The Yangtze River (Changjiang) is 6300 kilometres long and is situated in China. It is the largest river in the world and the third longest. The Yangtze lies directly on a fault line and is prone to earthquakes. Its source lies in the west of the Geladandong Mountain. It runs west through to east and flows through the following places:
The river has frequent rainfall throughout the year and has been nicknamed the Golden Watercourse. Rocky mountains frame the river on both sides and the Yangtze boasts 3 gorges, which translated in Chinese is “Sanxia”.
* Qutang Gorge. This is the shortest and alongside it is Baidicheng, which houses many rare historical relics. On the south bank is a whitewashed wall which has many inscriptions carved upon it. Other attractions include: Meng liang’s ladder; the upside down monk; armour cave; and the phoenix drinking fountain, which can be found inside a cavernous cave. The rhinoceros watching the moon is named because of its shape, which is similar to that of the animal.
* Wuxia Gorge. Alongside it are the towns of Wushan, Bandon and Zigui. It boasts many beautiful sights such as the twelve peaks that are said to be like fairies dancing. The Daning River is situated to the west, and its peaks reach far into the skyline, mingling with the clouds.
* Xiling Gorge Is the largest of the three and starts at the mouth of the Xiongxi River in Zighi, which is in Hubie province. To the west lie the military brook, sword gorge, bull liver, horses lung, kongling play gorge. Towards the east lie shadow play gorge, yellow cat gorge (Yichang), Tuangling temple, three visitors cave, Luyou fountain. Dangerous rapids and whirlpools reside in its waters and reefs above water level.
Water from the Yangtze is used for rice and wheat production. In 1995, construction started on the three gorges dam. Situated near Yichang, it is expected to be completed in 2009. The reasoning behind its construction is to control the flooding of the Yangtze River Valley. It is surrounded by controversy for several reasons. Firstly, it will mean the destruction of 140 villages, 1,600 factories and 80,000 acres of farmland. There is concern around wildlife that some argue could be forced into extinction.
The centre for global environmental education Hamlin University.