Grand Canal (China) (Chinese Da Yunhe,"transport river"), series of waterways, eastern China, connecting Hangzhou (Hang-chou) in the south with Beijing in the north. It is the world's longest canal system, extending in a generally northern-southern direction for about 1600 km (about 1000 mi). The oldest section, that between the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) River and the Huang He (Yellow River), was constructed in the 4th and 5th centuries BC. In the early 6th century AD it was rebuilt and new canals were added. During the 13th century the system was extended north to Beijing, after that city had been made capital of the Yuan (YŁan) dynasty. By the mid-19th century the Grand Canal had fallen into disrepair. The government dredged, repaired, and modernized the system between 1958 and 1964.
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