Author(s): Jindong Cai; Jing Peng
Keywords: Grand canal; Engineering achievements; Heritage values
Abstract: The 1794-km-long Grand Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Sitethat dates back to the 5th century BC, is the longest canal in the world and a vast waterway system in the eastern plain region of China. Starting at Beijing in the north, it passes through Tianjin and other four present-day provinces to the city of Hangzhouin the south, linking five of China’s major rivers, including the Yellow River and Yangtze River. This paper first makes a brief introduction of the general features of the canal, then categorizes the major engineering achievementsof the canal into four aspects to highlight its heritage values and explain why the canal, the world’s largest and most extensive civil engineering project prior to the Industrial Revolution that is still in use today, is a world heritage site and a great project that has played an important role in ensuring the country’s economic prosperity and social stability.