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The essay is an in depth examination of how import is river Yangtze economically. The Yangtze River an Asian river is the most economically import river in Asia. Throughout history, man has derived a lot from natural resources for instance water from rivers, mountains, wildlife among others both in terms of culture, social and more importantly economically. The river is the longest in Asia and ranked third globally, it flows for 6,000km from its origin to where it empties her water in Shanghai, East China Sea. Its origin is from a glacier in Dangla Mountain Range located in the eastern part of Tibetan plateau (Lyman, 1988). Through Qinghai, the river runs eastwards turning southwards at Sichuan and Tibet to get at Yunnan where its elevation falls from 5000m to slightly less than 1000m. While heading toward the sea, its elevation falls to 305m in the province of Sichuan and 192 m at Chongqing (Carles, 1898).
At an altitude of 40m covering a distance of 320km the river passes through Yangtze Gorges. The river enters basin at Yibin where it receives a number of tributaries leading to an increase in its volume. As the river flow entering Hubei more water is received from lakes such as Dongting. At Wuhan, the river receives more water from it largest tributary, River Han. The river merges with water from Lake Poyang eventually running through Jiangsu and Anhui provinces where it receives more water before finally discharging its water to East China Sea at Shanghai (Klement et al. 2009). Four fresh water lakes in china contribute their water to the river. The river's upstream part is known as section one and is from Yibin to Yichang, the middle section is between Yichang to Hokou County and lastly the down stream is between Hokou to Shanghai.
Economically, it has been documented that the river contributes to close to 40% of china's Gross Domestic Product, 50% of its grain and slightly above 70% of fish production. Considering the human population of 430 million as at 2003 which translate to 238 people per km2 living along the river clearly depicts that the river is of a lot of economic significance to them as it support their existence in a number of ways. It is worth to note that the river is the source of the largest hydro-electric power station in the world. The power station thus provides the required energy in production industries as well as homes for domestic use. Additionally, the locals are employed in the power station.
Additionally, the river is home for a number of wildlife species that are endemic to the region. These species include Chinese alligator, the endangered Finless Porpoise, Yangtze River dolphin and Yangtze sturgeon. Similarly, various physical features especially the three gorges are tourists' attractions. Once tourists visit this region, especially the protected areas, they pay and the money generated trickle down to the citizen in china especially the provinces where the river passes through (Lyman, 1988).
According to Klement et al. 2009 the river also supports close to 70% of china's fish production. Through it food is available. On the same note, when surplus fish are produced, they are sold making individual gain monetary value from the economic activity. Fishing as an industry has created hundred of jobs to Chinese citizen which has led to a multiplier effect. Water from River Yangtze has not only been used domestically but also in irrigation. Agriculture particularly grain farming has been largely supported by water from the river. This has seen to it that about 50% of china grain is produced by utilizing water from the river; this has created food security for the citizen.
Lastly and more importantly, as suggested by Hibbert, 1970 there is economic value generated by using the river for transportation of various goods to and from china. Water from the river is utilized by Chinese in various ways for instance drinking, cooking among others.