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Xi flow system, Chinese (Pinyin) Xi Jiang or (Wade-Giles romanization) Hsi Chiang (“West River”), conventional Si Kiang, system of rivers that integrate to form the longest river of southerly China. In addition to its upper-course streams, the Xi flow flows usually eastward for 1,216 miles (1,957 km) indigenous the highlands the Yunnan province to the southern China Sea and also drains—along v the Bei, Dong, and also Pearl (Zhu) rivers—a container with an area of 173,000 square mile (448,000 square km). The Xi is much shorter than the other crucial Chinese rivers—the Yangtze flow (Chang Jiang) and the Huang that (Yellow River)—but the delivers an huge quantity the water, and its volume of circulation is 2nd only to the of the Yangtze. The surname Xi river is more narrowly used only to its reduced course.


The Xi river is the good commercial waterway of south China, linking Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau, and other delta centres through Wuzhou and also the interior. In flood time, the river is navigable for vessels illustration 16 feet (5 metres) as much upstream as Wuzhou. The Xi basin contains more than 9,000 miles (14,500 km) that water routes, of which an ext than 6,800 mile (11,000 km) room in use. Steamships have the right to sail along more than one-third of the full length of the waterways, while junks and small craft ply every the navigable waters. The water routes perform not type an integrated system, however. Guangzhou, the largest city in the basin, does not have direct access to either the Xi or the Bei. The channels that connect the city come the water routes of the basin are winding and mud-filled and are navigable just by shallow-draft boats. Due to the fact that most that the flow branches of the delta room shallow, oceangoing ship cannot with Guangzhou yet must dock at Huangpu (Whampoa), 10 miles (16 km) downstream. Navigating is hampered by low water on plenty of tributaries and also by rapids on some sections that the river system. In number of places, together on the Yu River, river craft space pulled over the rapids through hand-worked windlasses. Throughout low-water periods, transportation ceases on some rivers, including the Dong and also the Bei.

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This post was most recently revised and also updated by Kenneth Pletcher, senior Editor.