Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture is located in the eastern part of Jilin Province, bordering Russia and North Korea. The largest of the prefectures and prefecture-level cities in Jilin, Yanbian covers an area of approximately 42,700 sq km, and accounts for one fourth of Jinlin's total area. The population of the prefecture amounted to 2.18 million at the end of 2009. Koreans accounted for approximately 36.8% of the prefecture’s total population.
Yanbian has a temperate, humid monsoon climate with a very dry, windy spring, a hot, rainy summer, a cool autumn, and a long, cold, dry winter. The average temperature is 2-6°C. The average annual precipitation reaches 400-650 mm, while the average annual sunshine totals to 2,150-2,480 hours.
Yanbian is rich in natural resources. There are approximately 487 rivers and streams running through Yanbian with average combined annual surface runoff of 13.0 billion cubic meters. Forests cover 79.6% of the prefecture's lands, and timber resources amount to 352 million cubic meters. Reserves of limestone total more than 98.0 million tons, ranking first in Jilin Province.
Transportation in Yanbian is very convenient. There are highways and railways connecting the prefecture with surrounding cities and extending to most major domestic cities as well as some Russian and North Korean cities. Yanji Zhaoyangchuan Airport is located in the southwestern part of Yanji, the economic and political center of Yanbian, and operates flights to cities including Beijing, the capital of China, Shenyang, Qingdao, Guanzhou, Dalian, and Shanghai.
|Yanbian realized GDP of RMB 45 billion in 2009, representing a rise of 18.2% year on year. The prefecture's GDP ranked sixth out of nine prefectures and prefecture-level cities in the province.
The agricultural sector generated value-added output of RMB 4.63 billion in 2009, accounting for 10.3% of the prefecture's GDP. Output of grain amounted to 828,000 tons, decreased 21.3% year on year.
In 2009, value-added output of secondary industry (industry and construction) amounted to RMB 21.61 billion and accounted for 48% of the prefecture's total. Value-added industrial output of industrial enterprises with designated size or above amounted to RMB 16.57 billion, up 23% year on year. Heavy industry and light industry rose 27.2% and 18.2% to RMB 9 billion and RMB 7.57 billion, accounting for 54.3% and 45.7% of the industrial’s total, respectively.
Food processing, pharmaceuticals, forestry, energy and mining are the pillar industries of Yanbian. As a whole, these industries realized value-added industrial output of RMB 12.34 billion, contributing 74.4% to the total generated by industrial enterprises with designated size or above.
In 2009, the service sector generated value-added output of RMB 18.76 billion, contributing 41.7% of the prefecture's GDP. Sales of consumer goods rose 20.9% to RMB 21.78 billion. Tourism is also important for Yanbian's service sector. In 2009, more than 6.08 million tourists visited the prefecture, up 24% year on year, while tourism income totaled approximately RMB 6.66 billion, rising 31.6% compared to the previous year.
The prefecture’s foreign trade amounted to US$1.35 billion in 2009, decreased 25.8% compared to the previous year. Exports decreased 26.6% to US$1.09 billion, while imports decreased 22.4% to US$260 million. Russia, North Korea, Japan, South Korea, the E.U., and the U.S. are the most important trading partners of Yanbian. Export to Russia and Korea amounted to US$350 million and US$100 million, respectively.
Yanbian attracted contractual foreign investment of US$130 million in 2009, while the utilized FDI in the prefecture reached US$53.01 million, up 0.8% year on year.
Yanbian is the only Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China and is famous as a town of etiquette and as a town of songs and dances.
Yanbian has a profound history. As early as the Neolithic Age, there were people living and multiplying here. Before the Tang Dynasty, Yanbian was under the administration of the Bohai Kingdom and the Koguryo Dynasty.
In 1955, Yanbian was designated as a Korean Autonomous Prefecture by the State Council.
Tourist attractions in Yanbian include Changbai Mountain Natural Reserve, Tumen River Tourism Area, Bohai Kingdom Ruins, Yanji Folk Tourism Area, Huichun Border Tourism Area, Longwang Mountain Tourism Area, Longjin Historic Ruins Tourism Area, and Liuxiangding Mountain Tourism Area.
Changbai Mountain Natural Reserve is a state-level nature reserve and has been included in UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program.
In Yanbian, Cold Noodles, Spicy Pickled Cabbage, Dog Meat Soup, and Da Cake, which is made of sticky rice, bean flour, sugar and honey, are the most popular dishes among local Koreans.