Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

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Template:Chinesename koreanname Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous prefecture in Jilin province, in the northeastern part of the People's Republic of China. Yanbian is south of Heilongjiang, east of Jilin's Baishan City, north of North Korea's North Hamgyong Province, and west of Russia. Yanbian is designated as an autonomous prefecture due to the large number of ethnic Koreans living in the region.

The prefectural capital is Yanji, and the area is 42,700 km (one quarter of Jilin Province, about the size of The Netherlands).

The Prefecture has an important Bohai archaeological site: the Ancient Tombs at Longtou Mountain, which includes the Mausoleum of Princess Zhenxiao. Bohai was an ancient kingdom and civilization that flourished in the region in the 7th to 10th centuries.



The prefecture is subdivided into 8 county-level divisions: 6 county-level cities and 2 counties:

(For a map, see #External links)

The above counties and cities are divided into 642 villages (边境村).


Yanbian was inhabited since 26,000 years ago by what today the Chinese called the Antu (安圖人) (a county is named after them). Since around the 8th century, Yanbian was Huhan Prefecture (忽汗州) of the Bohai Kingdom. In the Ming Dynasty, Yanbian was Jianzhou Guard-district (建州衛), late Qing Dynasty divided into Yanji (延吉廳) and Hunchun (琿春廳) Subprefectures.

In the 19th century, many Korean immigrants migrated en masse from the Korea Peninsula to China. After the foundation of the Republic of China, a second wave arrived. The population increase is caused by Japanese invasion in that region. The Japanese were trying to use Korean immigration to diffuse the staying power of Chinese in that region. After the end of World War II, many Koreans in China did not go back to Korea, even though their country has been granted independence. Instead, they joined the Chinese Civil War and were mobilized by communist leader Mao Zedong to fight against the Chinese Nationalist army. As a reward for their involvement, the Communist Party gave Koreans their own autonomous prefecture inside China and divided the land of Han Chinese among the cooperating Koreans.

The name "Yanbian" was created in the 1920s, because it stretches (yan) on the boundary (bian) of three nations. It was also in the Yanji Border-affairs Public Bureau, where Yanji means Luck of the Stretch. During the Manchukuo period, it was called Kan-do (間島) Province by the Japanese. The same characters when used as hanja in Korean are pronounced and romanized as Gando (hangul: 간도), the name still currently used by Koreans to refer to the entire larger region of Manchuria long inhabited by those of Korean ethnicity. After the PRC, it became an autonomous region (区) in 1952, and upgraded to an autonomous prefecture in 1955.


  • Geographic coordinates: 4159'47" - 4430'42", 12727'43" - 13118'33" E
  • Boundary length: 755.2 km
    • China-Korea: 522.5 km
    • China-Russia: 232.7 km

Mountains that are in the prefecture are:

  • The central range of Changbai Mountain (長白山主脈)
  • Zhangguangcai Peak (張廣才嶺)
  • Harba Peak (張廣才嶺)
  • Peony Peak (牡丹嶺哈爾巴嶺)
  • Old Master Peak (老爺嶺)
  • Nan'gang Mountain Range (南崗山脈)

There have been over 40 types of minerals and 50 kinds of metals, including gold, lead, zinc copper, silver, manganese and mercury, discovered near or in the mountains.

Average land height is 500 metres above sea level.

Main rivers include:

The rivers sustain 28 running water processing facilities.

The rivers created basins, which are suitable for agricultural uses, like rice paddies and bean farms.


Railways include:

  • Chang-Tu Line (长图线): most important
  • Mu-Tu Line (牡图线)
  • Chao-Kai Line (朝开线): Yangchuan-Shantun Line (阳川山屯线)
  • Tumen-Hunchun Railway: under construction

Public roads are 1,480-kilometre altogether. There are four airports.


Ethnicity compositions:

Population density: 51 people per km

Like the peninsular Koreans, Yanbianese Koreans' most common surname is Kim. Many immigrated from Korea during the 19th century, and again during the Japanese Occupation.

The Yanbianese have one of the highest living standard in the PRC, with an index of urbanization standard (城市化水准) at 55.6%, 20 more percents than the provincial standard (31.3%) and 25 more than the national (26.5%).


The Korean language Yanbianese use is purely in Hangul, without any Hanja. Like peninsular Korean language, Yanbianese Korean has Western punctuation, and not Chinese.

Yanbian University is the only university in China that teaches courses at 12 colleges in Korean as well as Chinese languages.

The Museum of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture was planned in 1960, and constructed in 1982. It contains over 10,000 exhibits, including 11 first-level artifacts. Not all artifact are Korean, however, for example, some of the first-level ones from the Mausoleum of Princess Zhenxiao are of the historical Bohai ethnicity. The exhibits' labels and explanations are bilingual in Korean and Chinese, and tour guides are also available in both languages.


There are seven public parks in Yanbian's green space (18% of whole prefecture), including:

  • Yanji People's Park (延吉人民公园)
  • Youth Lake Park (青年湖公园)

Also popular among locals during holidays and festivities.

Nature and Environment

Over 70% are originally forest in the prefecture, so there is a rich diversity of life.


"Jilin's Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture Urbanization Standard Exceeds that of the Whole Country" (吉林延邊朝鮮族自治州城市化水準走在全國前列) Xinhua News 2002-09-02 09:46:06: article no longer on-line

See also

External links

Template:Jilinfr:Yanbian ko:옌볜 조선족 자치주 ja:延辺朝鮮族自治州 zh:延边朝鲜族自治州


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