The Yangtze River originates from snowy Geladandong, the main peak of Tanggula Mountains on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. It runs through 11 provinces, cities and autonomous regions, i.e. Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hnan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu and Shanghai, before finally flowing in to the East China Sea. With a length of more than 6 300 km, it is the largest river in China and the third longest river in the word.
The upper reaches of the Yangtze River feature big vertical drops, with torrents and many gorges flanked by towering mountains, such as the Tiger-Leaping Gorge, Three Gorges, it gets to the plain area in the middle reaches of the river. Here the river broadens and the flow slows down. This part is characterized with many crooked streams, branches and lakes. Known as fertile land of fish and rice, the lower reaches of the Yangtze River are low and flat, and the water is broad and deep. At the spot where the Yangtze River enters the sea, the river is 80 to 90 km wide, where the water and the sky blend in to a mixture, presenting a grand view of extraordinary splendor. Most freshwater lakes of China are scattered over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
The drainage area of the Yangtze River has an abundance of water power resources. Hydraulic power plants are constructed at the Gezhouba Dam, Three Gorges, etc. Reputed as the Golden Water Route, the Yangtze River has not only a high value for shipping, but also numerous scenic and historical sites. The drainage area of the Yangtze River is rich in products and the economy is well developed. Many metropolises such as Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhuan and Chongqing are distributed along the river.
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