Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

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Yanbian Prefecture

延边州 ·연변주

Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

연변 조선족 자치주
Kai Er Ma  - panoramio.jpg
Yanji, the prefectural seat of Yanbian
China Jilin Yanbian.svg
Location of Yanbian Prefecture (red) in Jilin (orange) and China (yellow)
Coordinates: 43°08′N129°11′E / 43.133°N 129.183°E / 43.133; 129.183 Coordinates: 43°08′N129°11′E / 43.133°N 129.183°E / 43.133; 129.183
Country People's Republic of China
Province Jilin
County-level divisions6 county-level cities
2 counties
Prefectural seat Yanji
  Party Secretary Jiang Zhiying
  Governor Jin Shouhao
  Total43,509 km2 (16,799 sq mi)
  Density52/km2 (140/sq mi)
  Ethnic composition
Time zone UTC+8 (China Standard)
Area code(s) 0433
ISO 3166 code CN-JL-24
Licence plate prefixes 吉H
Website www.yanbian.gov.cn
Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture
Yanbian name.svg
"Yanbian", as written in Chinese and Korean
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 延边 朝鲜族 自治州
Traditional Chinese 延邊 朝鮮族 自治州
Chinese Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 연변 조선족 자치주
Russian name
Russian Яньбянь

Yanbian (Chinese :延边; Chosŏn'gŭl: 연변, Yŏnbyŏn) is an autonomous prefecture in the east of Jilin Province, China. Yanbian is bordered to the north by Heilongjiang, on the west by Baishan and Jilin City, on the south by North Korea's North Hamgyong Province and on the east by Primorsky Krai in Russia. Yanbian is designated as a Korean 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).


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


In the Ming dynasty, Yanbian was governed by the Jianzhou Guard (建州衛) and in the late Qing dynasty the area was divided into the Yanji (延吉廳) and Hunchun (琿春廳) 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.

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 these 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 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. [1]

In 1952, the Korean migrants comprised some 60% of the local population, but by 2000 that was down 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 have assimilated into mainstream Chinese culture with increasing speed, often switching to daily use of Chinese and choosing to attend Chinese-language schools. [2]


Mountains that are in the prefecture are:

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.

The average land height is 500 metres above sea level.

Main rivers include:

The rivers sustain 28 running water processing facilities. They created basins, which are suitable for agricultural uses, like rice paddies and bean farms.


The prefecture is subdivided into eight county-level divisions: six county-level cities and two counties:

Name Chinese (S) Hanyu Pinyin Chinese Korean transliteration Population (2003 est.)Area (km2)Density (/km2)
Joseongeul Revised McCune
Yanji City 延吉市Yánjí Shì연길시Yeongil-siYŏngil-si410,0001,332308
Tumen City 图们市Túmén Shì도문시Domun-siTomun-si130,0001,142114
Dunhua City 敦化市Dūnhuà Shì돈화시Donhwa-siTonhwa-si480,00011,96340
Hunchun City 珲春市Húnchūn Shì훈춘시Hunchun-siHunch’un-si220,0004,93845
Longjing City 龙井市Lóngjǐng Shì룡정시Ryongjeong-siRyongjŏng-si250,0002,59296
Helong City 和龙市Hélóng Shì화룡시Hwaryong-siHwaryong-si210,0005,06941
Wangqing County 汪清县Wāngqīng Xiàn왕청현Wangcheong-hyeonWangch’ŏng-hyŏn250,0008,99428
Antu County 安图县Āntú Xiàn안도현Ando-hyeonAndo-hyŏn210,0007,44428

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


Railways include:

There are 1,480 kilometres of public roads altogether. There are four airports.


Ethnic compositions:

Population density: 51 people per km2 (132 per mi2).

As on the Korean peninsula, Yanbian Koreans' most common surname is Kim. Many emigrated from Korea during the 19th century and again during the Japanese occupation.

Between 1952 and 2002, the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture had among the highest rates of urbanization (城市化水平) at 55.6%, 20 percentage points greater than the provincial average (31.3%) and 25 more than the national average (26.5%). [3]


Colleges and universities:

International schools:


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

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.[ citation needed ] 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:

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.[ citation needed ]


Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture is an important region for Chinese football. Over 50 years more than 40 footballers have been selected by the Chinese national football team.

In 1955, Yanbian Football Club was founded, although it was a semi-professional one.

The first professional football team in this prefecture is Jilin Three Stars Football Club. From 1994 to 2000, this club had played each year in the top Chinese football league. In 2000, they were relegated from the top league. Because of poor economic conditions the club was sold to Lucheng Group in Zhejiang Province.

In 2001, Yanbian Football Club was founded. They are currently playing in the 32,000-seater Hailanjiang Stadium in the Chinese Super League, the top tier of the Chinese football league system.

In 2016, Yanbian Football Club was sponsored by Shenzhen Funde Group when they got the permission of Chinese Super League, since they acquired the 1st place in the Chinese Second League in 2015.

See also

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  1. Pyong, Gap Min. "A Comparison of the Korean Minorities in China and Japan." International Migration Review, Vol. 26, No. 1. (Spring, 1992), pp. 4-21.
  2. Andrei Lankov (2007-08-16). "The gentle decline of the 'Third Korea'". Asia Times. Archived from the original on 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2007-08-17.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. Li Yabiao (李亚彪); Wang Jinghe (王景和) (2002-09-02). 吉林延边朝鲜族自治州城市化水平走在全国前列 (in Chinese). Xinhua . Retrieved 2007-07-15.

Further reading