The Yangtze River, the biggest river in China,the third longgest in the World, starts with the Tuotuo River at the Roof of the World -Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, takes in countless rivers, and flows eastward across the interior of China.
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With an overall length of more than 6,300 kilometers, it marches permanently toward the East China Sea, singing the songs of the four seasons with its waves. The Yangtze River, next only to the Amazon and the Nile, is the third biggest river in the world and is a cradle that breeds the ancient civilization of the Chinese nation. It cleaved a path and made its way through the mountains to have formed these uniquely beautiful, magnificent, and wonderful gorges-the Three Gorges: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge.
Along with the Yellow River, the Yangtze is the most important river in the history, culture and economy of China. The prosperous Yangtze River Delta generates as much as 20% of the PRC's GDP. The Yangtze River flows through a wide array of ecosystems and is itself habitat to several endemic and endangered species including the Chinese alligator and the Yangtze sturgeon. For thousands of years, people have used the river for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking and war. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world.
It enters the basin of Sichuan at Yibin. While in the Sichuan basin, it receives several mighty tributaries, increasing its water volume significantly. It then cuts through Mount Wushan bordering Chongqing and Hubei to create the famous Three Gorges. Eastward of the Three Gorges, Yichang is the first city on the Yangtze Plain.
After entering Hubei, the Yangtze receives more water from thousands of lakes. The largest of these lakes is Dongting Lake, which is located on the border of Hunan and Hubei provinces, and is the outlet for most of the rivers in Hunan. At Wuhan, it receives its biggest tributary, the Han River, bringing water from its northern basin as far as Shaanxi.
At the northern tip of Jiangxi, Lake Poyang, the biggest freshwater lake in China, merges into the river. The river then runs through Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, receiving more water from innumerable smaller lakes and rivers, and finally reaches the East China Sea at Shanghai.
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