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Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture (延边朝鲜族自治州) is the traditional home of Jilin Koreans (朝鮮族). In addition, there have lived the Han, some minorities. It is south of Heilongjiang, east of Jilin's Baishan[?] City (白山), north of North Korea, and west of Russia.

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

The Prefecture has an important Bohai (extinct, non-Korean, non-Han) archaeological site, the Ancient Tombs at Longtou Mountain, which includes the Mausoleum of Princess Zhenxiao.

Table of contents


The prefecture includes 6 boundary-class cities (边境市) and 2 counties (边境县):

  • Yanji City (延吉市): formerly county until 1950s?
  • Tumen City (图们市): established in 1965
  • Longjing City (龙井市): formerly county until 1987
  • Hunchun City (珲春市 hun2 chun1): formerly county until 1983
  • Dunhua City (敦化市): formerly county until 1985
  • Helong City (和龙县): formerly county until 1993
  • Antu County (安图县)
  • Wangqing County (汪清县)

(For a map, see "External links")

The above counties and cities are divided into 642 boundary-class 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, a dependency to the Tang Empire. 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.

"Yanbian" occurred 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. After the PRC, it became an autonomous region (区) in 1952, and upgraded to an autonomous prefecture in 1955.


  • 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)
  • Zhanggongcai 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 Han-geul, without any Hanja. Like peninsular Korean language, Yanbianese Korean has Western punctuation, and not Chinese.

Yanbian University, specializes in science, teaches courses in 12 colleges, and several research institutions.

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.


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 (New China) 2002-09-02 09:46:06: article no longer on-line

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