The Chang Jiang (長江 pinyin Cháng Jiāng), literally 'long river', is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world after the Amazon in South America and the Nile in Africa. The river is about 6,380 km long. It has traditionally been considered a dividing point between north China and south China, although Huai He also shares the claim.
It flows into the East China Sea. As of June 2003 the Three Gorges Dam now spans the river, flooding Fengjie, the first of a number of towns affected by the massive flood control and power generation project. The project is the largest comprehensive irrigation project in the world. It will free people living along the river from floods that have repeatedly threatened them in the past, and will also offer them electricity and water transport.
The river is also called Yangzi Jiang (楊子江 pinyin yang2 zi3 jiang1, older Romanization: Yangtze Kiang). The name Yangtze (or Yangzi) was originally used by local people only to refer to the lower reaches of the river. However, because this was the name first heard by missionaries, it has been applied in English to the entire river.