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Tianjin's Dragon Boat races thrill city at Mid-Autumn Festival

By Bruce Connolly | | Updated: 2019-09-17 13:48
Polish team in training exercises beside the river. 2019. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Haihe differs from most other rivers in that today it is more of a man-made channel, cutting across swathes of alluvium deposits when the Yellow River formerly entered the Bohai Gulf near today's Tianjin. Historic Tianjin in earlier times was a walled city forming a strategic staging point on the ancient Grand Canal. That principal waterway came up from Hangzhou in the agriculturally rich lower Yangtze Basin. A branch connected north to Tongzhou from where lesser waterways led into the heart of then-Imperial Beijing. The Haihe (or Sea River) linked Tianjin's canal basins and facilities directly to the sea, the Bohai Gulf at Tanggu. Today this is part of Binhai district that includes the vast, deep water Tianjin Port, a strategic point within China's Belt and Road Initiative that includes both maritime and land communication infrastructure. Interestingly, the recent event at Tianjin was named, '2019 The Belt and Road Haihe River International Dragon Boat Racing'.

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