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Many of China's greatest cities lie along the Yangtze. Except for Shanghai — which was unimportant until the 19th century China trade made it one of the world's great cities — all of these have existed for millennia. Listed from the mouth up the river, they are:
*[[Shanghai]], great trading port, financial and fashion capital of modern China
*[[Nanjing]], national capital under several dynasties, rivals Beijing for historical importance, capital of [[Jiangsu]]
*[[Wuhan]], important in 19th century trade and modern industry, capital of [[Hubei]]
The river extends far beyond Chongqing; its headwaters are deep in the [[Tibet]]an mountains. Few tourists doing the Yangtse route follow the river much beyond Chongqing. However, travellers on the [[Yunnan tourist trail]] see some of the upper reaches of the river near [[Lijiang]].
*[[Chengdu]], capital of [[Sichuan]] — near Chongqing and on one of the Yangtze's tributaries