The Yangtze — The Longest Asian River
Asia is a large continent with several interlinking rivers all over its landmass. These rivers have always played a crucial role in the development of human civilization. The rushing water brings with it the elements to grow crops. Furthermore, it also provides clean drinking water. Even now, rivers offer good land to farm, transportation, and energy, thus making the surrounding area attractive to live in. The Yangtze River is the lengthiest river in the Asian subcontinent. It flows through 10 provinces and has 8 primary tributaries. In this article, we learn about the Yangtze river in detail.
The etymology of the Yangtze river
Yangtze comes from the Chinese fiefdom of Yang. In China, the river is known as Chang Jiang or “Long River”. However, it is also called Da Jiang or “Great River” as well as Jiang or“The River” depending on the region it glows through. The Yangtze is the country’s principal waterway. Sometimes it is also referred to as China’s great granary and contains almost one-third of the national population.
History of Yangtze river
The oldest settlements in the area surrounding the Yangtze river is about 27,000 years old. By the 5th millennium BC, the lower region of the Yangtze River was a major hub occupied by the Hemudu and Majiabang tribes. Both civilizations were cultivators of rice.
By the 3rd millennium BC, the succeeding Liangzhu culture displayed influence from the Longshan peoples of North China. Thus, the Yangtze valley was now integrated into North China culture.
Yangtze River has always been important to the country’s economy. The establishment of irrigation systems made agriculture stable and productive. By the Song dynasty, the Yangtze region had become among the wealthiest and most developed in the country. Furthermore, the river was key for water transportation and would remain so for 2000 years, until the construction of the national railroad. Thus, it was the site for several naval battles between the Song dynasty and Jurchen Jin. The Battle of Caishi, as well as the Battle of Tangdao in 1161, are two such wars that were won in the Yangtze region.
The Yangtze river: economy and politics
Over time the Yangtze began to serve as a political and a cultural boundary. The Yangtze region was the target of several imperialist invasions into China in the 19th century as well as the first half of the 20th century. The China Navigation Company was a shipping company that was initially set up trade from their Shanghai base with cargo and passengers, with Shangai forming the main commercial base.
Geography and physical features
The river originates in the eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. The Chinese government has declared the Tuotuo tributary as the source of the river. This tributary is located at the base of a glacier, on the west of Geladandong mountain. The source of the Yangtze River is the highest at 5,342 m above sea level.
The upper region of Yangtze
The upper course of the river flows across the Plateau of Tibet and into deep valleys in the mountains. It emerges onto the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. Once it flows from the source, the river moves east through a shallow, but a spacious valley. The bottom of the valley has many lakes and small reservoirs.
Originally posted on The Longest Asian River!