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(här`bĭn), Rus. Kharbin, city (1994 est. pop. 2,505,200), capital of HeilongjiangHeilongjiang
or Heilungkiang
[Chin.,=black dragon river (the Amur)], province (2010 pop. 38,312,224), c.179,000 sq mi (463,730 sq km), NE China. The capital is Harbin.
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 prov., China, on the Songhua River. It is the major trade and communications center of central ManchuriaManchuria
, Mandarin Dongbei sansheng [three northeastern provinces], region, c.600,000 sq mi (1,554,000 sq km), NE China. It is officially known as the Northeast.
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, the junction of the two most important railroads in Manchuria, and the main port on the Songhua. Part of the great Manchurian industrial complex of metallurgical, machinery, chemical, petroleum, and coal industries, Harbin also has railroad shops, food-processing establishments (soybeans are a major commodity), and plants making tractors, turbines, boilers, precision instruments, electrical and electronic equipment, cement, and fertilizer.

Harbin was unimportant until Russia was granted a concession (1896) and built a modern section alongside the old Chinese town. (Russia surrendered its concession in 1924.) Flooded by White Russian refugees after 1917, Harbin had one of the largest European populations in East Asia. Most of the Europeans left the city following the rise to power of the Chinese Communists. Harbin's institutions of higher learning include Harbin Polytechnical Univ., a medical college, and several technical institutes. The city has a well-known winter ice festival.



(also Haerhpin), a city in Northeast China and the capital of Heilungkiang Province. Population, approximately 2 million (1974). Harbin is situated on the right bank of the Sungari, at the point where the river is crossed by a railroad trunk line connecting the USSR and China. A major railroad junction and river port, the city has an airport.

Harbin is one of China’s principal industrial centers. Plants of the machine-building industry—the city’s chief industry—produce electric power turbines and generators, boilers, electric motors, equipment for the petroleum and chemical industries, and river boats. Other products of the machine-building industry include instruments, machine tools, measuring and cutting tools, railroad cars, ball bearings, and agricultural implements.

The city’s chemical industry includes a chemical combine and plants that manufacture synthetic fibers, mineral fertilizers, industrial rubber goods, and pharmaceuticals. Harbin also has plants of the wood-products, paper, and building-materials industries. The textile industry is represented by a flax combine built with the help of the USSR. Plants of the food-processing industry produce sugar, vegetable oil, flour, canned meat, alcohol, and distilled liquors. The city has a leather industry.

Harbin is the center of a rich agricultural and timber region. A major cultural and scientific center, it has 15 higher educational institutions.


The founding of Harbin in 1898 was connected with Russia’s construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway. In 1905 a Bolshevik organization, the Harbin group of the RSDLP, was formed in the city. In March 1917 a soviet of workers’ deputies and a soviet of soldiers’ deputies were established; they were dispersed in December 1917 by Russian White Guards aided by troops of the Chinese militarists. After the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Harbin became a center of White Russian emigration.

The city was occupied by Japanese militarists from 1932 to 1945. On Aug. 20, 1945, Harbin was liberated by the Soviet Army and was returned to China. The city was liberated from the Kuomintang troops by the People’s Liberation Army of China in April 1946. In the 1950’s an obelisk was erected in memory of soldiers of the Red Army who perished during the liberation of Northeast China; the city also has a monument honoring the dead heroes of the Chinese people.


a city in NE China, capital of Heilongjiang province on the Songhua River: founded by the Russians in 1897; centre of tsarist activities after the October Revolution in Russia (1917). Pop.: 2 989 000 (2005 est.)
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