It flows generally south through Sichuan into Yunnan then northeast and east across central China through Sichuan, Hubei, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces to its mouth, 3,720 miles, in the East China Sea north of Shanghai. The river has over 700 tributaries but the principal tributaries are the Han Jiang, Yalong Jiang, Jialing Jiang, Min Jiang, Tuo Jiang, and Wu Jiang. It has traditionally been considered as the dividing line between North and South China. It is approximately 350 million people inhabit the Yangtze region.
The Yangtze River is important to the cultural origins of southern China. Human activity was found in the Three
Yangtze River Three Gorges, China
Gorges area as far back as 27 thousand years ago. In the Spring and Autumn Period, the Yangtze valley has been the settlement of most kingdoms. The milder climate and more peaceful environment made the Yangtze River area more suitable for agriculture.
Historically, the Yangtze became the political boundary between north China and south China several times because of the difficulty of crossing the river. Many battles took place along the river, the most famous being the Battle of Red Cliffs in 208 AD during the Three Kingdoms period.