The province?ˉs topography is higher in the northwest, north and the southeast, and lower in the northeast and southwest. In its northwestern part, there is the Greater Hinggan Mountains, and in the north, the Lesser Hinggan Mountains. In the southeastern part, there are the ridges of Zhangguangcai, Laoye and Taiping, in addition to the Wanda Mountain. The Nenjiang River and Songhua rivers run across the province from south to north, forming the Sanjiang (three-river) Plain in the northeast and the Songnen Plain in the southwest. In its southeast, there is the Xingkai Lake. Hilly land and mountainous areas account for 70 percent of the province?ˉs land, with heights ranging from 300 to 1,780 meters above sea level. Plains, lying 50¨C250 meters above sea level, make up about 30 percent of the province?ˉs total area.
It has a continental monsoon climate, the kind between the temperate and frigid zones, with annual temperatures of ¨C4 ??C to 4 ??C. The temperature difference between its north and south parts is 8 ??C. Its warm summer with plentiful rainfall and long-time sunlight is good for crops, its annual sun radiation power reaching 100?a120 Cal per square centimeter. Most of the areas are windy in spring, and its southwestern part, in particular, is rich in wind energy source.Natural resources:
The province has 44.37 million hectares of soiled land with rich organics, of which 40 percent is suitable for farming. Heilongjiang
is one of the world?ˉs three major black soil zones, 67.6 percent of its total farmland of 1,180 hectares is cultivated on either black soiled land, marshland or black calcium soil. Furthermore, the province has 4.33 million hectares of pastures and 4.793 million hectares of land reserved for farming. The province ranks No. 1 in terms of farmland and forest area; No. 7 in area of pastures; No. 4 in land to be developed; and No. 2 in land reserved for farming. Both of its total farmland area and the reserved land resources account for one-tenth or more of the nation?ˉs total. The average per head farmland and the average per head area of farmland operated by individual farmers are three times of the nation?ˉs average.
The province has the largest forestry industry in the country, occupying a very important position in China?ˉs forest ecology. The total area involved in forestry operation is 31.26 million hectares, or 68.9 percent of the province?ˉs total land area. Its forests cover 19.19 million hectares of land, with a total reserve of 1.5 billion cubic meters of live timbers. With 41.9 percent of its land covered with forest, Heilongjiang
ranks the first among all China?ˉs provinces in afforested area, reserve of forest resources and timber output. It is the most important state-owned forest area and the largest timber center in China. In its forests are more than 100 species of trees, including 30 of high use-value. Natural forests, which constitute the principal part of its forest resources, are mainly distributed in the Greater and Lesser Hinggan Mountains and the Changbai Mountains.
A total of 131 minerals have been discovered in the province. And reserves of 74 of them have been surveyed. The deposits of 10 minerals lead the country, including petroleum, graphite, sillimanite, cast basalt, asbestos-use basalt, cement-use marble, colorant loess, lava ash, glass-use marble, and orthoclase. Its coal deposit is the largest among the three Northeast China provinces. Thirty-nine minerals have been mined, and the annual output value of various minerals ranks second in the country.
The province is an important energy base of China. In 1999, it produced 62.30 million tons of raw coal, making it a key coal supplier of the country. Its output of electricity and gas also occupies an important position in the country. Before the founding of New China in 1949, the province had only a hydropower station at Jingpo Lake Over the past decades, both hydropower and thermal-power stations have been developed over the past decades, and up to 1999, the province had altogether 200 power stations, with a total generating capacity of nearly 10 million mega w.; the generating volume of its hydropower was 1.4 billion mega w. hour. The Hayi Gas Project, the largest in Asia of its kind, produces 1.89 million cubic meters of gas a day.Heilongjiang
is one of China?ˉs water-rich provinces. Its numerous rivers form five water systems, including that of the Heilong River, Wusuli River, Songhua River, Nenjiang River and Suifeng River. Presently, there are about 6,000 lakes and reservoirs, covering a surface area of more than 800,000 hectares. About 70 percent of its rainfall concentrates in the warm season, providing an ideal environment for all the plants and crops to grow.
The province also has a rich resource of wildlife. There are 86 species of wild beasts and animals in 20 families of six orders, accounting for 21.6 percent of the nation?ˉs total species. Of them, five are under first-class state protection, including sable, glutton, leopard, tiger and sika deer. There are 343 bird species in 57 families of 19 orders, making up 29 percent of the nation?ˉs total, of which 12 species are under first-class state protection, include white cranes, Chinese goosanders, stocks, and golden eagles. There are 2,100 species of wild plants, 17 of which are gymnosperm in 8 genera of four families; 1,747 species of angiosperm of 636 genera in 107 families; and 1,764 species of seed plants in 644 genera of 111 families. There are 2.5 million tons of reserved wild plants of economic value, including more than 250,000 tons of edible plants, over 1 million tons of wild grasses for paper-making and 1.25 million tons of medicinal herbs.
The province?ˉs major agricultural produces include soy beans, wheat, maize, potato, rice, beet, flax, and tobacco.
has abundant characteristic tourism resources. Its spots for ice and snow activities are the best in China. Snow-skiing period in the province lasts 120?a140 days in a year. In mountainous area, snow on the ground can be 100?a300 cm deep and it?ˉs of good quality. Among its smooth mountain slopes, 100 has been chosen as spots good for building large-scale skiing grounds. Its beautiful landscape, forests and grasslands, wetlands and rivers and lakes provide rich resources for developing eco-tourism. Its unique history has also left it a rich cultural legacy and colorful customs. The Bohai State during the Tang Dynasty, the ruins of the Jin-dynasty capital in Huining and the ruins of Longquan Mansion are among those of historical interest. The crossing-border tours to Russia launched on the border rivers of Heilong and Wusuli attract tourists from all over the country. Such cities as Harbin, Daqing and Yichun attract travelers with their distinctive style of northern frontier cities. In addition, there are the Zoo of Northeast China Tigers, the Reserve of Red-Crowned Cranes, the site for admiring the northern lights, the forest at a crate, and a number of large-scale enterprises of mining, farming and oilfields open to tourists. The province has set up 84 nature reserves (including seven at state-level and 17 at provincial level), which cover a total area of 2.30 million hectares, or 5.05 percent of the province?ˉs total land area.
Environment and current issues:
The quality of atmosphere: The air pollution in cities is characteristic of the typical sooty pollution, with suspending particles being the main pollutants. Of the 10 cities monitored, six have their yearly average volume of suspending contaminated particles exceeding the state standard for second-class air quality. During winter when heating is provided in cities, the air quality is apparently worse than that in other seasons.
The quality of water: Organic pollutants have seriously contaminated various rivers. During the frozen season, the lack of oxygen in river waters is serious. In other seasons, the index of permanganate exceeds the normal standard. And the biological need for oxygen in waterways nearby cities also exceeds the normal standard.
The total Population
of the province is 38 million, of which, the rural Population
is 17.37 million, accounting for 45.8 percent of the total; the urban Population
is 20.55 million, accounting for 54.2 percent of the total.Population
Average life expectancy: 66.97 years; Male: 66.5 years; female: 68.73 years.
The province is a habitation for many ethnic groups. According to the fourth national census taken in 1990, there are 47 ethnic groups living in the province, of which, Han people made up 94.3 percent of the province?ˉs total; people of 42 ethnic minorities, 2 millions, accounting for 5.7 percent of the total. Major ethnic minorities include Manchu, Hui, Mongolian, Korean and Daur, Sibo, Hezhe, Oroqen, Ewenki and Kirgiz, who are distributed across the province. Dorbod Mongolian Autonomous County is the only area in the province with ethnic autonomous administration. There are 51 cities and counties where the ethnic minority Population
has reached 10,000 or more. There are 68 ethnic minority townships and 920 ethnic minority villages. The average Population
density of the province is 81.7 person per square kilometer.
According to the 1 percent sample Population
survey made in 1995, of the Population
above six years old, 3.4 percent have a educational background of community college or higher; 12.7 percent of high school; 35.2 percent of junior high school; and 38.2 percent of primary school. Of the Population
above 15 years old, illiterates and semi-literates account for 10.8 percent.
According to statistics made in the end of 2001, the province has 41 higher learning institutes, with a total of 271,000 students, among which 22 has graduate schools, with 14,000 postgraduates. There are 47 colleges of adult education, with an enrollment of 58,000 students. There are 96 vocational schools with an enrollment of 116,000 students; there are 2,775 middle schools with an enrollment of 2.521 million students; there are 51,000 adult students attending vocational training schools, and 2.588 million pupils in 12,636 primary schools. There are 7,518 students studying in special schools and 370,000 children in kindergartens. About 3.404 million students have received training at adult technical schools, and around 9,000 illiterate people learned how to read and write each year.
There are 60 artery railways, branches and linking lines in the province. The railways in operation are as long as 5,300 km (including local railway 492 km). The length of railroads for exclusive use is 1,030 km, ranking first in the country. The railway from Suifenghe to Manzhouli via Harbin is an important section of the ?°Continental Bridge?± linking Asia and Europe.Highways:
In 2000, the total length of highways in the province was more than 50,000 km. These include eight state highways, 26 provincial highways, and 216 county-operated highways. Among these, 671 km are expressways and first-class highways, and 5,313 km are highways of the second class or above. Highways have reached about 99 percent of Heilongjiang
?ˉs townships and 96.5 percent of its villages.
water network is one of China?ˉs three major water navigation networks. Waterways go through the whole province, with rivers of Heilongjiang
, Songhua and Wusuli serving as the arteries and Harbin and Jiamusi as the hubs. Jiamusi and Tongjiang have opened international navigation service linking the rivers and the sea. Water navigation is available on nine of the province?ˉs rivers and two of its lakes, with a total sailing distance of 5,117 km, ranking the second longest in the country. There are 331 ports and wharves for ships of 10,000 tons and larger, their handling capacity totaling 12 million tons a year.
The Harbin Airport is one of China?ˉs eight major airports. It links the provincial capital with major Chinese cities such as Beijing
, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Xi?ˉan and Urumqi, and the Russian city Khabarovsk. So far, there are 58 air routes available, including 51 for domestic flights, six for international flights and one for special used.