The Yangtze or Yangzi (English: /ˈjæŋtsi/ or /ˈjɑːŋtsi/) is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the Tanggula Mountains (Tibetan Plateau) and flows 6,300 km (3,900 mi) in a generally easterly direction to the East China Sea. It is the sixth-largest river by discharge volume in the world. Its drainage basin comprises one-fifth of the land area of China, and is home to nearly one-third of the country's population.[7]

Yangtze River
Dusk on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River (Three Gorges) 2002
Map of the Yangtze River drainage basin
Native name长江 (Cháng Jiāng)
ProvincesQinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu
MunicipalitiesChongqing and Shanghai
Autonomous regionTibet
CitiesLuzhou, Chongqing, Yichang, Jingzhou, Yueyang, Wuhan, Jiujiang, Anqing, Tongling, Wuhu, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Nantong, Shanghai
Physical characteristics
SourceDam Qu (Jari Hill)
  locationTanggula Mountains, Qinghai
  coordinates32°36′14″N 94°30′44″E
  elevation5,170 m (16,960 ft)
2nd sourceUlan Moron
  coordinates33°23′40″N 90°53′46″E
3rd sourceChuma'er River
  coordinates35°27′19″N 90°55′50″E
4th sourceMuluwusu River
  coordinates33°22′13″N 91°10′29″E
5th sourceBi Qu
  coordinates33°16′58″N 91°23′29″E
MouthEast China Sea
Shanghai and Jiangsu
31°23′37″N 121°58′59″E
Length6,300 km (3,900 mi)[1]
Basin size1,808,500 km2 (698,300 sq mi)[2]
  average30,146 m3/s (1,064,600 cu ft/s)[3] Attribution: text was copied from Steamboats on the Yangtze River on November 1, 2020. Please see the history of that page for full attribution.
  minimum2,000 m3/s (71,000 cu ft/s)
  maximum110,000 m3/s (3,900,000 cu ft/s)[4][5]
Basin features
  leftYalong, Min, Tuo, Jialing, Han
  rightWu, Yuan, Zi, Xiang, Gan, Huangpu
Chang Jiang
"Yangtze River (Cháng jiāng)" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese长江
Traditional Chinese長江
Literal meaning"The Long River"
Yangtze River
Simplified Chinese扬子江
Traditional Chinese揚子江
Tibetan name
Golden Island, on The Yang-Tse River, China (LMS, 1869, p.64)[6]

The Yangtze has played a major role in the history, culture and economy of China. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking and war. The prosperous Yangtze River Delta generates as much as 20% of China's GDP. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world.[8][9] 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.[10]

The Yangtze flows through a wide array of ecosystems and is habitat to several endemic and threatened species including the Chinese alligator, the narrow-ridged finless porpoise and the Yangtze sturgeon, but also was the home of the extinct Yangtze river dolphin (or baiji) and Chinese paddlefish.[11] In recent years, the river has suffered from industrial pollution, plastic pollution,[12] agricultural runoff, 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 upstream Yangtze flowing through deep gorges in western Yunnan is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.