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The Grand Canal and Seine: Two iconic waterways in China and France

CGTN| Updated: January 26, 2024 L M S

The Grand Canal and the River Seine, located in China and France respectively, are famous global cultural icons. They both enjoy a long history and share similar cultural traits.

The Grand Canal, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, is a vast waterway system linking Beijing in the north to Zhejiang Province in the south.


A file photo shows the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal. /CFP

Constructed since 486 BC, it was the world's largest and most extensive civil engineering project until the onset of the Industrial Revolution. The canal has played an important role in China’s history, helping to ensure the country's economic prosperity and stability.

Throughout the course of several Chinese dynasties, the canal also became a place of major cultural interchanges. It has created and maintained ways of life and a culture that is specific to the people who live along the canal.

The Grand Canal is an outstanding example of the engineering prowess and mastery of hydrology of the ancient Chinese people. The canal is still in use today as an important means of communication.


A file photo shows the River Seine flowing through downtown Paris. /CFP

The River Seine, one of France's most famous cultural heritages, is the very symbol of French culture. It has nurtured French art and music and is one of the country’s national emblems.

Many famous monuments in Paris, such as the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower, are located along the Seine River.

Although the Grand Canal and the Seine River are located in different countries, they both play an important role in the cultural exchanges and development of their respective countries.

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