Conference in Shanghai, which established Postal Map Romanization. Hanyu Pinyin was adopted by the PRC's First Congress in 1958, but it was not widely employed in English outside mainland 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.