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Grand Canal

Grand Canal of China is the world’s longest and oldest canal with a length of 1,795 km. Known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Granc Canal, the canal starts in Beijing, the present national capital, and goes towards the north of the country, finally reaches Hangzhou, the provincial capital of Zhejiang Province.

The earliest finished portion of the artificial river is the section between Yangzhou, a city of Jiangsu, to Yangtze River. It was done during the later Spring and Autumn Period in Chinese history (722-481 BC).

In Sui Dynisty from 604 to 618 AD, Emperer Yang Guang ordered constructions of the two major sections of the canal: Yangtze River to Hangzhou, and Yangzhou to Beijing. The completion of the two sections shaped the initial course of the canal by connecting the existed Yangzhou-Yangtze section from its south end and north end. It is worth to mention that the Grand Canal at that time was not a continuous man-made canal but a collection of often non-contiguous artificial cuts and canalized natural rivers.

In later almost a thousand-year duration till 1949, the course of the canal had met a number of modifications duo to either new constructions or the Yellow River’s course change. After the founding of the People’ Republic of China, the need for economic development led the authorities to direct heavy reconstruction. Presently, the section from Hangzhou to Jining is navigable.

The following is major cities that the canal passes through from south to north and the bolded cities are under jurisdiction of Jiangsu Province:

Hangzhou-Suzhou-Wuxi-Changzhou- Danyang -Zhenjiang-Yangzhou-Gaoyou-Huai’an-Qingjiang-Suqian-Yunhe-Xuzhou-Nanyang-Jining-Echeng-Liaocheng-Linqing-Dezhou-Cangzhou-Tianjing-Tongxian (Beijing)

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