Story | "The Upcoming Re-navigation", A Story of Zhengzhou and Yellow River

Great is the body of waters we sail, extending to the end of world. 

Behold, where the heavenly waves divide near a dale, a mighty city stands out so bold.

When this is passed, another town, mid shadows of mulberries and hemp appears.

I turn to see my home, but frown—The clouds high up are blocking the rears.

Wang Wei, a famous poet of Tang Dynasty, described the scene of taking a boat in the Yellow River 1300 years ago.

As the mother river that nurtured Chinese civilization, the Yellow River had been a flourishing scene that hundreds of thousands of ships are ready to set out for a long history.

Before the Five Dynasties Period, Chang'an and Luoyang were capitals of various dynasties, gathering a large number of people. In order to tackle food shortages, it is inevitable to transport food from other places through large-scale and low-cost water carriage. Even the Sanmenxia section of the Yellow River, which is famous for its steepness, is a must-pass place for the transfer of grain from the east to the west.

The North-South Canal opened in the Sui and Tang Dynasties had connected the Yellow River with the Huai River, the Yangtze River, the Qiantang River and the Hai River, forming a north-south water transportation artery centered on Luoyang. The Yellow River had become an important part of the North-South Canal, connecting the Maritime Silk Road and the Silk Road.

However, after the Song Dynasty, with the change of the capital, the Yellow River witnessed several river diversions. Especially, after the abandonment of Luoyang during the renovation in the Yuan Dynasty and the straightening of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, large-scale shipping in the Yellow River had gradually disappeared.

Nevertheless, people on the banks of the Yellow River still enjoy the convenient shipping of the Yellow River.

Emerged in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Kang family in Gongyi built a large number of large ships. Those ships departed from the Luo River to enter the Yellow River, reached Shandong in the east, and arrived in Shaanxi in the west, and traveled to many provinces, making the business of Kang family touch a peak.

Relying on river transportation, the Kang family had been wealthy for 13 generations with the Kang Baiwan's Mansion left.

In modern times, the emergence of new transportation modes such as railway, highway and aircraft further impacted the shipping of the Yellow River. After the 1990s, shipping of the Yellow River in Henan and Shandong sections stagnated due to the problems of sediment deposition and water shortage in the Yellow River.

"The Yellow River is navigable, thus Henan people can realize the dream of reaching the sea by ship!"

It is reported that Zhang Jinliang, Chairman of the Yellow River Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd., has recently revealed that the 800-kilometer riverway from Zhengzhou to the estuary of the Yellow River will be built into an ecological waterway in the future. After the completion of the ecological channel, it will be interconnected with the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Residents of Zhengzhou and other cities along the Yellow River in Henan will be able to take ships upstream, to the capital in the north, or to regions south of the Yangtze River, realizing their dream of "reaching rivers and seas by ship".

This message, once issued, has attracted widespread attention.

According to the media's survey, arrangements have been made for lower reaches' re-navigation of the Yellow River in many national plans over the past years:

In 1988, the Planning Report on Shipping in Yellow River System approved by the Ministry of Transport indicated that the standard of four-level waterway from the Qingtongxia Dam to the estuary of the Yellow River would be reached around 2030.

In 2009, heads of the Ministry of Transport of the PRC and nine Provincial Department of Transportation along the Yellow River gathered in Lanzhou to participate in the 1st Yellow River Shipping Development Forum, and agreed to build the "golden waterway" of the Yellow River, so as to realize the full navigation along the Yellow River in 2030.

In 2013, the Comprehensive Planning for the Yellow River Basin (2012-2030) approved by the State Council said that "the staged navigation of key sections would be realized in 2020, and the staged navigation of suitable reaches of the Yellow River would be realized in 2030".

At present, the ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin have become a major national strategy. It is clearly stated in the Overall Plan for the Ecological Protection and High-quality Development in the Yellow River Basin that "it is necessary to actively promote the tourism navigation and segmented navigation of the mainstream of the Yellow River", which is a golden opportunity for the construction of re-navigation of the lower reaches. The re-navigation in the lower reaches of the Yellow River is an important measure to implement the major national strategies of the plan of ecological protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin.

The navigation of inland rivers including the Yangtze River and the Pearl River plays an important role in the economic development of the basin areas.

Although Henan is abundant in resources and developed in agriculture, mineral resources and agricultural products can only be transported to markets throughout the country by railway and highway under the background of non-navigation in the Henan section of the Yellow River.

If the Yellow River can reach re-navigation, huge economic benefits will be generated. Mass freights, such as coal, minerals, building materials, grains in Henan, can be sold to various places through water transportation with high volume and low freight, which is not only economical but also energy-saving and environmental-friendly.

By then, Zhengzhou will enter the era of three-dimensional transportation integrated with air, land and water, creating more development opportunities.


Copyright by Zhengzhou Municipal Tourism Administration