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( ; Mandarin IPA: [tɕilin]; Postal map spelling: Kirin; Manchu: Girin ula), is a province of the People's Republic of Chinamarker located in the northeastern part of the country. Jilin borders North Koreamarker and Russiamarker to the east, Heilongjiangmarker to the north, Liaoningmarker to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west. The name was transliterated to Kirin before standardization to pinyin.

The name "Jilin" probably originates from Girin ula, a Manchu term meaning "along the river"; this was transcribed into Jilin wula (T: 吉林烏拉 / S: 吉林乌拉) in Chinese, then shortened to Jilin. The literal meaning of the Chinese characters for "Jilin" is "auspicious forest".


In ancient times Jilin was inhabited by various peoples, notably the Mohe and the Wùjí ( ). It formed part of the territories of the Han Dynasty and also a part of the Goguryeo kingdom. The kingdom of Balhae was established in the area from 698 to 926 AD. The region then fell successively under the domination of the Khitan Liao Dynasty, the Jurchen Jin Dynasty, and the Mongol Yuan Dynastymarker. During the Qing Dynastymarker, much of the area was under the control of the General of Jilin, whose area of control extended to the Sea of Japanmarker to encompass much of what is Russiamarker's Primorsky Kraimarker today. Immigration of Han Chinese was strictly controlled.

However, after the Primorsky Kraimarker area was ceded to Russia in 1860, the Qingmarker government began to open the area up to Han Chinese migrants, most of whom came from Shandongmarker. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Han Chinese had become the dominant ethnic group of the region. In 1932, the area was incorporated into Manchukuo, a puppet state set up by Japanmarker, and Changchunmarker (then called Hsinking), capital of Jilin today, was made the capital of Manchukuo. After the defeat of Japanmarker in 1945, the region, together with the rest of northeastern China, was handed to the communists by the Soviet Unionmarker. Manchuria was then the staging ground from which the communists eventually conquered the rest of China (see Chinese Civil War#Post-war power struggle ).

In 1949, Jilin province was smaller, encompassing only the environs of Changchun and Jilin Citymarker, and the capital was at Jilin City, while Changchun was a municipality independent from the province. In the 1950s Jilin was expanded to its present borders. During the Cultural Revolution, Jilin was expanded again to include a part of Inner Mongolia, giving it a border with the independent state of Mongoliamarker, though this was later reversed. In recent times Jilin has, together with the rest of heavy industry-based Northeast China, been facing economic difficulties with privatization. This has prompted the central government to undertake a campaign called “Revitalize the Northeast”.


Jilin lies in the central part of northeastern China, bordering Russiamarker and North Koreamarker in the east and southeast respectively. Jilin has a total area of 190,000 square kilometers and a total population of 27.3 million. Its capital is Changchunmarker, which lies 113 kilometers west of Jilin citymarker. Jilin province is rich in natural mineral deposits with 136 different types of minerals, of which 70 have already been extracted. Jilin has abundance of Traditional Chinese medicine resources, with approximately 27,000 kinds of wild plants and 9,000 kinds of medicinal herbs. Also the province is rich in large reserves of oil, gas, coal, iron mine, nickel, molybdenum, talc, graphite, gypsum, cement rock, gold and silver; its reserves of oil shale are the largest in the country.

Jilin is highest in altitude in the southeast, and drops gently towards the northwest. The Changbai Mountainsmarker run through its southeastern regions, and contains the highest peak of the province, Baiyun Peak at 2691 m. Other mountain ranges include the Jilinhada Mountains, Zhang Guangcai Mountains, and Longgang Mountains.

Jilin is drained by the Yalu and Tumenmarker Rivers in the extreme southwest (which together form the border between the People's Republic of Chinamarker and North Koreamarker), by tributaries of the Liao River along the southern border, and by the Songhuamarker and Nen rivers, both eventually flowing into the Amurmarker.

Jilin has a northerly continental monsoon climate, with long, cold winters and short, warm summers. Average January temperatures range from -20 to -14°C. Rainfall averages at 350 to 1000 mm.

Major cities in this province include Changchunmarker, Jilin Citymarker, Baishanmarker, Baichengmarker, Siping, Yanjimarker, Songyuanmarker,Tonghuamarker and Liaoyuanmarker

Administrative divisions

Jilin consists of eight prefecture-level cities and one autonomous prefecture:

Map # Name Chinese Characters Chinese Phonetics Type
1 Changchunmarker 长春市 Chángchūn Shì Prefecture-level city
2 Baichengmarker 白城市 Báichéng Shì Prefecture-level city
3 Baishanmarker 白山市 Báishān Shì Prefecture-level city
4 Jilinmarker 吉林市 Jílín Shì Prefecture-level city
5 Liaoyuanmarker 辽源市 Liáoyuán Shì Prefecture-level city
6 Sipingmarker 四平市 Sìpíng Shì Prefecture-level city
7 Songyuanmarker 松原市 Sōngyuán Shì Prefecture-level city
8 Tonghuamarker 通化市 Tōnghuà Shì Prefecture-level city
9 Yanbian marker 延边朝鲜族自治州 Yánbiān Cháoxiǎnzú Zìzhìzhōu Autonomous Prefecture

For a complete list of the county-level divisions of Jilin, see List of administrative divisions of Jilin. These administrative divisions are explained in greater detail at Political divisions of China.


The politics of Jilin is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.

The Governor of Jilin is the highest ranking official in the People's Government of Jilin. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Jilin Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Jilin CPC Party Chief".


In 2008, the nominal GDP of Jilin province totaled RMB 642.4 billion (US$92.5 billion), a year-on-year increase of 16 percent. Its GDP has been rising at double-digit rate since 2003 growing 51 percent from 2003 to 2007. Per capita nominal GDP increased to RMB 23,514 (US$3,385) in 2008. Meanwhile, the incremental value and profit of large enterprises witnessed a sharp increase of 19 percent and 30 percent respectively, compared with 2005 figures.

Jilin's agricultural production is centered upon rice, maize, and sorghum. Rice is mostly cultivated in the eastern parts, such as Yanbian prefecture. The Changbai Mountainsmarker are an important source of lumber. Herding of sheep is an important activity in the western parts, such as Baichengmarker prefecture-level city.

Compared to other provinces of China, Jilin has extensive deposits of Kieselguhr, wollastonite, floatstone, and molybdenum.

Industry in Jilin is concentrated on automobiles, train carriages, and iron alloy.

Jilin is one of the most important commodity grain bases in ChinamarkerRanked 6th in timber productionThe yields of ginseng and deer antlers are among the largest in China, being used extensively in Traditional Chinese medicine

Economic and Technological Development Zones

  • Jilin New and Hi-tech Industry Development Zone
The zone was founded in 1992 and is located in Jilin city covering 818 square kilometers of planned area with 242 square kilometers already established. The leading industries in the zone are new materials, refined chemical products, integration of photoelectron and mechanism, electronic information, medicine and bioengineering.

The Jilin Economic and Technological Development Zone was founded in May 1998 and is situated in the northeast of Jilin city. The zone has a total planned area of 28 square kilometers. It is located 90 kilometers from Changchun, five kilometers from Jilin Airport, and eight kilometers from Jilin Railway Station.Major industries include refined chemicals, bioengineering, fine processing of chemical fiber, and farm products. It is divided into four parts, namely, the Chemical Industrial Park, the Food Industrial Park, the Textile Industrial Park and the Medical Industrial Park. The latter specializes in the development of traditional Chinese pharmaceuticals, mini molecule medicine, bio-pharmaceuticals and health products.

Other zones include:


There are 35,216 kilometers of highways, including over 500 kilometers of expressways.The province has an excellent rail network, originally built by the Japanese, with Changchun as its main hub. There are four major new railway projects which started construction in 2007. They will include the middle section of a massively invested north-south railway trunk line connecting Harbin and Dalian, and a 96.5 kilometer inter-city railway line from Changchun, capital city of Jilin province, and Jilin city. The four railway projects are estimated to cost RMB13 billion and the province is urging foreign investors to invest in the new project. The Changchun-Jilin line, expected to be completed in 2010, will cut the journey times between the cities from the current 96 minutes to 30.

Major airports include Changchun International Airport, Jilin Airport, Yanji Airport and Tonghua Liuhe Airport.

Jilin is landlocked. However, river navigation is possible from April to November. The major river ports are at Da'an, Jilin city and Fuyu. In 2007, Jilin started construction on a two-phase RMB60 million comprehensive river port; the first phase of this is finished. The port is located on the Songhua River and has an annual throughput of two million tons and will connect to the waterways of Northeast China.


Jilin is inhabited by Han Chinese, Manchus, Hui, Mongols and Xibe. Most ethnic Koreans live in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecturemarker.

Ethnic groups in Jilin (2000 census) Nationality Population Percentage Han Chinese 24,348,815 90.85% Koreans 1,145,688 4.27% Manchu 993,112 3.71% Mongol 172,026 0.64% Hui 125,620 0.47%
Excludes members of the People's Liberation Army in active service.

Source: Department of Population, Social, Science and Technology Statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics of China (国家统计局人口和社会科技统计司) and Department of Economic Development of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission of China (国家民族事务委员会经济发展司), eds. Tabulation on Nationalities of 2000 Population Census of China (《2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料》). 2 vols. Beijing: Nationalities Publishing House (民族出版社), 2003. (ISBN 7-105-05425-5)


Jilin is part of Northeast China, so shares many similarities in culture to neighbouring regions, such as Er Ren Zhuan, Stilts and Yangge. But among its music, Jiju, or Jilin Opera, is a form of traditional entertainment that Jilin has innovated over its short migrant history.

The ethnic Koreans of Jilin have their own distinct culture. See also: Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecturemarker, Culture of Korea.


The Goguryeo sites and tombs found in Ji'an, Jilinmarker, including Wandu, Gungnae Fortress, and the pyramidal General's Tomb, have been listed as part of a UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site.

The Baekdu Mountainmarker, especially Heaven Lakemarker on the border with North Koreamarker, are popular tourist destinations due to their natural scenery.

Ancient Tombs at Longtou Mountain, including the Mausoleum of Princess Zhenxiao, are royal tombs of the Balhae kingdom found in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecturemarker.


Universities and colleges


Professional Sports Teams


External links

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