Xu Xiake corrects misconception about source of Yangtze River

"China in the Classics," a show produced by China Media Group, examines the stirring stories of ancient Chinese classics by selecting the most outstanding of these traditional, cultural masterpieces and examining the creation process and core ideology in a form that combines cultural seminars, drama and visualization. It brings the ancient classics "alive," demonstrating Chinese wisdom, ethos and values implied in the ancient classics.

This episode is based on classic masterpiece "Travels of Xu Xiake." It starts with two surreal spaces in which a modern expedition team and ancient writer Xu Xiake from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) trace the source of the Yangtze River. They engage in a dialogue across time and space.

In 1976, the Yangtze River Basin Planning Office sent an expedition team to trace the source of the Yangtze River. It was the first scientific investigation into it after the founding of the People's Republic of China. The investigation confirmed that Jianggendiru Glacier in the Tanggula Mountains is the source of the Yangtze River, and the total length of the river is 6,300 kilometers, ranking the third in the world.

Back in 1638, Xu also traced the source of the river. Though he didn't make it to the source, he corrected the misconception that the Minjiang River was the source, and pointed out that the Jinsha River was the source, laying the foundation for exploration by later generations.

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