Sneha Girap

Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

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Country  Peoples Republic of China
Province  Jilin
Area  43,509 km2
Mayor  Kim Jin Gil (???/???)
Colleges and Universities  Yanbian University, Yanbian Medical College

Yanbian (Chinese: , South Korean transliteration: , Chinese Korean: ) is an Autonomous Prefecture in northeastern Jilin Province, Peoples Republic of China, just north of the border with North Korea. Yanbian is bordered to the north by Heilongjiang, on the west by Baishan City and Jilin City, on the south by North Hamgyong Province of North Korea, and on the east by Primorsky Krai 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 total area is 42,700 square kilometres (16,500 sq mi).


Map of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

The Prefecture has an important Balhae archaeological site: the Ancient Tombs at Longtou Mountain, which includes the Mausoleum of Princess Jeonghyo.


Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in the past, History of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

In the Ming Dynasty, Yanbian was governed by the Jianzhou Guard-district (???), and in the late Qing Dynasty the area was divided into the Yanji (???) and Hunchun (???) subprefectures. From 1644 to the 1800s the Manchurian administrators of the Qing state attempted to separate northeast China, politically and ethnographically, into a "Manchuria" to which they could retreat in case an ethnically Han Chinese dynasty regained control over China. However, this effort failed because of the trading and agricultural opportunities available to Han Chinese migrants in the northeast region which made it profitable to evade the rules, as well as later Qing relaxation of the same rules to discourage Russian encroachment.

Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in the past, History of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

In the 19th century, Korean immigrants migrated en masse from the Korean peninsula to China. After the foundation of the Republic of China, a second wave arrived. Of the 2 million ethnic Koreans in Manchuria at the time of the communist takeover, 1.2 million remained in the region after the end of World War II. Many participated in the Chinese Civil War, most on the side of the Chinese communists. When the civil war was over, the new Chinese government gave Koreans their own autonomous region (?) in 1952. Yanbian was upgraded to an ethnic autonomous prefecture in 1955.

Korean (Joseon) migration into northeast China began in any significant numbers in the last quarter of the 19th century and was mainly motivated by economic hardship on the Korean side of the border. After the Japanese annexed Korea in 1910, a small but significant number of migrants also came to Manchuria for political reasons.

In 1952, the Korean migrants composed some 60% of the local population, but by 2000 their share had shrunk to 32%. The Chinese authorities subsidize Korean language schools and publications, but also take measures to prevent an emergence of Korean irredentism in the area. From the late 1990s the Koreans voluntarily assimilated into mainstream Chinese culture with increasing speed, often switching to daily use of Chinese and choosing to attend the Chinese language schools.


Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture Beautiful Landscapes of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture
  • Geographic coordinates: 41° 59 47" - 44° 30 42", 127° 27 43" - 131° 18 33" E
  • Total border length: 755.2 kilometres (469.3 mi)
  • With N Korea: 522.5 kilometres (324.7 mi)
  • With Russia: 232.7 kilometres (144.6 mi)
  • Mountains that are in the prefecture are:

  • The central range of Changbai Mountains
  • Zhangguangcai Peak (????)
  • Harba Peak (????)
  • Peony Peak (???)
  • Old Master Peak (???)
  • Nangang Mountain Range (????)

  • 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:

  • Songhua River
  • Mudan River (Peony River)
  • Tumen River
  • Gaya River (????): branch of the Tumen
  • Hunchun River (???)

  • The rivers sustain 28 running water processing facilities.

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


    Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture Culture of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

    Both Chinese and Korean are used as official languages in Yanbian.

    Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture Culture of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

    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. 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 Yanbians green space (18% of whole prefecture), including:

  • Yanji Peoples Park (??????)
  • Youth Lake Park (?????)

  • Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture Tourist places in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

    Also popular among locals during holidays and festivities.

  • Baekdusan
  • In popular culture

    The 2006 South Korean drama serial Pure In Heart features a female protagonist, "Yang Guk Hwa" (played by South Korean actress Ku Hye-sun) who came to Seoul from Yanbian. She is portrayed as an honest and warm-hearted young lady who grew up in a poverty-stricken rural region and experiences difficulties living in urban Seoul. Other characters in the drama refer to Guk Hwa as a country girl and as a foreigner (which would be technically correct since ethnic Koreans in Yanbian are citizens of the Peoples Republic of China, and in one scene Guk Hwa is shown to own a passport that has a red cover with gold lettering, characteristic of PRC passports). In one scene, Guk Hwa is shown speaking in Chinese.

    The 2013 South Korean crime drama film, New World, includes four countrified hitmen, referred to as the "Yanbian hobos," who arrive on a ferry from Yanbian, and who provide the only comic touches to an otherwise dark drama.

    Learn to speak korean odering food at a restaurant


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