GUANGZHOU, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China is considering building two canals to connect the Yangtze River and the Pearl River, two busy and economically important waterways in southern China, according to transport officials.
Construction of the Xianggui (Hunan-Guangxi) Canal and the Ganyue (Jiangxi-Guangdong) Canal have been included in the draft plan on channels and ports on inner waterways being compiled by the Ministry of Transport, said Li Yongheng, deputy director of the Pearl River navigational bureau under the ministry.
Li said at a press conference in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, that construction of the two canals could be completed before 2035, if the plan is approved by national authorities.
"After completion, the canal projects will boost port construction, shipbuilding, industrial park development and water tourism along the routes," Li said.
The Xianggui Canal, initially built during the Qin Dynasty (221-201 B.C.), connects Xiangjiang River, a major Yangtze tributary, and the Guijiang River, which flows into a Pearl River tributary. Its shipping lanes have not been used since 1975.
Digging of the Ganyue Canal, which connects the Yangtze and Pearl River, was first proposed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Chinese government conducted a survey on its routes in 1960, but dropped the plan for financial, technical and other reasons.
The Yangtze and the Pearl River are China's longest and third longest rivers, respectively. Their deltas are home to China's two major industrial zones and city agglomerations. （Source: Xinhua News）