Founded in 1800 and situated in the middle of the Songliao Plain of the Northeast, Changchun is the capital of Jilin Province and the provincial center of politics, economy, science and technology and culture.
Famous as the Spring City of the North, Changchun has a total area of 18,881 square kilometer. with the city proper's area of 140 square kilometer. The municipal administration governs Chaoyang, Kuancheng, Nanguan, Shuangyang, Erdao and Luyuan districts, Jiutai, Yushu and Dehui cities, and Nongan County, with 38 nationalities such as the Han, Manchurian, Hui, Korean, Mongolian, Xibe and Zhuang. And of the population of 6.7 million, 2.7 million live in the city proper.
The city was ranked among 15 central economic cities of the country in 1979, named as the central opening city along the border in 1992, and appointed the city of the sub-provincial class by the State Council in 1994. The new and high-tech industries development zone and the economic and technological development zone directly under the jurisdiction of the municipal government are those of national classification and enjoy preferential policies given by the State Council to the domestic special developing zones. Automobile, agricultural products and by-products refining and new high technology have become 3 pillar industries of the city.
Changchun has a complete industrial system with 128 categories and over 3,000 types of products. As Changchun's main industry, the manufacturing of transportation facilities and machinery such as those of automobile, passenger train, and tractor has developed very well. The industries such as machinery, electronics, optics, chemistry, medicine, textile, metallurgy, building materials and foodstuffs all assume their own features and advantages.
Abundant in land resources, the city has 1.1 million hectares of cultivated area. The attached counties (cities) produce maize, soy bean, rice and sorghum, etc. As a national important base for marketable grains, the city maintains a grain yield of the phase level-7 billion kg, and ranks first in gross yield of grains, commodity quantity and commodity proportion among the big cities of the country.
Due to its highest rate of tree coverage in the city proper in the country, the city gets a beautiful name of "Spring City". Jingyue Pond Forest Park is a scenic spot of the national class, in which there is the largest man-made forest of Asia. The ancient tower in Nongan County provides a view for people to understand the history, culture and building of the Liao Kingdom. Changchun Film Center, Changchun Film Studio, the South Lake Park and the Banruo Temple are ideal scenic spots.
Off the northeast corner of Changchun's People's Square, an imposing, ancient-Chinese styled gate leads visitors to the Banruo Temple, the biggest Buddhist Temple in Changchun. The temple, although not traditionally old (construction only began in 1921), is a perfect example of Buddhist architectural structure. The temple boasts a total space of nearly 15,000 square m and is filled with beautiful halls and garden settings. Nowadays around 40 practicing monks live their life here, meditating, eating, sleeping and the like.
Just through the entrance of the temple stands a Bell Tower on the right hand side and a Drum Tower on the left. These are struck on famous occasions and with the arrival of important visitors. Carrying on forward you will reach the Heavenly King Hall within which 4 heavenly kings are resplendent in protection of the sacred Buddhist world. The Laughing Buddha sits jovially in the middle. The solemn Grand Hall, at the back of the Heavenly King Hall and enshrining the Sykyamuni Buddha, is the center of the temple and is the most imposingly-built hall of all.
Jingyuetan Tourist Area is located to the southeast of Changchun city. The area, only 16 kilometer from the city center, has over a hundred natural peaks, many forests and a stunningly beautiful lake in the center of the mountain range. The area covers 80 square kilometer and boasts a forest coverage of 58.6%. The area also has a wide range of unusual plants and animals.
Surrounding the Jingyue Lake in the middle, the tourist area is composed of a natural reservoir, the forest park, the Jingyuetan Lake tourist resort and the Jingyuetan Ski Resort. Recently, tourist facilities were established to meet the needs of the tourism industry. A large variety of tourist functions were added and among these, the ski-resort enjoys the biggest popularity.
Jingyuetan Ski Resort is located on the south of the Jingyue Lake among the forests. The resort boasts one of the longest skiing slopes in Asia and has been famous for its excellent natural skiing conditions and its reasonable prices.
The resort is open from late November to late February, but for the rest of the year, a rail slide, built on the hill slope, will take you whipping down the slope in individual carts. The scenery on the way down is beautiful, the ride exciting.
The story of Puyi, the last emperor of China, is a sad tale of political intrigue, a story that was played out in one of China's most explosive periods of history.
Puyi, manipulated from cradle to grave, was the last of the Qing dynasty line, given power by the devious Empress Dowager Cixi. He ascended the throne at the age of 8.
His nature as a true emperor was never to be tested however, as the 1911 Republican Revolution, led by the revered Sun Yatsen, removed the child-emperor from his post in the same year as his coronation. After remaining in the Forbidden City for some years, living the life of a breathing relic, he was expelled by the Nationalist Party (Guomindang) for his less than revolutionary past. Given 'immunity' by the Japanese, the young child was moved to his new residence in Jilin Province.
From 1932 to 1945, Puyi was resident, more or less involuntarily, in the Puppet Emperor's Palace (Weihuang gong). He stayed here as nominal head of the newly established state of Manchukuo, established as a way for the Japanese to try to legitimize their claim to the territory of Dongbei (northeastern China), and then the rest of the country.
His residence here came to an end with the Communist victory, when the emperor was arrested and sentenced to reform and re-education in the communist style, even being exiled to the Soviet Union for a time. Puyi ended his sad life as a gardener, probably happy for once to be beholden to few men.
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