The eastern part of the province is the mountainous area of the Changbai Mountains with an elevation of over 1,000 meters and the Jidong hilly land of 500 meters above sea level or lower. The western part of the province is the Songliao Plain, whose low and level western section is the grain base of the province.
The province is one of China¡¯s six major forestry areas. The Changbai Mountains stretching about 500 km is known as the ¡°Changbai Sea of Forest.¡± The province¡¯s land used for forestry covers 9.7226 million hectares, accounting for 51.37 percent of the province¡¯s total and ranking the 12th in the country. Forests cover 7.9767 million hectares, accounting for 82.04 percent of the total land used for forestry, ranking the eighth in the country. The province¡¯s storage of live limber is 840 million cubic meters, ranking the sixth in the country. The province¡¯s forest coverage is 42.4 percent. The highest summit of the province, the White Cloud Peak of the Changbai Mountains, is 2,691 meters above sea level.
The prairie in western Jilin is situated in the center of the Songjiang-Nenjiang Prairie, one of the famous grasslands in China. The prairie is known for its rich forage grasses for sheep, most of which are perennial rootstock and bushy grasses. It is also one of the breeding bases of commercial cattle and fine-wool sheep in northern China. There are 4.379 million hectares of grassland are available in the province, mainly in its western and eastern parts.
Its western part is the easternmost point of the Euro-Asian grassland, where the source of water is rich and the quality of grass is good. A part of the Horqin Grassland, it is Jilin¡¯s animal husbandry base.
The province is abundant in minerals with a total of 136 varieties of ores discovered. The number of surveyed mineral deposits is 93, 75 of which have been explored. The province¡¯s reserves of 22 minerals rank the top five in the country. Its main minerals, include: coal with a reserve of nearly 2.1 billion tons; petroleum with a remaining potential reserve of 113.99 million tons; iron ores with a reserve of 460 million tons; gold with a reserve ranking the 13th in the nation; the reserves of 10 other minerals such as oil shale, diatomite and wollastonite rank the first in the country; veneer gabbro and carbon dioxide gas rank the second in the country; that of molybdenum and germanium rank the third; the remaining potential reserve of petroleum ranks the sixth in the country. Jilin is favored with nonmetallic mineral products and most of its export products are crude nonmetallic minerals and their products. The reserves of wollastonite, diatomite, bentonite, and refractory clay are rich enough for mining. The reserves of petroleum, natural gas and coal are also affluent.
There is a rich resource of wildlife in Jilin Province, particularly in the Changbei Mountains area. Jilin is the original producer of the worldwide famous Three Northeast China Treasures ¡ª ginseng, fur of marten and pilose antler. Its other products, such as glossy ganoderma, the tuber of elevated gastrodia, astragali, and pine mushroom, hedgehogt fungus, frog fat are all well-known at home and abroad.
There are about 2,300 species of plant in the Changbai Mountains, of which 900-odd are of high economic value. There are 870 varieties of medicinal herbs and more than 200 varieties of edible plants. Trees of quality timber for industrial use include Korean pine, Changbai pine, yeddo spruce, northeast China ash, yellow pineapple, Manchurian walnut catalpa, and linden. Chinese grapes, the fruit of Chinese magnoliavine, cowberry and haw are materials for brewing wine. There are 300 varieties of wild plants that provide a rich source for honey-making. Among its 437 species of wild animals, there are precious fur animals and feather fowls such as sables, otters, lynx, Manchurian tigers, leopards, and flowery-tail pheasants. Precious animals that can be used as medicinal materials include red deer, musk deer, brown bears, badgers, frogs, and wood frogs. Animals of high economic value include wild boars, roe deer, and grouses.
Agriculture and crops:
The province¡¯s soil is fertile, suitable for growing grains, beans, oil crops, beetroot, tobacco, jute, potato, ginseng, traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, and fruits. The province¡¯s sown area is 3.959 million hectares.
Its per capita consumption of grain, the commodity rate of grain, the volume of grains shipped to other provinces, and the export of corn are leading the country continuously for many years.
The province is China¡¯s largest base of commercial grain. It produces corn, soybean and rice.
The Song-Liao Plain in Jilin is an important grain base of the country and a world-known corn-growing zone.
The province boasts rich tourism resources. In the provincial capital Changchun, there are the former government office of the Manchurian State established by the Japanese invaders during World War II, the Jingyuetan Forest Park, the Monument to the Martyrs of the Soviet Red Army, the Automobile Town, and the Changchun Film Studio. There are also the Jilin University, the Changchun Institute of Optical and Mechanical Engineering, and the Changchun University. Among its five-star hotels are Mingmen Hotel and the Shangri-la Hotel. In Jilin City, there are the mountain city of Gaojuli on Mount Longtans; Beishan Park; the Songhua Lake in Fengman; the Baohai Ancient Tombs in Mount Liuding of Dunhua; the Chengzishan mountain city in Yanji; the Changbeishan Nature Reserve that covers a vast area in the three counties of Changbei, Antu and Fusong and boasts scenic spots such as the Heavenly Pond, waterfalls, and groups of hot springs and grand canyons. In Tonghua, there is the Tomb of General Yang Jingyu. In Ji¡¯an, there are the Wandu mountain city; Donggou Ancient Tombs; the General Mausoleum known as the ¡°oriental pyramid¡± and the stone tablet of King Haotai. Furthermore, there is the Liao Pagoda in Nong¡¯an and the group of volcanoes at Yitong.
Jilin Province is located in the middle latitudes of the northern hemisphere, east of the Euro-Asian continent, the northernmost section of the temperate zone in China, nearing the sub-frigid zone. The eastern part of the province is close to the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, where the atmosphere is moist often accompanied with much rain. The climate of its western part, which is far from the sea and approaches to the arid Mongolian Plateau, is dry. As a whole, the province has a distinct temperate continental monsoon climate with a clear-cut change of four seasons. The yearly average temperature of most part of the province is 3-5 ¡ãC. The annual time of sunshine is 2,200¡ª3,000 hours. The annual average accumulated temperature in activity is 2,700¡ª3,600 ¡ãC. The precipitation of the province in a year is 550¡ª910 mm and the frost-free period lasts 120¡ª160 days. With hot and rainy days in the same season, it is good for farming. The frost period begins in the last 10 days of September and lasts until the end of April or early May
Population growth rate: 0.98 per thousand.
In the province there are altogether 44 ethnical groups. Besides the Han, there are minority ethnical groups such as the Korean, Manchu, Mongolian, Hui and Sibo, who have been living in the province for ages. The number of the Han people is 24.8163 million, accounting for 90.97 percent of the total. The population of other ethnical groups is 2.4636 million, accounting for 9.03 percent. The Koreans are distributed in Yanbian, Jilin, Tonghua, Baishan and other cities in the eastern part; The Mongolians and Sibos are mainly distributed in Baicheng and Songyuan in the western part; and the Manchus and Huis mostly live in the cities of Changchun, Jilin, Tonghua and Siping.
Autonomous administrative areas for ethnic minorities have been established in the province. These include the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, the Qian Gorlos Mongolian Autonomous County, the Changbai Korean Autonomous County, and the Yitong Manchu Autonomous County. In addition, there are 34 minority ethnical townships (towns), of which 10 are for Mongolians, 10 are for Manchus, seven are for Koreans, two are for the Huis, and five for both Manchu and Korean people. The population of minority ethnical groups and their ratio of the total provincial population rank the ninth and 11th in the country respectively.
There are 1.3438 million people who have received college education, accounting for 4.93 percent of the total population. And 4.1126 million people have received secondary education (including vocational and professional education), accounting for 15.08 percent of the total; a total of 9.7354 million people have received middle school education, accounting for 35.69 percent of the total. The number of people who have received primary education is 9.1655 million, accounting for 33.6 percent of the total. The number of illiterate (15 years old or older and cannot read or can read only a few words) is 1.2476 million, accounting for 4.57 percent of the total
The province¡¯s railways generally stretch along two orientations: from northwest to southeast and from southwest to northeast. The national artery railway line from Beijing to Harbin runs through the province from south to north. Such principal cities in China as Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Jinan, Nanjing, and Shanghai can be reached directly from the province. A railway network has been formed to link up various cities, prefectures and townships of the province with Changchun as its center, Jilin city, Siping and Meihekou as its hubs, and the Beijing-Harbin, Changchun-Tumen, Changchun-Baicheng, Siping-Qiqihar, Shenyang-Jilin, Siping-Meihekou and Meihekou-Ji¡¯an as its trunk lines.
By the end of 2000, the total distance of highways in the province was 35,216 km with a highway density of 18.8 km per 100 square kilometers. Included in the expressway network are six highways: Changchun-Siping, Changchun-Jilin, Changchun-Yingchengzi, the ring road of Changchun, Jilin-Jiangmifeng, and Yanji-Tumen. The total length of the expressways was 383 km. The expressway from Changchun to Lalinhe (161 km long) is now under construction and expected to be put into operation in 2002.
With Changchun, the capital city as its center, and Jilin and Yanji as main airports, the air network links the province with Beijing, Shanghai, Haikou, Kunming, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Korea¡¯s Seoul, and Japan¡¯s Sendai.
The major navigation rivers in the province include the Nenjiang River, Songhua River, Tumen River and Yalu River. Generally, the navigation period lasts from mid-April to late November. With a total of 1,789 km waterways and three inland ports (Da¡¯an, Jilin and Fuyu), Jilin boasts an inland waterway handling capacity of 1.40 million tons a year
Yanbian is an autonomous prefecture with a population of 2.2 million and covers a total area of about 43,000 square kilometers and the prefectural capital is Yanji.? Its location, on the east of Jilin province, near to the sea, is bounded in the east by Russia and in the south by South Korea. It has jurisdiction over 6 cities including Yanji, Huichun, Tumen, Longjing, Helong, Dunhua and Antu, Wangqing counties.
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