Future of the Yangtze River
Presently, as the Chinese government and local governments within the Yangtze River basin have realized the increasingly serious ecological and environmental problems of the Yangtze River, they will continue to adhere to the principle of “promoting protection but not engaging in large-scale development” when implementing the national strategy for the development of the Yangtze River economic zone. Additionally, they will consider restoring the ecological environment of the Yangtze River as a predominant priority. In the meantime, the governments have promoted long-term regulation of rivers and lakes so as to not follow the traditional way that involves transferring the zombie enterprises from the economically developed Yangtze Delta area to the more undeveloped regions in the upper and middle reaches with a healthier ecological environment in an attempt to make the Delta area greener. This method is not ideal, as doing so would be detrimental to the area in the upper and middle reaches. This chapter summarizes the natural evolution of the Yangtze River and expectations for the restoration of the Yangtze River’s aquatic ecological environment and looks ahead into the establishment of a well-functioning integrated watershed management system and mechanisms to support it.