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China's Major Rivers

Posted May 26 2013 12:00am
While a complete summary of China's Rivers is well beyond the scope of a blog post, there are four major river systems that cover the heavily populated, eastern half of the country; from north to south, they are the Amur, Yellow, Yangtze and Pearl Rivers.  The Amur River, rising in eastern Mongolia, runs along the China-Russia border for most of its course and eventually enters the Strait of Tartary, which connects the Sea of Okhotsk with the Sea of Japan; along its 1755 mile route, the Amur drops more than 6700 feet.

The Yellow (Huang He) River rises in the Bayan Har Mountains along the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau and flows almost 3400 miles to the Bohai Sea (southeast of Bejing); en route, it drops more than 15,700 feet and passes through the major cities of Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Wuhai, Baotou and Jinan, among others.  The Yangtze River, the longest in Asia and the third longest on Earth, also rises on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau and flows 3915 miles to the East China Sea; from its source to the sea, the Yangtze drops more than 16,000 feet and passes through spectacular gorges.  About one third of China's population lives along this river, including the cities of Chongquing, Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai.

The Pearl (Zhu Jiang) River drains an extensive watershed in southeastern China, just north of Vietnam.  Numerous tributaries feed the main channel of this system, which flows 1491 miles to the South China Sea at Hong Kong.  While it is the third longest river in China, the Pearl is second only to the Yangtze in its annual discharge volume, a fact that reflects its subtropical latitude.  Among the larger cities along its course are Wuzhou, Zhaoquing and Guangzhou.
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