Pearl River (China)

Pearl River (China)
Pearl River

Pearl River in Guangzhou

The Pearl River system
Origin various sources of its tributaries
Mouth South China Sea
Basin countries China China
Vietnam Vietnam
Length 2,400 km (1,500 mi)
Avg. discharge 9,500 cubic metres per second (340,000 cu ft/s)[1]
Pearl River
Chinese 珠江
Guangdong River
Traditional Chinese 粵江
Simplified Chinese 粤江

The Pearl River (Chinese: 珠江; pinyin: Zhū Jiāng, literally "Pearl River", pronounced [ʈʂú tɕi̯ɑ́ŋ]) or less commonly, the "Guangdong River" or "Canton River" etc., (Chinese: 粤江), is an extensive river system in southern China. The name Pearl River is usually used as a catchment term to refer to the watersheds of the Xi Jiang ("West River"), the Bei Jiang ("North River"), and the Dong Jiang ("East River"). These rivers are all considered tributaries of the Pearl River because they share a common delta, the Pearl River Delta. Measured from the farthest reaches of the Xi Jiang, the Pearl River system is China's third longest river (2,400 km, after the Yangtze River and the Yellow River), and second largest by volume (after the Yangtze). The 409,480 km² Pearl River Basin (珠江流域) drains the majority of South Central (Guangdong and Guangxi provinces), as well as parts of Southwest (Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces) in China, and Northeast of Vietnam (Cao Bằng and Lạng Sơn).

As well as referring to the system as a whole, the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) name is also applied to a specific branch within the system. This Pearl River is the widest distributary within the delta, although considerably short. The waters that converge east of the Bei Jiang are first referred to as the Pearl River just north of Guangzhou. The Pearl River is famed as the river that flows through Guangzhou. The Pearl River's estuary, Bocca Tigris, is regularly dredged so as to keep it open for ocean vessels. The mouth of the Pearl River forms a large bay in the southeast of the delta, the Zhujiang Kou. This bay separates Macau and Zhuhai from Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The Pearl River is named this because of all the pearl coloured shells that lie at the bottom of the river in the section that flows through the city of Guangzhou.

The Pearl River is thought to be one of the world's most polluted waterways.[2]

A 500 kV-power line, suspended from three of the tallest pylons in the world, the Pylons of Pearl River Crossing, crosses the river near its mouth.

Zhujiang Brewery, one of the three largest domestic breweries in China, is located on the Pearl River Delta within the city of Guangzhou.


Image gallery



  • Dongpute Bridge
  • Guangzhou Bridge
  • Haixinggangte Bridge
  • Haiyin Bridge
  • Haizhu Bridge
  • Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (planned)
  • Huanan Bridge
  • Humen Pearl River Bridge
  • Hedong Bridge
  • Huangpu Bridge
  • Jiangwan Bridge
  • Jiefang Bridge
  • Luoxi Bridge
  • Necklace Bridge
  • Panyu Bridge
  • Pazhou Bridge
  • Renmin Bridge
  • Shiziyang Tunnel
  • Xinguang Bridge
  • Yajisha Bridge
  • Zhujiang Bridge


  • Beijiang (Bei) (北江)
  • Dongjiang (Dong) (东江)
  • Han (韩江)
  • Xijiang (Xi) (西江)
    • Yujiang (Yu) (鬱江)
      • Yongjiang (Yong) (邕江)
        • Zuojiang (Zuo) (左江)
        • Youjiang (You) (右江)
    • Xunjiang (Xun) (浔江)
      • Qiangjiang (Qiang) (黔江)
        • Rongjiang (Rong)(融江)
        • Hongshui (Red River) (红水河)
          • Beipan (北盘江)
          • Nanpan (南盘江)
            • Ba (灞水 or 灞河)
    • Guijiang (Gui) (桂江)

See also


Coordinates: 22°46′N 113°38′E / 22.767°N 113.633°E / 22.767; 113.633

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