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The Wei River () is a major
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water ...

river
in west-central China's
Gansu Gansu (, ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southeast part of the province. The seventh-largest administ ...

Gansu
and
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi
provinces. It is the largest tributary of the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze River, and the List of rivers by length, sixth-longest river system in ...
and very important in the early development of
Chinese civilization
Chinese civilization
. The source of the Wei River is close to Weiyuan County''Wei yuan'' meaning "Wei's source"in
Gansu province Gansu (; alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and ...
, less than from the Yellow River at
Lanzhou Lanzhou () is the capital and largest city of Gansu Gansu (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southe ...

Lanzhou
. However, due to the sharp turn north the Yellow River takes in
Lanzhou Lanzhou () is the capital and largest city of Gansu Gansu (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southe ...

Lanzhou
, the Wei and the Yellow River do not meet for more than further along the Yellow River's course. In a direct line, the Wei's source lies west of the main city along its course,
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ( ...
in
Shaanxi province Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...
. The length of the river is and the area drained covers . The Wei River's tributaries include the Luo River,
Jing River The Jing River () or Jing He (Pinyin: ''Jīng Hé''), also called Jing Shui (), is a tributary of the Wei River (), which in turn is the largest tributary of the Yellow River. The Jing River flows for , with a basin area of . The river's flow va ...
,
Niutou RiverThe Niutou River () is a major tributary of the Wei River, streaming north-east of Tianshui and through the town of Qingshui County, Qingshui. The river has a total length of . References

{{China-river-stub Rivers of Gansu ...
,
Feng RiverFeng may refer to: *Feng (surname), one of several Chinese surnames in Mandarin: **Féng (surname) (wikt:冯 féng 2nd tone "gallop"), very common Chinese surname **Fèng (surname) (wikt:鳳 fèng 4th tone "phoenix"), relatively common Chinese famil ...
and the
Chishui River Chishui River () is a major tributary of the upper Yangtze. Its name literally means "red water river" because it shows reddish color in lower stream due to a large sediment concentration. With the source in Yunnan, Yunnan Province, it forms part ...
. The Wei River valley has a continental climate, with hot summers and cool, dry winters. It sits between the arid steppes and deserts to the north and the forests of the Qingling mountains. Its natural vegetation would be a steppe-forest, but it has been transformed by human activity and is mostly agricultural.


History

In
Chinese mythology Chinese mythology () is mythology that has been passed down in oral form or recorded in literature in the geographic area now known as Greater China. Chinese mythology includes many varied myths from regional and cultural traditions. Much of th ...
, the giant
Kua Fu Kuafu () is a giant (mythology), giant in Chinese mythology who wished to capture the Sun. He was a grandson of Houtu. Story One day, Kuafu decided to chase and catch the Sun. He followed the Sun from the East to the West, draining the Yellow Ri ...
drained the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze River, and the List of rivers by length, sixth-longest river system in ...
and the Wei River to quench his burning thirst as he pursued the Sun. The valley of the Wei was one of the early cradles of Chinese civilization, along which the
capitals Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter, an upper-case letter in any type of writing * Capital city, the area of a country, province, region, or state, regarded as enjoying primary status, usually but not always the seat of the governm ...
of the
ZhouZhou may refer to: Chinese history * King Zhou of Shang () (1105 BC–1046 BC), the last king of the Shang dynasty * Predynastic Zhou (), 11th-century BC precursor to the Zhou dynasty * Zhou dynasty () (1046 BC–256 BC), a dynasty of China ** Weste ...
,
QinQin may refer to: Dynasties and states * Qin (state) (秦), a major state during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China * Qin dynasty (秦), founded by the Qin state in 221 BC and ended in 206 BC * Daqin (大秦), ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empi ...
,
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...

Han
, and Tang Dynasties were situated. The area of
Dingxi Dingxi (), also known as Longyou () is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A pref ...

Dingxi
around its headwaters in Gansu has numerous stone age sites from various early cultures. The Wei Valley is likely the earliest center of Chinese civilization, and also the location of China's first major irrigation works. Some Chinese historians now believe the Wei is the ancient
Jiang River The Jiang River (, pinyin, p ''Jiāng Shuǐ'') is the ancient name of a river in China. According to Sima Qian's ''Records of the Grand Historian'', the river gave its name to Shennong's family. According to the ''Guoyu (book), Guoyu'', it was the ...
that gave its name to the families of
Shennong Shennong (), variously translated as "Divine Farmer" or "Divine Husbandman", was a mythological Chinese ruler who has become a deity in Chinese and Vietnamese folk religion Vietnamese folk religion or Vietnamese indigenous religion ( vi, ...

Shennong
and the
Yan emperor The Yan Emperor () or the Flame Emperor was a legendary ancient Chinese ruler in pre-dynastic times. Modern scholarship has identified the Sheep's Head Mountains (''Yángtóu Shān'') just north of Baoji in Shaanxi Province as his homeland and t ...
, two Chinese legendary heroes credited with the early development of agriculture there. As "China's natural gateway" to the west, the headwaters of the Wei River are also notable in the development of the
Northern Silk RoadImage:Tarimrivermap.png, 300px, Taklimakan Desert The Northern Silk Road is an Ancient history, ancient trackway in northern China originating in the early capital of Xi'an and extending north of the Taklimakan Desert to reach the ancient monarchy, k ...
. The Chinese segment of the Northern Silk Road connected
Chang'an Chang'an (; ) is the traditional name of Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between th ...
(then the capital of China) to the west via
Baoji () is a prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''already'' within Hua ...

Baoji
,
Tianshui Tianshui is the second-largest cities in Gansu, city in Gansu list of Chinese provinces, Province, China. The city is located in the southeast of the province, along the upper reaches of the Wei River and at the boundary of the Loess Plateau and t ...

Tianshui
at the Wei's headwaters,
Lanzhou Lanzhou () is the capital and largest city of Gansu Gansu (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southe ...

Lanzhou
,
Dunhuang Dunhuang () is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a Administrative divisions of China#County level ( ...
, and the Wushao Ling Mountain, before looping north of the
Taklamakan The Taklamakan Desert (; zh, s=, p=Tǎkèlāmǎgān Shāmò, Xiao'erjing: , dng, Такәламаган Шамә; ug, تەكلىماكان قۇملۇقى; also spelled Taklimakan and Teklimakan) is a desert in Southwest Xinjiang in Northwest ...

Taklamakan
on its way to
Kashgar Kashgar ( ug, قەشقەر – ''Qeshqer'') or Kashi ( zh, c=喀什) is an oasis In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, featu ...

Kashgar
and the routes into
Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and official ...

Parthia
. In September 2003 extensive rainfall led to flooding that caused over 30 fatalities, and temporarily displaced over 300,000 people. Ecological aspects of the Wei River have been examined with respect to flow rates in the Wei River. The Wei River Bridge (Weihe Qiao 渭河桥) featured in the design of the 5000-yuan note of the first series of the
renminbi The renminbi (abbreviation An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; ...
, dated 1953, and shows a train passing over the bridge.


See also

*
Guanzhong Guanzhong (, formerly romanised as Kwanchung) region, also known as the Guanzhong Basin, Wei River Basin, or uncommonly as the Shaanzhong region, is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographic areas which at some ...


References

{{Coord, 34, 36, 42, N, 110, 17, 20, E, source:dawiki_region:CN, display=title Rivers of Gansu Tributaries of the Yellow River Rivers of Shaanxi