Grand Canal of China
longest ancient canal or artificial river worldwide
The Grand Canal of China (Jinghang Canal, Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal) is the longest ancient canal or artificial river in the world, running between Beijing and Hangzhou over a length of 1,794 km. It passes through the cities of Beijing and Tianjin as well as Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. The oldest parts of the canal date back to the 5th century BC and some sections were combined into one during the Sui Dynasty.

The canal furbished the growing economic market of China's urban centers throughout the ages since Sui Dynasty. From the Tang to Qing dynasties, the Grand Canal served as the main artery between northern and southern China and enabled cultural exchange and political integration to mature.

The canal is used to transport vast amounts of bulk goods such as bricks, sand and coal, and serves as the Eastern Route of the South-North Water Transfer Project. Additional amounts of water from the Yangtze River will be drawn into the canal. Construction on the Eastern Route began in December 2002 and water is supposed to reach Tianjin by 2012.
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