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Jilin Province
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 吉林省 (Jílín Shěng)
 • Abbreviation (pinyin: Jí)
Map showing the location of Jilin Province
Map showing the location of Jilin Province
Named for from girin ula, a Manchu phrase meaning "along the river"

Jilin City(1949-1954)

Largest city Changchun
Divisions 9 prefectures, 60 counties, 1006 townships
 • Secretary Bayanqolu
 • Governor Jiang Chaoliang
 • Total 187,400 km2 (72,400 sq mi)
Area rank 14th
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 27,462,297
 • Rank 21st
 • Density 150/km2 (380/sq mi)
 • Density rank 23rd
 • Ethnic composition Han: 91%
Korean: 4%
Manchu: 4%
Mongol: 0.6%
Hui: 0.5%
 • Languages and dialects Northeastern Mandarin, Hamgyŏng Korean
ISO 3166 code CN-22
GDP (2014) CNY 1.38 trillion
US$ 224.7 billion (22nd)
 • per capita CNY 50,196
US$ 8,171 (11th)
HDI (2010) 0.715[3] (high) (10th)
Chinese 吉林
Postal Kirin
Chinese Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 길림

Jilin (Chinese: 吉林; pinyin: Jílín; postal: Kirin) is one of the three provinces of Northeast China. Jilin borders North Korea and Russia to the east, Heilongjiang to the north, Liaoning to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west.


  • Name 1
  • History 2
  • Geography 3
  • Administrative divisions 4
  • Politics 5
  • Economy 6
    • Economic and technological development zones 6.1
  • Infrastructure 7
  • Demographics 8
  • Culture 9
    • Languages 9.1
  • Tourism 10
  • Education 11
    • Universities and colleges 11.1
  • Sports 12
    • Professional teams 12.1
  • Notable individuals 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


The name "Jilin" – literally, "Auspicious Forest" – probably originates from girin ula ᡤᡳᡵᡳᠨ ᡠᠯᠠ, a Manchu phrase meaning "along the river"; this would have been transcribed into jilin wula (t 吉林烏拉, s 吉林乌拉) in Chinese, then shortened to "Jilin".[4]


In ancient times, Jilin was inhabited by various peoples, notably the Xianbei, Koreans, the Mohe and the Wùjí (勿吉).[5] Korean kingdoms, including the Buyeo, Goguryeo and Balhae, were established in this area.

The region then fell successively under the domination of the Xiongnu, Xianbei state, Khitan Liao Dynasty, the Jurchen Jin Dynasty, and the Mongol Yuan Dynasty.[6] During the Qing Dynasty, much of the area was under the control of the General of Jilin, whose area of control extended to the Sea of Japan to encompass much of what is Russia's Primorsky Krai today.

After the Primorsky Krai area was ceded to Russia in 1860, the Qing government began to open the area up to Han Chinese migrants, most of whom came from Shandong. 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 Japan. Changchun (then called Hsinking), capital of Jilin today, was made the capital of Manchukuo. After the defeat of Japan in 1945, the Soviet Army captured Jilin after Operation August Storm.[7] The region, with the rest of northeastern China, was ceded to the Communists by the Soviet Union. Manchuria was the staging ground from which the communists eventually conquered the rest of China in the Chinese Civil War.

In 1949, Jilin province was smaller, encompassing only the environs of Changchun and Jilin City, 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 Mongolia, though this was later reversed. In recent times Jilin has, 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 Russia and North Korea in the east and southeast respectively. Jilin has a total area of 190,000 km2 (73,000 sq mi) and a total population of 27.3 million. Its capital is Changchun, which lies 113 km (70 mi) west of Jilin City. Jilin is rich in natural mineral deposits with 136 types of minerals, of which 70 have 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.[8]

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.[9]

Jilin is highest in altitude in the southeast and drops gently towards the northwest. The Changbai Mountains run through its southeastern regions and contains the highest peak of the province, Paektu Mountain at 2744 m. Other ranges include the Jilinhada Mountains, Zhang Guangcai Mountains, and Longgang Mountains.

Jilin is drained by the Yalu and Tumen rivers in the extreme southeast (which together form parts of the border between the People's Republic of China and North Korea), by tributaries of the Liao River in the southwest, and by the Songhua and Nen rivers in the north, both eventually flowing into the Amur.

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 Changchun, Jilin City, Baishan, Baicheng, Siping, Yanji, Songyuan, Tonghua and Liaoyuan[10]

Administrative divisions

Jilin consists of nine prefecture-level divisions: eight prefecture-level cities (including a sub-provincial city) and one autonomous prefecture:
Map # Name Administrative
Hanyu Pinyin
Sub-provincial city
1 Changchun
(Provincial seat)
Nanguan 长春市
Chángchūn Shì
7,677,089 20,571.00
Prefecture-level city
2 Baicheng Taobei 白城市
Báichéng Shì
2,033,058 25,692.29
3 Baishan Hunjiang 白山市
Báishān Shì
1,295,750 17,473.73
4 Jilin Chuanying 吉林市
Jílín Shì
4,414,681 27,659.79
5 Liaoyuan Longshan 辽源市
Liáoyuán Shì
1,176,645 5,140.45
6 Siping Tiexi 四平市
Sìpíng Shì
3,386,325 14,382.34
7 Songyuan Ningjiang 松原市
Sōngyuán Shì
2,881,082 21,089.38
8 Tonghua Dongchang 通化市
Tōnghuà Shì
2,325,242 15,607.80
Autonomous prefecture
9 Yanbian
(for Korean)
Yanji 延边朝鲜族自治州
Yánbiān Cháoxiǎnzú Zìzhìzhōu
2,271,600 43,509.10

The nine prefecture-level divisions of Jilin are subdivided into 60 county-level divisions (21 districts, 20 county-level cities, 16 counties, and 3 autonomous counties)., see List of administrative divisions of Jilin. These administrative divisions are explained in greater detail at Administrative divisions of the People's Republic 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 2011, the nominal GDP of Jilin province totaled RMB 1053.1 billion (US$167.1 billion). Its GDP has been rising at a double-digit rate since 2003, growing 51 percent from 2003 to 2007. Per capita nominal GDP increased to RMB 26,289 (US$3,848) in 2009. Meanwhile, the incremental value and profit of large enterprises witnessed an increase of 19 percent and 30 percent respectively, compared with 2005 figures.[11]

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 Mountains are an important source of lumber. Sheep herding is an important activity in the western parts, such as Baicheng.

Among its natural resources, Jilin has the largest reserves of shale oil and one of the top five largest mineral reserves in all of China.[12] 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 China. It is ranked 6th in timber production.[9]

Traditionally, Jilin has been known as a major pharmaceutical center, with yields of ginseng and deer antlers among the largest in China, being used extensively in Traditional Chinese medicine.[8][12]

Economic and technological development zones

Jilin New and Hi-tech Industry Development Zone

The zone was founded in 1992 and is in Jilin city, covering 818 km2 (316 sq mi) of planned area with 242 km2 (93 sq mi) established. The leading industries in the zone are new materials, refined chemical products, integration of photoelectron and mechanism, electronics, medicine and bioengineering. A mere 14 km (8.7 mi) from Songhua Lake, the nearest bus and train stations are within 3 km (1.9 mi).[13]

The Jilin Economic and Technological Development Zone was founded in May 1998 and is in the northeast of Jilin city. The zone has a total planned area of 28 square kilometres (11 sq mi). It is 90 kilometres (56 mi) 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: 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:

State-level ETDZs Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone

In 1993, with the approval of the state, Changchun Economic & Technological Development Zone (CETDZ) became a state-level economic and technological development zone. The total area of CETDZ is 112.72 km2 (43.52 sq mi), of which 30 km2 (12 sq mi) has been set aside for development and use. By the end of 2006, the total fixed assets investment of the Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone reached 38.4 billion yuan. There were 1656 registered enterprises in this zone including 179 foreign-funded enterprises. The regional gross product of the zone reached 101.8 billion yuan; industrial output value reached 233.0 billion Yuan; overall financial revenue reached 15.7 billion yuan.[14]

State-level HIDZs Changchun High-Tech Industrial Development Area

Changchun High-Tech Industrial Development Area is connected by four roads and one light-rail line to the downtown area. The nearest train station, Changchun Station, is twenty minutes away by light rail. In 2002, Changchun HDA became the first area in Northeast China to qualify for the environmental certification of ISO14001. Its landscaping ratio reaches 38%.[15]

Hunchun Border Economic Cooperation Zone

Huichun Border Economic Cooperation Zone was approved to be national-level border economic cooperation zone in 1992, with a planning area of 24 km2 (9.3 sq mi). In 2002 and 2001, the Huichun Export Processing Zone and Huichun Sino-Russia Trade Zone were set up in it. It has a strategic location at the junction of the borders of China, Russia and Korea. It focuses on the development of sea food processing, electronic product manufacture, bio-pharmaceuticals, textile industry and other industries.[16]

Hunchun Export Processing Zone

The Hunchun Export Processing Zone is in 5 km2 area is in the Hunchun Border Economic Cooperation Zone. Its planned area is 2.44 km2 (0.94 sq mi). It relies on the same infrastructure and policies as its parent zone.[17]


There are 35,216 kilometers of highways, including over 500 kilometers of expressways.

The province has an excellent rail network, begun by the Japanese, with Changchun as its main hub. There are four major new railway projects which started construction in 2007. One of these, the Harbin–Dalian High-Speed Railway connecting Harbin with Dalian via Changchun was completed in 2012. The four railway projects were estimated to cost RMB13 billion, and the province urged foreign investors to invest in them. A line from Changchun to Jilin City, expected to be completed in 2015, is expected to cut the journey times between the cities from 96 minutes to 30.

The main commercial airport is Changchun International Airport; other commercial airports include Yanji Airport and Tonghua Liuhe Airport.[8]

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 is finished. The port is on the Songhua River and has an annual throughput of two million tons and will connect to the waterways of Northeast China.[9]


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

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 Prefecture, Culture of Korea.


Languages spoken in Jilin: yellow: Mandarin; blue: Korean; red: Mongolian

The majority of the province speaks Mandarin, the official language of China. Closer to the east, many people speak Korean. The people of Qian Gorlos autonomous county speak another language, Mongolian.


The Goguryeo sites and tombs found in Ji'an, Jilin, including Wandu Mountain City, Gungnae City, and the pyramidal Tomb of the General, have been listed as part of the Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom, a World Heritage Site.

Paektu Mountain, especially Heaven Lake on the border with North Korea, are popular tourist destinations due to their natural scenery.

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


Universities and colleges


Professional teams

Notable individuals

  • Li Hongbo, sculptor
  • Da Peng (Dong Chengpeng), actor

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ (Chinese) Origin of the Names of China's Provinces, People's Daily Online.
  5. ^ 前言
  6. ^ History of Mongolia, Volume II, 2003
  7. ^ LTC David M. Glantz, "August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria". Leavenworth Papers No. 7, Combat Studies Institute, February 1983, Fort Leavenworth Kansas.
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ a b c
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ | Jilin Hi-Tech Development Zone
  14. ^ | Changchun Economic and Technology Development Zone
  15. ^ | Changchun High-Tech Industrial Development Area
  16. ^ | Huichun Border Economic Cooperation Zone
  17. ^ | Huichun Export Processing Zone

External links

  • Jilin Government website (simplified Chinese)
  • Jilin Administration of Industry and Commerce (simplified Chinese)
  • Development zones and ports (simplified Chinese)
  • Economic profile for Jilin at HKTDC
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