Grand Canal has witnessed Chinese history spanning over 2,500 years. The Grand Canal of China, consisting of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Sui-Tang Grand Canal and Eastern Zhejiang Canal, was a great project completed in ancient China. On June 22, 2014, the Grand Canal was included on the World Cultural Heritage List.
Over a thousand years, the Grand Canal has been meandering through eight provinces and cities along its course of 3,200 kilometers and connecting five major rivers, namely, the Haihe River, the Yellow River, the Huaihe River,the Yangtze River, and the Qiantang River. It is the longest and oldest canal in the world.
In modern times, as a result of social unrest, climate change, economic change and other impacts, the Grand Canal has been plagued by a series of problems such as river channel cutoff, siltation, water pollution, and water ecological damage. It was once the Chinese people’s dream that the Grand Canal could be restored to its former glory.
Since the beginning of the new era, many places along the Grand Canal have launched ecological restoration projects focusing on the transformation of the industrial, urban, and township sections along the canal, interception and control of water pollution, planting of aquatic plants, and aquatic life proliferation and release.
While maintaining the original form of the river course, both scientific protection and cultural heritage have been emphasized, highlighting the cultural, historical and ecological value of the Grand Canal.
On April 28, 2022, the Grand Canal was refilled with water for the first time in a century, after a 14-day water-supply project. With further development of the project, the Grand Canal has gradually restored its shipping capacity. Boat tours and cargo transportation have become available along the course. The “Golden Waterway” turns clean and vibrant again.