china edition




Basic Information
Area: 187,400 sq. kilometer
Capital: Changchun
Population: 27.3 Million

Jilin province is called Ji for short. It lies in the middle part of the northeastern China. Jilin is has steep mountains in the southeast, plains in the northwest and a belt of rolling hills in between.

Notable natural features of the province include the Baitou volcano (which last erupted in 1702), some areas of primeval forest still remaining in the mountains of the southeast, and many interesting species of flora and fauna, including wild mountain ginseng, manchurian tigers, leopards, manchurian hares, and snakes, which the inhabitants keep in a semi-domesticated state for use as rat-catchers in farms and orchards.

JilinUntil conquered by the Manchu leader Nurhachi around 1600, the region around Jilin was inhabited by loosely-federated tribes and had limited trade with the outside world. After moving on to conquer all of China and establishing the Qing dynasty in 1644, the Manchu set up a military government in the town of Jilin, from which the region then took its name.

In the 1700s many farmers from northern China settled there and established an agricultural economy for the first time, despite being officially discouraged by the imperial government. The government finally recognized the new settlements by establishing a prefecture at Changchun in 1799.

Railways and industrialization brought new waves of Chinese immigrants to Jilin in the 1800s, but they also attracted economic interest and conflict from the neighboring superpowers, Russia and Japan. Jilin was raised to provincial status in 1907, but conquered by the Japanese in 1931 and incorporated into the puppet state of Manchukuo. Just before the Japanese surrender in August 1945, the Red Army occupied the area, dismantled many factories, and moved them to the Soviet Union. The Guomindang (Chinese Nationalists) under Chiang Kai-shek re-occupied the province afterwards, but were expelled by the Communists in 1948. Under the Communists the economy was boosted by aid from the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and expanded further after completion of the Fengman hydro-electric station in the 1960s. Heavy industry recently overtook agriculture as the main economic force in the province, led by automobile and locomotive manufacture, steel, chemicals, petroleum, and other products

Within China, Jilin is famous for its "3 treasures"of wild ginseng, deer antlers and marten fur collected in the eastern mountains. Despite this tradition however the true wealth and culture of the province is mostly based on the industrial and agricultural achievements of the latter-day immigrants. The province enjoys greater per-capita income and higher literacy rates than the average in China.