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|River mouth||Chang Jiang at Yibin|
The Min River or Min Jiang (Chinese: 岷江, p Mínjiāng) is a 735-kilometer-long river (457 mi) in central Sichuan province, China. It is a tributary of the upper Yangtze River which it joins at Yibin. Within China, it was traditionally taken as the main course of the upper Yangtze prior to extensive exploration of its sources.
The Min River flows in the general southern direction. It starts in north-central Sichuan, where its basin is limited by the Qionglai Mountains in the west and the Min Mountains in the east. The river passes through the Longmen Mountains and enters the plains of the Sichuan Basin near Dujiangyan. In that area, the ancient Irrigation System (都江堰) and the modern Zipingpu dam are located. The Giant Buddha of Leshan is built into the stone banks of the Min river.
Some 19th-century Western authors used the name Blue River as the "colloquial name" for the Minjiang, after the former local Chinese name Qingshui (清水, lit. "Clear water"), and the belief that the Min constituted the main course of the Yangtze, which was itself known to Europeans as the "Blue River".
A survey by biologist Deng Qixiang found that only 16 of the 40 fish species recorded in the 1950s can be found today. The Sichuan Taimen, a protected species, has not been seen in one stretch of river, the Wenchuan, for an entire decade.
Located along the Min River is the oldest surviving water management scheme built by hydraulic engineer Li Bing, helping to greatly expand the power of the Qin state, and triggering a population boom in the Chengdu plain. It was built about 2,300 years ago. The first western academic to research its history was Joseph Needham. The scheme became known as the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
The Min is being heavily developed, primarily for hydroelectric power. A total of 27 dams are completed, under construction or planned for the river, as of March 2014. Those dams are listed below from downstream to upstream.