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It drains one-fifth of the land area of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and its river basin is home to one-third of the country's population.; literally: "Long River").The Yangtze plays a large role 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 habitat to several endemic and endangered species including the Chinese alligator, the finless porpoise, the Chinese paddlefish, the (possibly extinct) Yangtze River dolphin or baiji, and the Yangtze sturgeon.(That connection also made it one of the Yellow River's principal ports between the floods of 1344 and the 1850s, during which time the Yellow River ran well south of Shandong and discharged into the ocean only a few hundred kilometres away from the mouth of the Yangtze.The British diplomat Thomas Wade emended this to Yang-tzu Chiang as part of his formerly popular romanization of Chinese, based on the Beijing dialect instead of Nanjing's and first published in 1867.This site is currently not available to citizens of all countries in the world.

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.

In modern Chinese, Yangtze is still used to refer to the lower part of Chang Jiang from Nanjing to the river mouth. Chang Jiang (长江/長江) is the modern Chinese name for the lower 2,884 km (1,792 mi) of the Yangtze from its confluence with the Min River at Yibin in Sichuan Province to the river mouth at Shanghai.

Chang Jiang literally means the "Long River." In Old Chinese, this stretch of the Yangtze was simply called Jiang/Kiang ).

The river originates from several tributaries in the eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, two of which are commonly referred to as the "source".

Traditionally, the Chinese government has recognized the source as the Tuotuo tributary at the base of a glacier lying on the west of Geladandong Mountain in the Tanggula Mountains.

The name comes from a fabled river in the Journey to the West. In Mongolian, this section is known as the Murui-ussu ( is the official headstream of the Yangtze, and flows 358 km (222 mi) from the glaciers of the Gelaindong Massif in the Tanggula Mountains of southwestern Qinghai to the confluence with the Dangqu River to form the Tongtian River..

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