Slow Boat to China: With Some of the World's Largest Rivers Forming a Network across Its Landscape, It's Little Wonder That China's Past, Present and Future Are Intimately Tied to the Water. Octavia Lamb Explores the World's Most Populous Nation's Love Affair with the River through a Collection of Images from the RGS-IBG Archives

By Lamb, Octavia | Geographical, December 2004 | Go to article overview

Slow Boat to China: With Some of the World's Largest Rivers Forming a Network across Its Landscape, It's Little Wonder That China's Past, Present and Future Are Intimately Tied to the Water. Octavia Lamb Explores the World's Most Populous Nation's Love Affair with the River through a Collection of Images from the RGS-IBG Archives


Lamb, Octavia, Geographical


China's rivers have played a major role in the shaping of both the country's history and its identity. Some of the world's longest rivers form an important network across this vast country, and they have long represented an important part of the daily lives of many Chinese. Junks and sampans still ply the rivers, but with the Chinese government pursuing an ambitious dam-building programme, landscapes and lifestyles have been changing, often irreparably.

Cities have grown and thrived through trade on the waterways, most notably Shanghai, a vast, sprawling metropolis on the Yangtze. But the rivers weren't only used for trade; many Han Chinese, for example, lived permanently on the water, squeezing entire families into one small sampan. Today, more than 450 million people depend on China's two longest rivers--the Huang (Yellow) and the Yangtze--for water, agriculture, fishing and other uses.

As China has become more industrialised, the role of its rivers has been evolving. Since the 1950s, China has been damming its rivers to provide power to feed its ever-growing industry. The latest project is the largest of its kind ever undertaken. By the end of the decade, the huge Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze--which stands more than 300 metres high and will create a lake almost 1,000 kilometres in length--will change China's appearance forever.

Top: a sampan owner and his family in 1929. Entire extended families lived permanently on these 4-5-metre houseboats, moored on inland waters; Above left: two boys guide a raft of Foochow pine poles down a river in Kiangsu (Jiangsu) province in eastern China, 1929. Foochow pine is the main wood used in the construction of sampans; Above right: a fishery on the Yangtze in the 1930s. People living by the banks of the river typically made half their living from fishing and half their living from farming; Opposite above: a view of Shanghai from the Garden Bridge taken during the 1930s. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Slow Boat to China: With Some of the World's Largest Rivers Forming a Network across Its Landscape, It's Little Wonder That China's Past, Present and Future Are Intimately Tied to the Water. Octavia Lamb Explores the World's Most Populous Nation's Love Affair with the River through a Collection of Images from the RGS-IBG Archives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.