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Hēilngjiāng Shěng
Abbreviation: 黑 (pinyin: Hēi)

The striped area is nominally part of Inner Mongolia, but it is administered by Heilongjiang.
Origin of Name 黑 hēi - black
龙 lng - dragon
江 jiāng - river
"Amur River"
Administration Type Province
Capital and
Largest City
CPC Heilongjiang Committee Secretary Song Fatang
Governor Zhang Zuoji
Area 460,000 km² (6th)
Population (2002)
 - Density
38,130,000 (16th)
83/km² (26th)
GDP (2002)
 - per capita
388.2 billion (13th)
10181 (10th)
Major Nationalities (2000) Han - 95%
Manchu - 3%
Korean - 1%
Mongol - 0.4%
Hui - 0.3%
Prefecture-level divisions 13
County-level divisions 130
Township-level divisions 1314
ISO 3166-2 CN-23

Heilongjiang (; Postal System Pinyin: Heilungkiang) 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).

Heilongjiang is located in Manchuria, also called Northeast China. It borders Jilin in the South and Inner Mongolia to the East; it also borders Russia to the north.

The Amur River marks the border between 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).



In ancient times Heilongjiang was far from any literate civilization, and information was sparse. From Chinese and other sources we learn that Heilongjiang was inhabited by people such as the Xianbei, the Mohe, and the Khitan. The eastern portion of Heilongjiang was ruled by the Mohe kingdom of Bohai between the 7th and 10th centuries. Later on the ethnically Jurchen Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) that went on to rule much of north China had its roots within the borders of modern Heilongjiang.

Under the Manchu Qing Dynasty, The western part of Heilongjiang was under the supervision of the General of Heilongjiang, whose power extended, according to the Treaty of Nerchinsk, as far north as the Stanovoy Mountains; eastern Heilongjiang was 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.

However, in 1858 and 1860 the Qing government gave up all land beyond the Amur and Ussuri Rivers to Russia, cutting China off from the Sea of Japan and giving Heilongjiang its present northern borders. At the same time, Manchuria was opened to Han Chinese migration by the Qing government. By the early 20th century the Han Chinese had become the dominant ethnic group in the region. In 1932 present-day Heilongjiang became part of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo.

After Japanese defeat in 1945, Soviet forces entered Manchuria, and gave the Chinese communists control over most of the area. Heilongjiang was the first complete province to be controlled by the Chinese communists, Harbin the first major city. From Manchuria, the communists were able to conduct the initial phases of the Chinese Civil War.

At the beginning of communist rule, Heilongjiang province included only the western portion of the present-day province, and had its capital at Qiqihar. The remaining area was the province of Songjiang, with capital 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 been mostly reversed.


Heilongjiang is a land of varied topography. Much of the province is dominated by mountain ranges such as the Da Xingan Mountains and Xiao Xingan Mountains (Greater Khingan and Lesser Khingan ), Zhangguangcai Mountains , Laoye Mountains , and Wanda Mountains . The highest peak is Mount Datudingzi at 1690 m, located on the border with Jilin province.

The interior of the province, which is relatively flat and low in altitude, contains 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.

Lake Xingkai (Lake Khanka ) is found on the border with Russia's Primorsky Krai.

Heilongjiang is subarctic in climate. Winters are long and frigid, with an average of -31 - -15 C in January, and summers are short and cool with an average of 18 - 23 C in July. The annual average rainfall is 500 - 600 mm, concentrated mostly in summer.

Major cities:

Administrative divisions

Heilongjiang is divided into 13 prefecture-level divisions, including 12 prefecture-level cities and 1 prefecture:

  • Harbin (Simplified Chinese: 哈尔滨市, Hanyu Pinyin: Hā'ěrbīn sh)
  • Qiqihar (齐齐哈尔市 Qqhā'ěr sh)
  • Hegang (鹤岗市 Hgǎng sh)
  • Shuangyashan (双鸭山市 Shuāngyāshān sh)
  • Jixi (鸡西市 Jīxī sh)
  • Daqing (大庆市 Dqng sh)
  • Yichun (伊春市 Yīchūn sh)
  • Mudanjiang (牡丹江市 Mǔdānjiāng sh)
  • Jiamusi (佳木斯市 Jiāmsī sh)
  • Qitaihe (七台河市 Qītih sh)
  • Heihe (黑河市 Hēih sh)
  • Suihua (绥化市 Suhu sh)
  • Daxing'anling Prefecture (大兴安岭地区 Dxīng'ānlǐng Dqū)

The 13 prefecture-level divisions of Heilongjiang are subdivided into 130 county-level divisions (65 districts, 19 county-level cities, 45 counties, and 1 autonomous county). Those are in turn divided into 1314 township-level divisions (475 towns, 400 townships, 58 ethnic townships , and 381 subdistricts).

See List of administrative divisions of Heilongjiang for a complete list of county-level divisions.


The agriculture of Heilongjiang, heavily defined by its cold climate, is based upon crops such as soybeans, maize, and wheat. 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 North China Tiger, the red-crowned crane, and the lynx.

Herding in Heilongjiang is centered upon horse and cattle. Heilongjiang has the greatest 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 meter.

Heilongjiang is part of Northeast China(Manchuria), the traditional base of industry for China. Industry is focused upon coal, petroleum, lumber, machinery and food. Due to its location, Heilongjiang is also an important gateway for trade with Russia. In recent years, however, Manchuria has suffered from stagnation as a result of privatization under economic reform, and the government has started a Revitalize the Northeast Campaign to deal with this problem.

Economic indicators in 2003:

Gross domestic product: 443.3 billion Renminbi
Gross domestic product per capita: 11623 Renminbi
Gross domestic product growth rate: 10.3%
Gross domestic product share by sector (primary/secondary/tertiary): 11.6% / 57.1% / 31.3%
Registered unemployment: 4.2%


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


Heilongjiang's culture is part of a culture of Northeast China that is quite homogeneous across all of the northeastern China. See Manchuria#Culture for a detailed description.


Harbin, the provincial capital, is a city of contrasts, with Chinese, Russian, and eclectic worldwide influences clearly apparent. Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches dot the city, and the long, cold winter is the backdrop for its famed ice sculpture exhibitions.

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.

Jingbo Lake , found 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 .

Miscellaneous topics

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Last updated: 08-01-2005 07:09:59
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13