Originating on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the over 6,300-km-long Yangtze runs through 11 provincial-level regions before emptying into the East China Sea.
Along the basin of the Yangtze, the world's third-longest river, many famous cities can be found, including Chongqing, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai. The Three Gorges project, a vast multi-functional water control system, is located on the upper middle-reaches of the river.
In 2019, a total of 2.93 billion tonnes of cargo was shipped through the main reaches of the Yangtze River, an 8.9-percent increase from 2018, ranking first among the world's inner waterways in terms of cargo flow.
The Yangtze River Economic Belt along the golden waterway covers nine provinces and two municipalities, accounting for more than 40 percent of the country's population and economic aggregate. The economic belt is also home to nine of the country's 21 free trade zones.
The Yangtze River Delta, consisting of Shanghai and neighboring provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, is one of the most populated and urbanized city clusters in China. The delta is striving for integrated development.
Shanghai, which ranks sixth among cities globally in terms of economic aggregate, is home to 758 regional headquarters of foreign-funded multinational companies and the regional headquarters of nearly one-fourth of Fortune Global 500 companies.
As one of China's most economically active regions, the Yangtze River Delta boasts strategic significance in the country's modernization and further opening-up.
In recent years, the country has strengthened joint environmental protection along the river to conserve biodiversity.
China imposed a fishing ban in 332 conservation areas along the Yangtze River on Jan. 1 this year. A 10-year fishing ban, starting from Jan. 1, 2021, will cover all the key waters of the river.