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Yellow river blues

The Yellow river has always symbolised China's dream of greatness. But can this unnavigable waterway survive China's transformation into an economic superpower?

By Rob Gifford   July 2008

If geography is destiny, then China’s path was always going to be a hard one. Its people have for thousands of years struggled to hold back its deserts, conquer its mountains and tame its rivers. The Yangtze is the longest and most dangerous of its waterways, but it is the Yellow that is known as the “Mother River.” Chinese civilisation emerged along the banks of the Yellow river, and its waters have washed a steady stream of hope and despair down the centuries. Today, a shallow shadow of its former self, it represents a new dilemma for China’s future.


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