Heilongjiang or Heilungkiang [Chin.,=black dragon river (the Amur)], province (1994 est. pop. 35,570,000), c.179,000 sq mi (463,730 sq km), NE China. The capital is Harbin. Heilongjiang constitutes the northern part of the region known as Manchuria (the Northeast) and is separated from Russia by the Amur River in the north and the Ussuri in the east, and is bordered on the west by the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. Both the Da Hinggan (Greater Khingan) and Xiao Hinggan (Lesser Khingan) mountain ranges traverse the province; their heavily forested slopes contain some of the finest timber in China. Lumbering is a major industry; timber reserves have been damaged by excessive cutting. The south, which contains the agricultural, industrial, and economic base of the province, is watered by the Songhua, the Nen, the Hulan, and the Mudan rivers, and is known as the Manchurian or Northeast plain. It is a great wheat area; millet, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets, and flax are also grown. Farming in Heilongjiang is highly mechanized, and vast reclamation projects have been instituted under the Communist government. The Chinese Eastern RR crosses S Heilongjiang and has many branches to the north; Harbin is the junction point with the South Manchurian railway system. Heilongjiang, which produces almost half of China's oil, contains the great Daqing oil field, first worked in 1959. Major coal mines are in Jixi and Hegang. Iron and magnesite are also mined, and aluminum is produced. Gold is extracted in the Da and Xiao Hinggan. Harbin is one of the country's leading industrial centers, known especially for its heavy machinery. Qiqihar, Jiamusi, and Mudanjiang are also industrial cities, with manufactures ranging from processed foods to locomotives. The boundaries of Heilongjiang have been changed several times. The former provinces of Hinggan and Nenjiang were added to it in 1950 and Songjiang was incorporated in 1954. The northwest section, which became part of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in 1949, was returned to Heilongjiang in the 1969-70 redistricting but subsequently restored to Inner Mongolia in 1979.
(Postal map spelling: Heilungkiang; Manchu: Sahaliyan ula) 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 island is derived.

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

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).


In ancient times Heilongjiang was far from any literate civilization, and information was sparse. Chinese and other sources state that Heilongjiang was inhabited by people such as the Xianbei, the Malgal, and the Khitan. 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.

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 twentieth 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 the Japanese defeat in 1945, Soviet forces entered Manchuria and gave the Chinese communists control over most of the area. Heilongjiang became the first province to be completely controlled by the Chinese communists and Harbin the first major city to be controlled by them. 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; 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 1690 m (5545 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 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. Xingkai Lake (or Khanka Lake) 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 to −15°C in January, and summers are short and cool with an average of 18 to 23°C in July. The annual average rainfall is 500 to 600 mm, concentrated mostly in summer.

Major cities:

Administrative divisions

Heilongjiang is divided into thirteen prefecture-level divisions, consisting of twelve prefecture-level cities and one prefecture:

The sub-province-level city:

The prefecture-level cities:

  • Daqing (大庆市 Dàqìng Shì)
  • Hegang (鹤岗市 Hègǎng Shì)
  • Heihe (黑河市 Hēihé Shì)
  • Jiamusi (佳木斯市 Jiāmùsī Shì)
  • Jixi (鸡西市 Jīxī Shì)
  • Mudanjiang (牡丹江市 Mǔdānjiāng Shì)
  • Qiqihar (齐齐哈尔市 Qíqíhā'ěr Shì)
  • Qitaihe (七台河市 Qītáihé Shì)
  • Shuangyashan (双鸭山市 Shuāngyāshān Shì)
  • Suihua (绥化市 Suíhuà Shì)
  • Yichun (伊春市 Yīchūn Shì)

The prefecture:

(About this last prefecture there is information to find at the section Greater Khingan)

The thirteen prefecture-level divisions of Heilongjiang are subdivided into 130 county-level divisions (65 districts, nineteen county-level cities, forty-five counties, and one autonomous county). Those are in turn divided into 1284 township-level divisions (473 towns, 400 townships, 58 ethnic townships, and 353 subdistricts).

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


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. Ou Yangqin 欧阳钦 (1954-1965)
  5. Pan Fusheng 潘复生 (1965-1967)
  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-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-incumbent)


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 Siberian 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 metre.

Heilongjiang is part of northeast China (Manchuria), the traditional base of industry for the People's Republic of 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, the government has started the Revitalize Northeast China campaign to deal with this problem, using privatization as the preferred method of economic reform.

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

In 2007, Heilongjiang's nominal GDP was 707.72 billion yuan (US$93 billion), an annual growth rate of 12.1%. Its per capita GDP was 18,510 yuan (US$2,434). In 2007, Heilongjiang's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 89.25 billion yuan, 377.95 billion yuan, and 240.52 billion yuan respectively. The per capita disposable income of urban residents in Heilongjiang reached 10,245 yuan (about US$1,350), a rise of 11.6% from the previous year. The per capita net income of rural residents in the province reached 4,132 yuan (about US$540), a rise of 16.3 from 2006.


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)


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). (See Culture of Manchuria.)


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. Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches dot the city.

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.

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.

Colleges and universities


External links


Search another word or see Heilongjiangon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature