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Heilongjiang Province
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 黑龙江省 (Hēilóngjiāng Shěng)
 • Abbreviation (pinyin: Hēi)
Map showing the location of Heilongjiang Province
Map showing the location of Heilongjiang Province
Named for hēi—black
"Amur River"


Largest city Harbin
Divisions 13 prefectures, 130 counties, 1274 townships
 • Secretary Wang Xiankui
 • Governor Lu Hao
 • Total 454,800 km2 (175,600 sq mi)
Area rank 6th
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 38,312,224
 • Rank 15th
 • Density 84/km2 (220/sq mi)
 • Density rank 28th
 • Ethnic composition Han: 95%
Manchu: 3%
Korean: 1%
Mongol: 0.4%
Hui: 0.3%
 • Languages and dialects Northeastern Mandarin, Jilu Mandarin, Jiaoliao Mandarin
ISO 3166 code CN-23
GDP (2014) CNY 1.504 trillion
US$ 244.8 billion (16th)
 • per capita CNY 39,164
US$ 6,375 (16th)
HDI (2010) 0.704[3] (high) (12th)
Winter night in Harbin's Ice and Snow World
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 黑龙江
Traditional Chinese 黑龍江
Postal Heilungkiang
Literal meaning "Black Dragon River"
Mongolian name
Mongolian Qaramörin
Manchu name
Manchu script ᠰᠠᡥᠠᠯᡳᠶᠠᠨ ᡠᠯᠠ
History of the Priamurye region
(also including Heilongjiang,
Amur Oblast and southern part of Khabarovsk Krai)
Mohe • Shiwei
Liao dynasty • Daurs
Jin dynasty (1115–1234) • Nivkh
Eastern Jin (1215–1234)
Yuan dynasty • Evenks
Yeren Jurchens • Solon Khanate
Qing dynasty • Nanais • Ulchs
Russian Exploration • Negidals
Manchus–Cossacks wars (1652–1689)
Government-General of Eastern Siberia
Li–Lobanov Treaty
Siberian Regional Government
Far Eastern Republic
Far Eastern Oblast
Soviet invasion of Manchuria (1945)
Sino-Soviet border conflict
Far Eastern Federal District

Heilongjiang (Chinese: 黑龙江; pinyin:   ) is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. "Heilongjiang" literally means Black Dragon River, which is the Chinese name for the Amur. The one-character abbreviation is 黑 (pinyin: Hēi). The Manchu name of the region is Sahaliyan ula (literally, "Black River"), from which the name of Sakhalin is derived, and the Mongolian name with the same meaning is Qaramörin.

Heilongjiang borders Jilin in the south and Inner Mongolia to the west; it also borders Russia to the north and east.

The Amur River marks the border between the People's Republic of China and Russia to the north. Heilongjiang contains China's northernmost point (in Mohe County along the Amur) and easternmost point (at the junction of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers).


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Transport 3
  • Administrative divisions 4
  • Politics 5
  • Economy 6
    • Economic and technological development zones 6.1
  • Demographics 7
  • Religion 8
  • Culture 9
  • Media 10
  • Tourism 11
  • Colleges and universities 12
  • Sports 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


In ancient times Heilongjiang was far from any literate civilization, and information was sparse. Ancient Chinese records and other sources state that Heilongjiang was inhabited by people such as the Buyeo, the Mohe, and the Khitan. Mongolic Donghu people lived in Inner Mongolia and the western part of Heilongjiang.[4] Some names are Manchu or Mongolian.[5] The eastern portion of Heilongjiang was ruled by the kingdom of Balhae between the 7th century and 10th century. The Jurchen Jin dynasty (1115–1234) that subsequently ruled much of north China arose within the borders of modern Heilongjiang.

Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces on a 1734 French map

Heilongjiang as an administrative entity was created in 1683, during the Kangxi era of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, from the northwestern part of the Jilin province.[6] This Heilongjiang Province only included the western part of today's Heilongjiang Province, and was under the supervision of the General of Heilongjiang (the title is also translated as the Military Governor of Heilongjiang), whose power extended, according to the Treaty of Nerchinsk, as far north as the Stanovoy Mountains. The eastern part of what's today Heilongjiang remained under the supervision of the General of Jilin, whose power reached the Sea of Japan. These areas deep in Manchuria were closed off to Han Chinese migration.

The original seat of the Military Governor of Heilongjiang, as established in 1683, was in Heilongjang City (also known as Aigun or Heihe, or, in Manchu, Saghalien Ula), located on the Amur River. However, already in 1690 the seat of the governor was transferred to Nenjiang (Mergen) on the Nen River, and, in 1699, further south to Qiqihar. According to modern historians, the moves may have been driven by supply considerations: Nenjiang and Qiqihar are connected by a convenient waterway (Nen River) with southern Manchuria, whereas accessing Aigun (Heihe) would require either sailing all the way down the Sungari River until its confluence with the Amur and then up the Amur to Heihe, or using a portage over the Lesser Xing'an Mountains between the Nen River valley and the Amur valley. An additional advantage of Qiqihar may have been its location at the junction of a northbound road (to Nenjiang) and a westbound one (to Mongolia), enabling its garrison to defend both against the Russians and the Ölöt Mongols.[7]

Little Qing Military presence existed north of Aigun. Accoridng to the 18th and early 20th European sources, and the reports of the Russians in the 1850s, the farthest Qing "advance guard" post was at Ulusu-Modon (Ulussu-Mudan) (Chinese: 乌鲁苏穆丹), near the Amur River's famous S-shaped meander. (The post was actually on the left bank of the river, lost to the Russians in 1860).

In 1858 and 1860 the Qing government was forced to give up all land beyond the Amur and Ussuri Rivers to the Russian Empire, cutting off the Qing Empire from the Sea of Japan and giving Heilongjiang its present northern and eastern borders. At the same time, Manchuria was opened to Han Chinese migration by the Qing government. By the early twentieth century, due to the Chuang Guandong, the Han Chinese had become the dominant ethnic group in the region.[8]

In 1931, Japanese forces invaded Heilongjiang. In 1932, the Japanese completed their conquest of the province, which became part of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo.

In 1945, Japanese forces in Manchuria were defeated by the Soviet Army. During the Chinese Civil War, Soviet forces aided the Chinese communists. Heilongjiang became the first province to be completely controlled by the communists and Harbin the first major city to be controlled by them.

At the beginning of communist rule, Heilongjiang included only the western portion of the present-day province, and had its capital at Qiqihar. The remaining area was the province of Songjiang; its capital was Harbin. In 1954, these two provinces were merged into present-day Heilongjiang. During the Cultural Revolution, Heilongjiang was also expanded to include Hulunbuir League and some other areas previously in Inner Mongolia; this has since mostly been reversed.


Heilongjiang is a land of varied topography. Much of the province is dominated by mountain ranges such as the Greater Khingan Range and Lesser Khingan Range, Zhangguangcai Mountains, Laoye Mountains, and Wanda Mountains. The highest peak is Mount Datudingzi at 1,690 metres (5,540 ft), located on the border with Jilin province). The Greater Khingan Range contains China's largest remaining virgin forest and is an important area for China's forestry industry.

The east and southwest of the province, which are relatively flat and low in altitude, contain the Muling River, the Naoli River, the Songhua River, the Nen River, and the Mudan River, all tributaries of the Amur, while the northern border forms part of the Amur valley. Xingkai Lake (or Khanka Lake) is found on the border with Russia's Primorsky Krai.

A humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa or Dwb) predominates in the province, though areas in the far north are subarctic (Köppen Dwc).[9] Winters are long and bitter, with an average of −31 to −15 °C (−24 to 5 °F) in January, and summers are short and warm to very warm with an average of 18 to 23 °C (64 to 73 °F) in July. The annual average rainfall is 400 to 700 millimetres (16 to 28 in), concentrated heavily in summer. Clear weather is prevalent throughout the year, and in the spring, the Songnen Plain and the Sanpingjiang Plain provide abundant sources of wind energy.

The province's largest cities include Harbin, Daqing, Qiqihar, Mudanjiang, Jiamusi, Jixi, Shuangyashan, Hegang, Qitaihe, Yichun, and Heihe.


A road and highway proposal was accepted in 2006; the project plans to develop 38,000 kilometers of new roads and expand Heilongjiang’s total road network to 2.3 million kilometers.

There are 60 rail lines of around 5,300 kilometers including a section of the Asia-Europe Continental Bridge. The Harbin–Dalian High-Speed Railway, completed in 2012, stretches from Harbin, Heilongjiang’s capital, to Dalian in Liaoning province via Changchun and Shenyang comprising 23 stops. It is expected to transport 37 million passengers per year by 2020 and 51 million by 2030.

Major airports include Harbin Taiping International Airport, Qiqihar Airport, Mudanjiang Airport, Jiamusi Airport and Heihe Airport. Harbin International Airport is capable of handling six million passengers every year and connects to over 70 domestic and international cities.

Administrative divisions

Heilongjiang is divided into thirteen prefecture-level divisions: twelve prefecture-level cities (including a sub-provincial city) and one prefecture:
Map # Name Administrative
Hanyu Pinyin
Sub-provincial city
1 Harbin
(Provincial seat)
Songbei 哈尔滨市
Hā'ěrbīn Shì
10,635,971 53,523.50
Prefecture-level city
2 Qiqihar Jianhua 齐齐哈尔市
Qíqíhā'ěr Shì
5,367,003 42,205.81
3 Mudanjiang Dong'an 牡丹江市
Mǔdānjiāng Shì
2,798,723 38,679.80
4 Jiamusi Qianjin 佳木斯市
Jiāmùsī Shì
2,552,097 32,704.00
5 Daqing Sartu 大庆市
Dàqìng Shì
2,904,532 21,222.03
6 Jixi Jiguan 鸡西市
Jīxī Shì
1,862,161 22,488.46
7 Shuangyashan Jianshan 双鸭山市
Shuāngyāshān Shì
1,462,626 22,036.19
8 Yichun Yichun 伊春市
Yīchūn Shì
1,148,126 32,759.66
9 Qitaihe Taoshan 七台河市
Qītáihé Shì
920,419 6,221.42
10 Hegang Xiangyang 鹤岗市
Hègǎng Shì
1,058,665 14,679.98
11 Heihe Aihui 黑河市
Hēihé Shì
1,673,898 66,802.65
12 Suihua Beilin 绥化市
Suíhuà Shì
5,416,439 34,964.17
13 Daxing'anling Jiagedaqi 大兴安岭地区
Dàxīng'ānlǐng Dìqū
511,564 82.928.80

(Additional information regarding the last prefecture can be found at Greater Khingan.)

The thirteen prefecture-level divisions of Heilongjiang are subdivided into 128 county-level divisions (65 districts, 17 county-level cities, 45 counties, and 1 autonomous county). Those are in turn divided into 1,284 township-level divisions (473 towns, 400 townships, 58 ethnic townships, and 353 subdistricts).


List of Secretaries of the CPC Heilongjiang Committee:

  1. Zhang Qilong 张启龙(1949–1950)
  2. Zhao Dezun 赵德尊 (1950–1953)
  3. Feng Jixin 冯纪新 (1953–1954)
  4. Ouyang Qin 欧阳钦 (1954–1965)
  5. Pan Fusheng 潘复生 (1965–1971)
  6. Wang Jiadao 汪家道 (1971–1974)
  7. Liu Guangtao 刘光涛 (1977)
  8. Yang Yichen 杨易辰 (1977–1983)
  9. Li Li'an 李力安 (1983–1985)
  10. Sun Weiben 孙维本 (1985–1994)
  11. Yue Qifeng 岳岐峰 (1994–1997)
  12. Xu Youfang 徐有芳 (1997–2003)
  13. Song Fatang 宋法棠 (2003–2005)
  14. Qian Yunlu 钱运录 (2005–2008)
  15. Ji Bingxuan 吉炳轩 (2008–2013)
  16. Wang Xiankui 王宪魁 (March 2013 – incumbent)

List of Governors:

  1. Yu Yifu 于毅夫 (1949–1952)
  2. Zhao Dezun 赵德尊 (1952–1953)
  3. Chen Lei 陈雷 (1953–1954)
  4. Han Guang 韩光 (1954–1956)
  5. Ouyang Qin 欧阳钦 (1956–1958)
  6. Li Fanwu 李范五 (1958–1966)
  7. Pan Fusheng 潘复生 (1967–1971)
  8. Wang Jiadao 汪家道 (1971–1974)
  9. Liu Guangtao 刘光涛 (February 1977 – December 1977)
  10. Yang Yichen 杨易辰(December 1977 – 1979)
  11. Chen Lei 陈雷 (1979–1985)
  12. Hou Jie 侯捷 (1985–1989)
  13. Shao Qihui 邵奇惠 (1989–1994)
  14. Tian Fengshan 田凤山(1994–2000)
  15. Song Fatang 宋法棠 (2000–2003)
  16. Zhang Zuoji 张左己 (2003 – December 2007)
  17. Li Zhanshu 栗战书 (December 2007 – August 2010)
  18. Wang Xiankui 王宪魁 (August 2010 – March 2013)
  19. Lu Hao 陆昊 (March 2013 – incumbent)


The agriculture of Heilongjiang, heavily defined by its cold climate, is based upon crops such as soybeans, maize, wheat and potatoes.[10] Commercial crops grown include beets, flax, and sunflowers.

Heilongjiang is also an important source of lumber for China. Pine, especially the Korean pine and larch are the most important forms of lumber produced in Heilongjiang. Forests are mostly to be found in the Daxingan Mountains and Xiaoxingan Mountains, which are also home to protected animal species such as the Siberian Tiger, the red-crowned crane, and the lynx.

Herding in Heilongjiang is centered upon horses and cattle; the province has the largest number of milk cows and the highest production of milk among all the province-level divisions of China.

Petroleum is of great importance in Heilongjiang, and the Daqing oilfields are an important source of petroleum for China. Coal, gold, and graphite are other important minerals to be found in Heilongjiang. Heilongjiang also has great potential for wind power, with an average wind energy density of 200 watts per square metre.

Heilongjiang is part of northeast China, the country's traditional industrial base. Industry is focused upon coal, petroleum, lumber, machinery, and food. Due to its location, Heilongjiang is also an important gateway for trade with Russia. Since a wave of privatization led to the closure of uncompetitive factories in the 1990s, Manchuria has suffered from stagnation. As a result, the government has started the Revitalize Northeast China campaign to deal with this problem, promoting the private sectors as the preferred method of economic reform.

At least five miners were killed after a coal mine fire in Heilongjiang it was reported on September 21, 2008.[11]

Its GDP has been rising steadily since 2003, growing 37% from 2003 to 2007. The value of the private economy reached RMB234 billion in 2006 and accounted for 37.6 percent of the GDP. In that year, the tax revenue from private enterprises hit RMB20.5 billion.

Private enterprises in Heilongjiang led the overall economic growth of the province. Many leading private enterprises have begun to emerge. The province's three major private enterprises, namely the Heilongjiang Sunflower Medicine Ltd, Qitaihe Yidaxin Coal Co., and Heilongjiang Yiyang Group, each contributed more than RMB100 million in tax revenue in 2007.

During the first decade of this century, many private investors were involved in large construction projects in Heilongjiang. In 2006, 928 large projects absorbed private capital of RMB5 million each, and 101 projects attracted RMB100 million each within the province. In line with the central government’s policy to revitalize the Northeast, Heilongjiang also restructured its six pillar industries, namely equipment manufacturing, petrochemicals, food processing, energy, pharmaceuticals, and forest and timber processing.

In 2011, Heilongjiang's nominal GDP was 1,250 billion yuan (US$198.5 billion), with an annual growth rate of 12.2%. Its per capita GDP was 21,640 yuan (US$3,168). Its primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 108.9 billion yuan, 436.6 billion yuan, and 285.5 billion yuan respectively.[12] The per capita disposable income of urban residents in Heilongjiang reached 11,581 yuan (US$1,667), a rise of 13% from the previous year. The per capita net income of rural residents in the province reached 4,856 yuan (US$700), a rise of 17.5 from 2007.[13]

Economic and technological development zones

  • Daqing New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
Daqing New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was constructed in April 1992 and was then approved as a national high-tech zone by the State Council later that year. Its initial zone area is 208.54 km2, and it recently expanded the area by 32.45 km2.[14]
  • Heihe Border Economic Cooperation Area
  • Harbin Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Harbin New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
Harbin High-tech Zone was set up in 1988 and was approved by the State Council as a national development zone in 1991. It has a total area of 34 km2 in the centralized parks, subdivided into Nangang, Haping Road and Yingbin Road Centralized Parks. The Nangang Centralized Park is designated for the incubation of high-tech projects and research and development base of enterprises as well as tertiary industries such as finance, insurance, services, catering, tourism, culture, recreation and entertainment, where the headquarters of major well-known companies and their branches in Harbin are located; the Haping Road Centralized Park is a comprehensive industrial basis for the investment projects of automobile and automobile parts manufacturing, medicines, foodstuffs, electronics, textile; the Yingbin Road Centralized Park is mainly for high-tech incubation projects, high-tech industrial development.[15]
  • Sino-Russia Dongning-Piurtaphca Trade Zone
Sino-Russia Dongning-Piurtaphca Trade Zone was approved by the State Council in 2000 and was completed in 2005. The zone has a planned area of 275.4 hectare. The Chinese part of the zone has a 22-hectare trade center with 4 subsidiary area A, B, C, D. in which more than 6,000 stalls are already set up, mainly dealing with clothes, household appliances, food, construction materials, etc.[16]
  • Suifenhe Border Economic Cooperation Area
Suifenhe Border Economic Cooperation District (Suifenhe BECD) is located in the north of Suifenhe City, and borders Russia to the east. Suifenhe BECD is the largest among the three state-level border-trade zones of Heilongjiang, in terms of investor numbers. Suifenhe BECD has a convenient transport network. The Binzhou-Suifenhe Railway, which connects the Russian Far East Railway, is an important port for export. The railway distance between Suifenhe and Harbin is 548 km (341 mi). Buguranikinai, the corresponding Russian port city, is 21 km (13 mi) away.[17]


The majority of Heilongjiang's population is Han Chinese, while other ethnic minorities include the Manchus, Koreans, Mongols, Hui, Daur, Xibe, Oroqin, Hezhen and Russians.

Ethnic groups in Heilongjiang (2000 census)
Nationality Population Percentage
Han Chinese 34,465,039 95.20%
Manchu 1,037,080 2.86%
Koreans 388,458 1.07%
Mongol 141,495 0.39%
Hui 124,003 0.34%
Daur 43,608 0.12%
Xibe 8,886 0.03%

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)


Ji Le Temple (Temple of Bliss), a Buddhist temple in Harbin.

Most of Heilongjiang's residents are either non-religious or practice Chinese folk religions, including Taoism. Manchu shamanism is practiced by many Manchu people. Chinese Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism have an important presence in the province.


Heilongjiang's culture is part of a culture of Northeast China that is relatively homogeneous across this region, known in Mandarin Chinese as "Dongbei" (the northeast).


Heilongjiang Television and Harbin Economy Radio serve as broadcasters.


Harbin, the provincial capital, is a city of contrasts, with Chinese, Russian, and eclectic worldwide influences clearly apparent. Bukui Mosque, a national heritage site, is the largest glazed tile building in the province.[18] Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches as well as synagogues dot the city.[19]

The long, cold winter is the backdrop for its famed ice sculpture exhibitions. In 2007 already the 8th Ice and Snow World opened to visitors in Harbin. More than 2000 ice sculptures were on display at the annual event.[20]

Wudalianchi Lakes are a series of five lakes formed between 1719 and 1721 when volcanic eruption shaped one section of a tributary of the Amur into five interconnected lakes. The second lake in particular is renowned for its irregular geological sights.

Lake Jingbo, in Ning'an County, is a section of the Mudan River that has been narrowed and shaped by volcanic eruption into a series of sights, including the Diaoshuilou Falls.

Colleges and universities


See also


  • Economic profile for Heilongjiang at HKTDC
  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Origins of Minority Ethnic Groups in Heilongjiang
  5. ^ 浅谈黑龙江省地名的特点
  6. ^
  7. ^ Edmonds (1985), pp. 115–117
  8. ^ Patrick Fuliang Shan, "Taming China's Wilderness: Immigration, Settlement, and the Shaping of the Heilongjiang Frontier, 1900–1931," Ashgate, 2014, ISBN 978-1-4094-6389-4
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "50 dead in Chinese mining accidents." CNN. Retrieved on December 27, 2008.
  12. ^ NE China province reports record GDP growth
  13. ^ 2006年黑龙江省农民人均收入达3552元 增长10.3%
  14. ^ | Daqing New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  15. ^ | Harbin New & Hi-Tech Industrial Zone
  16. ^ | Sino-Russia Dongning-Piurtaphca Trade Zone
  17. ^ | Suifenhe Border Economic Cooperation District
  18. ^ Bukui Mosque, a popular tourist attraction
  19. ^
  20. ^ Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin

External links

  • Heilongjiang Government website
  • Heilongjiang travel guide from Wikivoyage
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