The Yangtze River takes an important part in Chinese history. During the 40 million years history of the life and 50,000 years history of human civilization, Yangtze River, a mother river of the Chinese people, brings up billions of Huaxia people. Traces of human activity in the area can be found as far as 2 million years ago.
Different from the Mississippi, the Niro and the Amason, Yangtze River is the largest river in China, rising from Qinghai Highland at the height over 3,000 meters, running through Mt. Wu covering with frog, absorbing thousands of rivers, travelling 6400 kilometers until it reach the Pacific. She passes by mountains, gorges, hills, plains, with changing scenes on different geographic shape. She lies on the mid-latitude area, and the four seasons are distinctive here. The huge flow reaches 97.935 billion cubic meters and ships can sail in the lower reaches all the year.
It was 100,000 years ago that the human beings have lived in the Yangtze drainage area. Lantian Man, Changyang Man, Yunxian Man are all the Chinese remote ancestors. And the ancient human remains and ruins of the Old and New stone Ages have been discovered everywhere along the River nowadays. About 7,000 years ago, our ancestors were fishing, cultivating, planting rice and bringing up descendants here. When it was in civilized society, varies of distinctive national features were born here. Such as Jingchu Culture, Wu and Yue Cultrue, Bashu Culture and several minority nationalities cultures. They are all the priceless treasure in Chinese traditional cultures.
In the Spring and Autumn Period of China, Ba and Shu tribes lived in the western part of the river, what are now the provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, and western Hubei. The Chu settled in the central part of river, corresponding to today's Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, and southern Anhui provinces. Wu and Yue were located in the eastern part of the river, now Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai. The difficulty in crossing the river made it in later political developments, often the border of kingdoms and the place of fierce battles. The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Republic of China both had their capital in Nanjing, a city along the Yangtze.
A place with mountains and rivers is always thought to be a precious land. Water is the reflection of the intelligence and the beauty. Before trains, airplanes and automobiles were invited, the waterway afforded the facilities on transport and the ship was the important traffic instrument. Laozi and Zhuangchou got thoughts from mountains and rivers, who were both the citizens of the ancient Chu in South, developed Confucianism and Taoism respectively. Many literary works, poems, dances, music concerning to Yangtze River have been unique works of China and even of the world.
Today, along the Yangtze River from the birthplace in Qinghai to the entrance on the Pacific in Shanghai, hundreds of large-and -medium -size vigorous cities are the fastest developing areas in China. Yangtze River, the great Mother River, is going on bringing up her people full of hopes and energy.