Qiqihar, seated in the northwest part of Heilongjiang Province, borders Jilin Province to the south and Inner Mongolia to the west. Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, is located 359 km from Qiqihar. Qiqihar is also known as the "town of red-crowned cranes", because Zhalong Nature Reserve, 30 km from the city center, is the largest artificial breading center for red-crowned cranes in China.
Qiqihar is a railway transportation hub in western Heilongjiang Province. Trains from Qiqihar Railway Station connect the city with Harbin, Mohe and other major cities in Northeast China. Qiqihar Airport, 13 km from Qiqihar's downtown area, operates daily flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and other major cities.
The city covers an area of 43,000 sq km, ranking fourth among the 13 prefectures and prefecture-level cities in Heilongjiang, after Daxing'anling, Heihe and Harbin. It has a population of 5.72 million. It enjoys a temperate continental monsoon climate and has an average temperature of 3.2℃. It is rich in timber, fresh water and minerals such as quartz, limestone, marble and zeolite.
|Economic Features |
|In 2010, Qiqihar's GDP grew 18.5% from the previous year to RMB 85.26 billion, ranking third after Harbin and Daqing in the province. |
Tertiary industry, the second largest contributor to the city's economy, realized value-added output of RMB 32.22 billion in 2010, comprising 37.8% of the city's GDP. Value-added output from secondary industry rose 30.8% to RMB 34.01 billion, comprising 39.9% of the city's GDP, while that from primary industry rose 10% to RMB 19.03 billion, accounting for 22.3% of the city's GDP.
Animal husbandry is a pillar of Qiqihar's agricultural sector. In 2010, gross output value from animal husbandry soared 12.2% to RMB 13.04 billion. Qiqihar is a major corn production hub in Heilongjiang Province. In 2009, it produced 5.22 million tons of corn, up 11% year on year.
Qiqihar is part of Harbin-Daqing-Qiqihar Industrial Corridor, which will become a comprehensive industrial base with a focus on petrochemicals, energy, autos, electronics, medicine and food by 2020. The corridor is expected to boost Heilongjiang's foreign trade and accelerate the province's economic development. In 2010, the corridor has industrial output of RMB 13.35 billion.
In 2010, the value-added industrial output generated by enterprises with designated size and above amounted to RMB 28.47 billion, representing a stable growth rate of 35.3% over a year ago. Heavy industry amounted to RMB 16.45 billion, accounting for 58% of the industrial sector.
Equipment manufacturing and food and beverages, the two pillar industries in the city, gained value-added industrial output of RMB 9.28 billion and RMB 10.95 billion, accounting for 33% and 38% of the city's total, respectively.
Qiqihar is home to Qiqihar Heavy CNC Equipment Co Ltd, Qiqihar No.2 Machine & Tool Works and Beidacang Group. Qiqihar Heavy CNC Equipment Co Ltd, formerly known as Qiqihar First Machine & Tool Works, was first established in 1950. It has an annual equipment manufacturing capacity of 1,500 units. Qiqihar No.2 Machine & Tool Works is a leading equipment manufacturer in China. Beidacang Group is a large distilled liquor producer in Heilongjiang Province. It was established in 1914 and converted into a private company in 1999.
Qiqihar has a booming consumer market. In 2010, the sales of consumer goods in the city exceeded RMB 35.73 billion, rising 19% from a year ago.
In 2010, the foreign trade value in Qiqihar soared 31.6% to US$892.71 million, comprising US$744.25 million in export and US$148.45 million in import value. Machines, tools and agricultural products are the major export products from the city. The utilized FDI in the city stood at US$92 million in 2010, increasing by 11% from a year earlier.
Qiqihar, whose name means "natural prairie" in the Daur Language, is a multi-cultural prefecture-level city in Heilongjiang. Many ethnic groups, such as Mongols, Koreans, Manchus and the Daur, are living in this city. Their festivals, traditions and architectures are well-preserved in the city.
The city is one of the oldest cities in Northeast China. It was set up in 1691. It was an important military base during the Anti-Japanese War.
Qiqihar is rich in historical sites, such as Mahayana Temple, Pukui Muslim Temple, Wangjiang Pavilion and Heilongjiang Martial Mansion. Mahayana Temple, also called Dacheng Temple, was first built in 1939. Its complex comprises Tianwang Mansion, Da Xiong Bao Mansion and Cangjing Pavilion. Puikui Mosque was first built in 1684 and is the largest Mosque in Heilongjiang.
Zhalong Nature Reserve is the "must see" scenic spot in Qiqihar. It covers an area of 2,100 sq km and is home to 296 species of birds, including the red-crowned crane.
Guo Bao Rou (sweet-and-sour sliced pork), Toasted Mutton and Stewed Pork with Potato Noodles (or bean noodles) are the most popular local dishes in the city.