Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, also known as the Grand Canal, starting from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province and ending at Northern Pass in Tong County, Beijing, covers 1,794 kilometers and runs through six provinces and cities, linking Qiantang River, the Yangtze River, Huaihe River, Yellow River and Haihe River.
The south part of the Grand Canal used to be called Jiang Nan Canal or West Zhe Canal because of its location south of the Yangtze River. It actually starts from Jingkou (present Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province), running around east shore of Taihu Lake to Wujun (present Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province). Yuhang (present Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province) is its southern end. As early as in Spring and Autumn Period to Warring States Period, the terrain between the Yangtze River and Qiantang River was low and flat with high density of lakes and rivers. In the Qin Dynasty, the preliminary canal took shape. In 245 A.D., the East Wu Kingdom sent 30,000 soldiers to dig the canal, so that they could reach Suzhou and Shaoxing by boat. This allowed the river to serve as an important waterway. And there was harnessing work to the canal in West Jin and South Dynasties, too.