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Changchun ( Manchu: , Cang cun) is the capital and largest city of Jilin province, located in the northeast of the People's Republic of China, in the center of the Songliao Plain. It is administered as a sub-provincial city with a population of 7,677,089 at the 2010 census under its jurisdiction, including counties and county-level cities. The name, which means "Long Spring", originated from the Jurchen language. The 6 urban districts of Changchun's city proper have a total population of 3,341,700 in 2010 which correspond to the built up area.[1]



Early history

Changchun started as a minor trading town. In 1800, Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty selected a small village on the east bank of the Yitong River and named it "Changchun Ting." In 1889, it was promoted as "Changchun Fu".

Railway era

In May 1898, as Russians were building a railway from Harbin to L shun (the southern branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway), Changchun got its first railway station, located in Kuancheng.[2]

After Russia's loss of the southernmost section of this branch as a result of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, the Kuancheng station (Kuanchengtze, in contemporary spelling) became the last Russian station on this branch. The next station to the south - the new "Japanese" Changchun station, just a short distance to the south - became the first station of the South Manchuria Railway, which now owned all the tracks running farther south, to L shun, which they re-gauged to the standard gauge (after a short stint of using the narrow Japanese gauge during the war).[3]

The South Manchuria Railway office of Changchun A special Russo-Japanese agreement of 1907 provided that Russian gauge tracks would continue from the "Russian" Kuancheng Station to the "Japanese" Changchun Station, and vice versa, tracks on the "gauge adapted by the South Manchuria Railway" (i.e. the standard gauge) would continue from the Changchun Station to the Kuancheng Station.[2][4]

Changchun expanded rapidly as the junction between of the Japanese-owned South Manchurian Railway and the Russian-owned Chinese Eastern Railway which continued to have different rail gauges, as well as permit licences until 1935. Changchun had railway repair shops, and branch lines originating in Changchun extended into Korea and Inner Mongolia.

An epidemic of pneumonic plague occurred in surrounding Manchuria from 1910 to 1911.[5] Later, the Japanese established Unit 100 to develop plague biological weapons.

Manchukuo and World War II

In 1932 the capital of Manchukuo, a Japan-controlled puppet state in Manchuria, was moved to Changchun from Jilin City (Kirin city) (located within less than 200 km to the east). Then known as Hsinking (; Japanese: Shinky ; English trans.: New Capital), the capital was a well-planned city with broad avenues and modern public works. The city underwent rapid expansion in both its economy and infrastructure. Many of buildings built during the Japanese colonial era still stand today, including those of the Eight Major Bureaus of Manchukuo () as well as the Headquarters of the Japanese Kwantung Army (). From 1931 to 1945 China's last emperor Pu Yi was installed as the Manchukuo government head by the Japanese authority. He resided in the Imperial Palace () which is now the Museum of the Manchu State Imperial Palace ().

Construction of Hsinking

Special City Government office of Hsinking

Datong Avenue in Hsinking Hsinking was the only Direct-controlled municipality( ) in Manchukuo after Harbin was incorporated into the jurisdiction of Binjiang Province.[6] In March 1932, Inspection Division of South Manchuria Railway started to draw up the Metropolitan Plan of Great Hsinking( ). Bureau of capital construction( ) which was directly under the control of State Council of Manchukuo was established to take the assumption of total responsibility from the formulation to the implementation of the Plan. Kuniaki Koiso, the Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army, and Yasuji Okamura, the Vice chief-of-staff, finalized the plan of a 200 square kilometers' construction area. the Metropolitan Plan of Great Hsinking consulted the renovation plan of Paris in the 19th century, the garden city movement initiated in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard, and theories of American cities' planning and design in the 1920s. As the result of vigorously implement on afforestation, almost all of the city nestled among the green by 1934. Hsinking was praised as the Forest Capital. By 1942, Hsinking's public green areas per capita reached 2,272 square meters, which was 5 times more than Japan's major cities. Hsinking Master Plan Map(1934)

In accordance with the Metropolitan Plan of Great Hsinking, the area of commonality construction land(including the Imperial Palace, government office, roads, parks and athletic ground) in Hsinking is 47 square kilometers, while the area of residential, commercial and industrial estate is planned to be 53 square kilometers. However, Hsinking's population has exceeded the prediction of 500,000 by 1940. In 1941, the Capital Construction Bureau modified the original plan, which expanded the urban area to 160 square kilometers. The new plan also focused on the construction of satellite towns around the city with a planning of 200 square meters' land per capita. Because the effects of war, the Metropolitan Plan of Great Hsinking remained unfinished. By 1944, the built up urban area of Hsinking reached 80 square kilometers, while the area used for greening reached 70.7 square kilometers. As Hsinking's city orientation is the administrative center and military commanding center, land for military use exceeded the originally planned figure of 9 percent, while only light manufacturing including packing industry, cigarette industry and papermaking has been developed during this period.

The population of Hsinking also experienced an extremely rapid growth after being established as the capital of Manchukuo. According to the census in 1934 taken by the police agency, the city's municipal area has 141,712 inhabitants.[7] By 1944 the city's population had risen to 863,607, almost increased six times from a decade before.[8] 153,614 among them were Japanese settlers.

Chemical Destruction

During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 1945) and World War II the Imperial Japanese Army implemented in Changchun the headquarters of Unit 100 ("Wakamatsu Unit"), under command of veterinarian Yujiro Wakamatsu.[9] This facility dedicated itself to both the study of animal vaccines to protect Japanese resources, and, especially, veterinary biological-warfare. Diseases were tested for use against Soviet and Chinese horses and other livestock. In addition to these tests, Unit 100 ran a bacteria factory to produce the pathogens needed by other units. Biological sabotage testing was also handled at this facility: everything from poisons to chemical crop destruction.

Senior Sgt. Kazuo Mitomo described some of Unit 100's human experiments:

"I put as much as a gram of heroin into some porridge and gave this porridge to an arrested Chinese citizen who ate it; about 20 minutes later he lost consciousness and remained in that state until he died 15-16 hours later. We knew that such a dose of heroin is fatal, but it did not make any difference to us whether he died or lived. On some of the prisoners I experimented 5-6 times, testing the action of Korean bindweed, bactal and castor oil seeds. One of the prisoners of Russian nationality became so exhausted from the experiments that no more could be performed on him, and Matsui ordered me to kill that Russian by giving him an injection of potassium cyanide. After the injection, the man died at once. Bodies were buried in the unit's cattle cemetery."

Siege of Changchun

Severely damaged during World War II, the city was taken by the Soviet Red Army in 1945. The Russians maintained a presence in the city during the Chinese civil war until 1946.

Kuomintang forces occupied the city in 1946, but were unable to hold the countryside against communist forces. The city fell to the communists in 1948 after a 5-month-long siege by the People's Liberation Army that resulted in a massive famine with a civilian death toll of 100,000 to 300,000. The facts of the siege are still subject to official censorship in PRC.[10]

People's Republic

Renamed Changchun by the People's Republic of China government, it became the capital of Jilin in 1954. The Changchun Film Studio is also one of the remaining film studios of the era.

From the 1950s, Changchun was designated to become a center for China's automotive industry. Construction of the First Automobile Works began in 1953 and production of the Jiefang CA-10 truck, based on the Soviet ZIS-150 started in 1956. In 1958, FAW introduced the famous Hongqi (Red Flag) limousines.

Changchun hosted the 2007 Winter Asian Games.



Victory Park Changchun lies in the middle portion of the Northeast China Plain. Its municipality area is located at latitude 43 05 45 15 N and longitude 124 18 127 02' E. The total area of Changchun municipality is 20,571 square kilometers, including metro areas of 2,583 square kilometers, and the municipal constructed area is 159 square kilometers. The city is situated at a moderate elevation, ranging from to within its administrative region. In the eastern portion of the city, there lies a small area of low mountains. The city is also situated at the crisscross point of the third east-westward "Europe-Asia Continental Bridge". Changchun prefecture is dotted with 222 rivers and lakes. Yitong River, a small tributary of Songhua River runs through the city proper.


Changchun has a four-season, monsoon-influenced, humid continental climate (K ppen Dwa). Winters are long (lasting from November to March), cold, and windy, but dry, due to the influence of the Siberian anticyclone, with a January mean temperature of . Spring and fall are somewhat short transitional periods, with some precipitation, but are usually dry and windy. Summers are hot and humid, with a prevailing southeasterly wind due to the East Asian monsoon; July averages . Snow is usually light during the winter, and annual rainfall is heavily concentrated from June to August. A typical year will see upwards of 2,600 hours of sunshine, and a frost-free period of 140 to 150 days.

Administrative divisions

The sub-provincial city of Changchun has direct jurisdiction over 6 districts ( qu), 3 county-level cities ( shi) and 1 County ( xian):

Map # Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2003 est.) Area (km2) Density (/km2)
City proper
1 Chaoyang District Ch oy ng Q 740,000 379 1,953
2 Nanguan District N ngu n Q 610,000 497 1,227
3 Kuancheng District Ku nch ng Q 470,000 877 536
4 Erdao District rd o Q 390,000 965 404
5 Luyuan District L yu n Q 570,000 301 1,894
6 Shuangyang District Shu ngy ng Q 380,000 1,663 229
Satellite cities
7 Dehui D hu Sh 920,000 3,096 297
8 Jiutai Ji t i Sh 830,000 2,875 289
9 Yushu Y sh Sh 1,230,000 4,691 262
10 Nong'an County N ng' n Xi n 1,120,000 5,221 215


Chongqing Road, Changchun
Chongqing Road, Changchun
Wuhuan Arena, Changchun
Wuhuan Arena, Changchun

Changchun achieved a GDP of RMB332.9 billion in 2010, representing a rise of 15.3% year on year. Primary industry output increased by 3.3 percent to RMB25.27 billion. Secondary industry output experienced an increase of 19.0 percent, reaching RMB171.99 billion, while the tertiary industry output increased 12.6 percent to RMB135.64 billion.[11]

The city s leading industries are foodstuffs, photoelectronic information, biology and medicine, and automotive. Changchun is the largest automobile manufacturing base in China, producing 9% of the country's automobiles in 2009.[12] As cradle of the auto industry, and home to FAW, China s biggest vehicle producer, one of Changchun s better known nicknames is "China's Detroit".[13]

Changchun has great potential, but like many northern cities it still is trying to resolve major difficulties. It is increasingly faced with competition from nearby cities, seeing its dominance of the northeast as a regional industrial powerhouse diminish as other nearby cities continue to narrow the gap.[14]

FDI in the city was US$640 million, up 10.1% year on year. However, investors still need to be convinced. Big players of the likes of Coca-Cola, may help with this. The company set up a bottling plant in the city s ETDZ in 2004 with an investment of US$20 million.[14]

Changchun is situated as the Northeast Asia's geometric center. South Liaodong peninsula coastline, north to Russia and Eastern Europe, east to North Korea, South Korea, Russia, and west to Mongolia. Changchun is an important transportation and communication hub of Northeast China.

Changchun's main industry is the manufacturing of transportation facilities and machinery. It produces 50 percent of passenger trains, and 10 percent of tractors made in China.

Changchun is the largest automobile research and development center in China. The first Chinese truck and car was made in Changchun. FAW (First Automotive Works) Group is based in Changchun. The automaker's factories and associated housing and services occupies a substantial portion of the city's southwest end. Specific brands produced in Changchun includes the Red Flag luxury brand, as well as joint ventures with Audi, Volkswagen, and Toyota. In 2009, FAW sold 1.94 million units of auto, up 26.9% year on year.

The GDP per capita was 43,936 (ca. US$6,635) in 2010, ranked no. 59 among 659 Chinese cities.

Changchun hosts the yearly Changchun International Automobile Fair, Changchun Film Festival, Changchun Agricultural Fair, Education Exhibition and the Sculpture Exhibition.

Changchun's largest companies include FAW, one of China's leading domestic producers of cars, trucks and buses, Yatai Group, a major conglomerate involved in wide range of industries and Jilin Grain Group, a major processor of grains.[15]

Development zones

Changchun High Technology Development Zone The zone is one of the first 27 state-level advanced technology development zones and is situated in the southern part of the city, covering a total area of 49 square kilometers. Within the zone, one can find 18 full-time universities and colleges, 39 state and provincial-level scientific research institutions, and 11 key national laboratories. The zone is presently focusing on developing its five main industries, namely bio-engineering, automobile engineering, new material fabrication, photo-electricity, and information technology.

  • Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone

Established in April 1993, the zone enjoys all the preferential policies stipulated for economic and technological development zones of coastal open cities.[14] The total area of CETDZ is 112.72 sqkm, of which 30 sqkm has been set aside for development and utilization.[16] It is located five kilometers from downtown Changchun, two kilometers from the freight railway station and 15 kilometers from the Changchun international airport. The zone is devoted to developing five leading industries, namely automotive parts and components, photoelectric information, bio-pharmaceutical, fine processing of foods, and new building materials. In particular, high-tech and high value added projects account for over 80 percent of total output. In 2006 the zone's total fixed assets investment rose to RMB38.4 billion. Among the total of 1656 enterprises registered are 179 that are foreign-funded. The zone also witnessed a total industrial output of RMB 277 billion in 2007.[14]

  • Changchun Automotive Economic Trade and Development Zone

Founded in 1993, the Changchun Automotive Trade Center was re-established as the Changchun Automotive Economic Trade and Development Zone in 1996. The development zone is situated in the southwest of the city and is adjacent to the China First Automobile Works Group Corporation and the Changchun Film ThemeCity. It covers a total area of approximately 300,000 square meters. Within the development zone lies an exhibition center and five specially demarcated industrial centers. The famous Changchun Automobile Wholesale Center began operations in 1994 and is the largest auto-vehicle and spare parts wholesale center in China. The other centers include a resale center for used auto-vehicles, a specialized center for industrial/commercial vehicles, and a tire wholesale center.[14]



Changchun dialect is phonologically close to the Northeast Mandarin language, but the dialect itself carries with it strong cultural and regional connotations.


Ginseng is considered one of the treasures of Northeast China. Ginseng is placed inside a less-than-one-year-old chicken in the dish Ginseng Chicken. Another local favorite is chicken cooked with Maotai Wine, which adds the famous Chinese liquor Maotai to flavor the dish. Many of Changchun's local dishes are a fusion of Korean and Chinese recipes since Changchun has a big Korean minority population. The area around Guilin Road is great place to sample Korean food such as barbeque and buy Korean knickknacks.

In Changchun, deer tail is considered a fine delicacy and an aphrodisiac. Many a wedding night involves the consumption of these once fluffy tails. In order to remove their fur, they are soaked in lukewarm water. Locals then stewed the tails for hours in a pot with many seasonings, including Chinese cinnamon.

The Songhua River is abundant in White Fish, which is quite tender and has mild taste. The fish is either steamed with soup or dry steamed without soup.

Sweetened red bean paste covered with snow is a popular dessert. It gains its name as local people throw some white sugar on it before eating.


Changchun is developing its city layout in a long-term bid to alleviate pressure on limited land, aid economic development and absorb a rising population. According to a draft plan up until 2020, the downtown area will expand southwards to form a new city center around Changchun World Sculpture Park, Weixing Square and their outskirts, and the new development zone.[14]


Changchun is linked to the national highway network through the Changchun Harbin Expressway, the Changchun Jilin-Huichun Expressway and the busiest section in the province, the Changchun-Jilin North Highway. This section connects the two biggest cities in Jilin and is the trunk line for the social and economic communication of the two cities.[14]


Changchun Tram on 54 Road, Changchun
Changchun Tram on 54 Road, Changchun
Changchun Light Rail Transit
Changchun Light Rail Transit
Changchun is served by a comprehensive bus system, as well as one traditional tram route (route 54). Most buses and the tram charge 1 Yuan ( ) per ride. Changchun also has as a modern light rail line that began revenue service in 2002 and is undergoing extension. Private automobiles are becoming very common on the city's congested streets. Bicycles are relatively rare compared to other northeastern Chinese cities, but mopeds, as well as pedal and even animal-drawn carts are relatively common.

Changchun has three passenger rail stations, though most trains only stop at the central Changchun Railway Station (), where there are multiple daily departures to other northeast cities such as Jilin City, Harbin, Shenyang, and Dalian, as well as other major cities throughout the country such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.


Changchun Longjia International Airport () opened in 2005 and serves as the main civilian airport for both Changchun and Jilin. By Taxi, it takes about 45 minutes to reach downtown from the airport. A new high speed train(CRH),which started service to the airport in 2011 takes about 10 minutes to reach the downtown train station. Domestic flights are available to 26 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu and Shenzhen. Currently international and regional flights are available to Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. But the airport hopes to create more domestic and international flights, setting its sights on flights to the Americas.

City infrastructure

Changchun is a very compact city, planned by the Japanese with a layout of open avenues and public squares. Despite once having the most complex tram system in Northern China, there is now only one remaining route open. However, Changchun is notable for having China s first urban light rail system, opened in 2002, which was developed from the existing tramway system. There is currently one line encompassing 14.6 kilometers of track with plans to expand the system to an eventual 179 kilometers of track.[14]


Changchun is headquarters of the 16th Group Army of the People's Liberation Army, one of the three group armies that comprise the Shenyang Military Region responsible for defending China's northeastern borders with Russia and North Korea.

Universities and colleges

PRC State key laboratory in Jilin University

  • Jilin University ()
  • Northeast Normal University ()
  • Jilin University of Finance and Economics ()
  • Changchun University of Technology ()
  • Changchun University of Science and Technology ()
  • Jilin Agricultural University ()
  • Changchun University of Chinese Medicine ()
  • Changchun Normal University ()
  • Jilin Huaqiao Institute [web site] (, a private college offering bachelor study programs in foreign languages, international trade management and didactics)


  • Changchun Yatai Football Club (), who play home soccer matches at Development Area Stadium () since 2009.[17]
  • China Sharks (ice hockey)
  • Jilin Northeast Tigers (Basketball)
  • Changchun Wuhuan Gymnasium, the main venue of the 2007 Asian Winter Games.


  • Changchun Film Group Corporation
  • Changchun Film Festival

International relations

Sister cities

Changchun is twinned with:

See also

  • Changchun Light Rail Transit
  • Changchun Tram
  • Dalian
  • Harbin
  • Jilin City
  • Shenyang
  • Tonghua

Notes and references


External links

ace:Changchun af:Changchun ar: zh-min-nan:Ti ng-chhun-chh be: be-x-old: bg: bs: ang un ca:Changchun cs: chang- chun cy:Changchun da:Changchun de:Changchun et:Changchun es:Changchun eo: ang uno eu:Changchun fa: fr:Changchun gl:Changchun hi: ko: hr: ang un id:Changchun it:Changchun jv:Changchun kl:Changchun sw:Changchun lt: ang unas mi:Changchun my: nl:Changchun ja: no:Changchun nn:Changchun oc:Changchun pa: pnb: pl:Changchun pt:Changchun ro:Changchun ru: sah: sco:Changchun sr: fi:Changchun sv:Changchun tl:Changchun tr: ang un uk: ug: vi:Tr ng Xu n, C t L m war:Changchun zh:

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