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The River with Two Names
1 The Yangtze River, winding through eleven Chinese administrative regions (including eight provinces, the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Chongqing administrative municipal district, and the Shanghai administrative municipal district), is not only the longest river in Asia, but also the third longest river on Earth. Only the Nile River (4,200 miles) of Africa and the Amazon River (4,000 miles) of South America outrun the Yangtze River (3,965 miles).
2 As you look up the Yangtze River in the World Atlas, you will notice that it has an alias, Chang Jiang. Literally speaking, the term "Chang Jiang" means the "Long River" in Chinese. So, why does the river have two names? Well, to understand that, we need to travel back in time!
3 When the Han dynasty ended in 220 AD, China entered a long period of disorder that lasted nearly 400 years. During that time, the present-day territory of China was split up into several kingdoms. It wasn't until 581 AD that a man named Yang Chien reunited China. Yang Chien established the Sui dynasty (581 AD - 618 AD) and called himself Emperor Wen (or "Sui Wen Ti" in Chinese). Before he died, Emperor Wen decided to go against the tradition by not passing his throne to his eldest son. Instead, he handpicked his second son, Yang Guang, to be his successor.
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