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Chi-lin, Kirin
Jilin Bridge and Century Square
Jilin Bridge and Century Square
River City (江城)
Location Jilin City (yellow) in Jilin Province (light grey) and China
Location Jilin City (yellow) in Jilin Province (light grey) and China
Jilin is located in Jilin
Location of the city centre in Jilin
Coordinates (Jilin City government): 43°50′17″N 126°32′59″E / 43.8381°N 126.5497°E / 43.8381; 126.5497
CountryPeople's Republic of China
County-level divisions9
Municipal seatChuanying District
 • TypePrefecture-level city
 • CPC Jilin City SecretaryZhao Jingbo (赵静波)
 • MayorZhang Huanqiu (张焕秋)
 • Prefecture-level city27,166.37 km2 (10,488.99 sq mi)
 • Urban
3,663.9 km2 (1,414.6 sq mi)
 • Metro
3,663.9 km2 (1,414.6 sq mi)
202 m (663 ft)
 (2020 census)[1]
 • Prefecture-level city3,623,713
 • Density130/km2 (350/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density520/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density520/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code0432
ISO 3166 codeCN-JL-02
GDP per capita¥42,900 (2010)
Major NationalitiesHan, Manchu, Korean, Hui
Licence plates吉B
"Jilin", as written in Chinese
Chinese name
Manchu name
Manchu scriptᡤᡳᡵᡳᠨ ᡠᠯᠠ ᡥᠣᡨᠣᠨ
RomanizationGirin'ula hoton

Jilin City (Chinese: 吉林市; pinyin: Jílín Shì, Mandarin pronunciation: [tɕǐlǐn]), alternately romanized as Kirin (Manchu: ᡤᡳᡵᡳᠨ, IPA:/ki.rin/), is the second-largest city and former capital of Jilin province in northeast China. As of the 2020 census, 3,623,713 people resided within its administrative area of 27,166.37 square kilometres (10,488.99 sq mi) and 1,895,865 in its built-up (or metro) area consisting of four urban districts. A prefecture-level city, it is the only major city nationally that shares its name with its province.

Jilin City is also known as the River City because of the Songhua River surrounding much of the city. In 2007, it co-hosted the Asian Winter Games.


Jilin City is one of the oldest cities in Northeast China.[citation needed]

During the reign of the Yongle Emperor in the Ming dynasty, efforts were made to expand Ming control throughout all of Manchuria. Mighty river fleets were built and sailed several times from Jilin City, getting the chieftains of the local tribes to swear allegiance to the Ming rulers.[2] Soon after the establishment of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, the territory of today's Primorsky Kray was put under the administration of Jilin. As the Russian Empire advanced eastward to the Pacific coast, the Qing government ordered a naval shipbuilding factory to be set up here in 1661. Jilin was officially established as a fort city in 1673 when Anzhuhu (安珠瑚), the Deputy Lieutenant-General (副都统), was ordered to build a castle in Jilin. In 1676, the Military Governor of Ninguta was transferred to Jilin City because of its more convenient location and increasing military importance, while the former Deputy Lieutenant-General was transferred in the opposite direction to Ninguta.[3] Since then Jilin City has developed at a rapid pace. The nickname of Jilin City is River City (江城), which originates from one sentence "连樯接舰屯江城" of a poem written by Kangxi Emperor when he was visiting Jilin City in 1682. Jilin retained its importance into the 18th and 19th century as one of the few cities existing beyond the Willow Palisade, along with Qiqihar, Ninguta and Mukden.

After Manchukuo established their capital in Xinjing (present-day Changchun), Jilin City's importance decreased. By 1940, Jilin's population was 173,624, while Xinjing's population reached 544,202 at the same time.[4][full citation needed] Soviet forces captured Jilin during the August Storm operation.[5]

Jilin became the provincial capital of Jilin Province after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, until Changchun took this position in 1956.


Map including Jilin (labeled as CHI-LIN (KIRIN) 吉林) (AMS, 1957)
Jilin (labeled as CHI-LIN) (AMS, 1957)

Jilin City, which is located in central Jilin Province spanning from 125° 40' to 127° 56' E longitude and 42° 31' to 44° 40' N latitude. Neighbouring prefectures are:

Jilin City is situated in a hilly area near the Songhua River. There are four famous mountains surrounding Jilin City, which is North Mountain in the west, Long Tan Mountain in the east, Zhuque Mountain in the North, and Turtle Mountain in the south, plus Songhua River, it forms a bagua in Taiji pattern. North Mountain, called Beishan, is the most famous mountain in Jilin City and is home to several Buddhist Temples. The Qianlong Emperor reportedly visited the mountain.


Jilin City has a four-season, monsoon-influenced, humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa). Winters are long (lasting from November to March), cold, and windy, but dry, due to the influence of the Siberian anticyclone, with a January mean temperature of −15.4 °C (4.3 °F). Spring and autumn are somewhat short transitional periods, with some precipitation, but are usually dry and windy. Summers are hot and humid, with a prevailing southeasterly wind due to the East Asian monsoon; July averages 23.3 °C (73.9 °F). Snow is usually light during the winter, and annual rainfall is heavily concentrated from June to August.

Climate data for Jilin City (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1971–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 5.4
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) −9.0
Daily mean °C (°F) −15.4
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −20.8
Record low °C (°F) −40.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 6.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6.5 5.4 6.8 8.0 12.4 14.5 14.4 13.2 9.2 8.5 7.4 7.8 114.1
Average snowy days 9.1 6.9 7.7 2.9 0.1 0 0 0 0 2.2 7.3 10.2 46.4
Average relative humidity (%) 70 64 58 51 56 66 76 79 72 63 65 69 66
Mean monthly sunshine hours 135.0 161.6 190.5 190.5 212.7 205.0 184.9 193.1 205.1 171.4 137.0 120.3 2,107.1
Percent possible sunshine 47 54 51 47 46 45 40 45 55 51 48 43 48
Source 1: China Meteorological Administration[6][7]
Source 2: Weather China[8]

Environmental issues

2005 Jilin benzene pollution

Main article: 2005 Jilin chemical plant explosions

The Jilin chemical plant explosions were a series of explosions which occurred on November 13, 2005, in the No.101 Petrochemical Plant in Jilin City, killing six. The explosion severely polluted the Songhua River, with an estimated 100 tons of pollutants containing benzene and nitrobenzene entering into the river.[9] The benzene level recorded was at one point 108 times above national safety levels. This caused downstream major cities including Harbin, Songyuan and Khabarovsk suspending their water supply for almost one week.[10] Chinese leaders later had to apologize to the Russian government over its handling of the incident as the pollutants finally flowed into the Amur (Heilong) River, the major boundary river between China and Russia.[11]

2010 Jilin floods and pollution

Jilin was one of the worst-hit regions in China by rain and landslides in the 2010 summer China floods.[12] On July 28, 2010, several thousand barrels, which contained toxic chemicals including trimethylsilyl chloride and hexamethyldisiloxane, about 170 kg of a poisonous substance in each, were washed into the Songhua River by the floods from two chemical plants based in Jilin. There were reports that some barrels exploded on contact with water.[13] By late afternoon on August 1, 6,387 barrels had been retrieved from the river. Officials stated that tests show the water in the river remains safe to drink. Three soldiers of the People's Liberation Army in Jilin drowned after working to remove the barrels and control the flooding.[14] The Dahe Dam in Changshan Township was breached on July 28, spilling 4 million m3 of water, destroying five villages downstream and leaving 40 people dead or missing. Over 100 were dead or missing after floods devastated Jilin prefecture. Workers started repairing fifty-one damaged small reservoirs and fortifying riverbanks in the province after the Songhua River surged to levels twice as high as normal.

Administrative divisions

# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2010 census) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
1 Chuanying District 船营区 Chuányíng Qū 659,188 711 927
2 Longtan District 龙潭区 Lóngtán Qū 527,532 1209 436
3 Changyi District 昌邑区 Chāngyì Qū 492,159 865 569
4 Fengman District 丰满区 Fēngmǎn Qū 296,924 1032 288
5 Panshi City 磐石市 Pánshí Shì 505,954 3867 131
6 Jiaohe City 蛟河市 Jiāohé Shì 447,380 6235 72
7 Huadian City 桦甸市 Huàdiàn Shì 444,997 6624 67
8 Shulan City 舒兰市 Shūlán Shì 645,925 4554 142
9 Yongji County 永吉县 Yǒngjí Xiàn 394,622 2625 150


Snow in Jilin City

Jilin City is a popular destination for tourists to come each winter to view the magnificent rime ice (雾凇; 霧凇) on trees along the banks of the Songhua River, (the river is the only river in the region that does not freeze in winter). The rime ice is a natural phenomenon that occurs every year during January and February. It is a result of water vapor rising up from the warm Songhua River to meet the cold −20 °C (−4 °F) night air, causing the crystallisation of water vapour on willows branches.



The winter sports in Jilin City are full of interests, such as skiing, skating, sledding, snowboarding, and winter swim. Winter swimming is widely practiced in Jilin city.

Ski resorts:


High school

Universities and Colleges



The city used to be served by the Jilin Ertaizi Airport (IATA: JIL, ICAO: ZYJL), a joint-use airport for commercial and military. But by October 3, 2005, all of its commercial flights were transferred to the newly opened Changchun Longjia International Airport while Jilin Airport halted commercial operation.[19]

The airport is located about 76 km (47 mi) away from the Jilin City and has flights to many cities from the airport. China Southern Airlines also provide some international connections directly from Changchun.


The west waiting hall of Jilin railway station

Jilin is served by the Jilin railway station. Jilin railway station is on the East-West Changchun-Tumen Railway mainline and provides convenient access to many cities around China, including Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Jinan, Hangzhou. Services to Harbin, Changchun and Shenyang are also frequent and convenient through the Harbin-Dalian high-speed rail and its branch from Changchun to Jilin.

Road transport

International relations

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in China

Twin towns—Sister cities

Jilin City is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ "China: Jílín (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  2. ^ Shih-shan Henry Tsai, The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty. SUNY Press, 1996. ISBN 0-7914-2687-4. Partial text on Google Books. P. 129-130
  3. ^ Edmonds, Richard Louis (1985). Northern Frontiers of Qing China and Tokugawa Japan: A Comparative Study of Frontier Policy. University of Chicago, Department of Geography; Research Paper No. 213. pp. 113, 115–117. ISBN 0-89065-118-3.
  4. ^ 新京商工公会刊『新京の概況 建国十周年記念發刊』18-19頁
  5. ^ LTC David M. Glantz, "August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria" Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. Leavenworth Papers No. 7, Combat Studies Institute, February 1983, Fort Leavenworth Kansas.
  6. ^ 中国气象数据网 – WeatherBk Data (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  7. ^ 中国气象数据网 (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  8. ^ 吉林 - 气象数据 (in Chinese (China)). Weather China. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  9. ^ "China pledges to minimize impact of river pollution on Russia". Xinhua. 24 November 2005. Archived from the original on April 28, 2006.
  10. ^ "2nd batch of water purifying materials offered to Russia". 2005-12-16. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ Spegele, Brian (11 April 2014). "Water Scare Hits Chinese City of Lanzhou". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  12. ^ The Associated Press, Canadian Press (August 5, 2010). "Official: More heavy rains to test dikes, put pressure on rescue efforts in northern China". The Canadian Press. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  13. ^ Khabarovsk Region prevents poisoned Sungari water from reaching Amur Archived 2012-03-18 at the Wayback Machine, July 30, 2010, Moscow Time
  14. ^ Zhao, Xinhua (August 1, 2010). "Over 100 Dead or Missing after Floods Devastate NE China". Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  15. ^ a b Lattimore, Owen (1933), "Wulakai Tales From Manchuria", The Journal of American Folklore, 46 (181): 272–286, doi:10.2307/535718, JSTOR 535718. Lattimore explains that kai is simply a local pronunciation of (jiē in most other Mandarin dialects)
  16. ^ Orléans, Pierre Joseph d'; Verbiest, Ferdinand; Pereira, Thomas (1854), Major, Richard Henry (ed.), Tartar conquerors of China. Translated by Francis Egerton Ellesmere (Earl of), Issue 17 of Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, Hakluyt Society, Printed for the Hakluyt Society, pp. 112–113 (This is an English translation of Verbiest's report originally published in French in the early 19th century)
  17. ^ Echoes of Manchu: Breaking Ground Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Echoes of Manchu: Wall Mystery Solved! Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ China's Ertaizi Airport halts operation Archived 2014-01-13 at the Wayback Machine. Greater China Transport Logistic Insights. October 3, 2005. Retrieved on February 27, 2011.
  20. ^ 山形市の友好姉妹都市 [Yamagata City Twin Cities] (in Japanese). Japan: Yamagata City. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  21. ^ "Chongjin (D.P.R.K.)". 12 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.