The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Northeast China; historical name, Manchuria), a large administrative district in northeastern China. In the south it is bounded by the Yellow Sea. Area, 801,600 sq km. Population, 66 million (1967 estimate), primarily Chinese (Han). Among the other nationalities are Manchus (2.1 million), Koreans (1.2 million), and Mongolians (300,000). Administratively, Tungpei comprises three provinces: Liaoning, Kirin, and Heilungkiang. The capital is Shenyang.

Natural features. A large part of Tungpei consists of an alluvial plain with an elevation of 50 to 200 m. On the west it is bounded by the Greater Khingan Mountains, on the northeast by the Lesser Khingan Mountains, and on the southeast by the Manchu-Korean Mountains. The mountains are limestone and metamorphic shale and in the southeast also basalt (there are young volcanoes). Part of eastern Tungpei lies in the Khankai Lowland. The climate is temperate (in the south it becomes subtropical) and continental monsoonal. Precipitation varies from 400 to 700 mm annually in the north to 1,000 mm in the southeast; the maximum precipitation occurs in the summer. The unevenness of precipitation from year to year results in frequent flooding. The largest rivers are the Sungari (more than 60 percent of the territory of Tungpei lies in its basin), the Liao, and the Amur, Ussuri, and Yalu (which form part of Tungpei’s borders). Tungpei is China’s principal forest region, constituting 23 percent of its forest-covered area. There are coniferous forests of the taiga type in the north, as well as mixed and broad-leaved forests and forest-steppe in the Manchu-Korean Mountains. The plains constitute a steppe, much of which is plowed.

Economy. After the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China (1949), Tungpei became an important base for the development of the country’s economy during the years of reconstruction and the first five-year plan (1952-57). In 1951 it accounted for 78.3 percent of the industrial output of the People’s Republic of China. In the period of reconstruction, the mining and other industries of Tungpei became important for all of China: coal mining (Fushun, 9.3 million tons in 1957; Fuhsin, 8.5 million tons), petroleum extraction (3-4 million tons in Tach’ingyeh), mining of bituminous shale, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy (Anshan, Penki, Fushun, Talien), heavy-machine building (Shenyang, Liita, Fushun), medium- and precision-machine building (Harbin, Tsitsihar, Changchun), newly developed automobile manufacturing (Changchun), aircraft construction, locomotive and railroad-car building (Talien), a chemical industry, and especially liquid-fuel production from shale (Fushun). Older industries include woodworking (in Kiamusze, Harbin), which developed out of large lumbering operations (about half of China’s total), pulp and paper manufacturing (Kirin, Yenchi, Antung, Mutankiang, Chiamussu), textiles (including cotton production in Chinhsien, Liaoyang, Yingkow), sack making, flax production (in Harbin), silk production (in Antung), and food processing (soybean oil, butter, flour, sugar, and fish products). Among crops, the chief foodstuffs include corn, millet, wheat, kaoliang, rice, and vegetables. Tungpei leads the nation in the cultivation of industrial crops, including beets, soybeans, and raw silk; three-fourths of the silk of the oak silkworm is produced in Tungpei. Tungpei also supplies fruits, especially apples (80 percent of the country’s total output). Animal husbandry is of secondary importance. For the most part cattle and oxen are raised, but pigs and poultry are also represented. Fish are caught on the coast of the Yellow Sea and in rivers and lakes.

The main transportation centers are Shenyang, Ch’angch’un, Harbin, Kiamusze, and Mutankiang. The Amur, Sungari, Ussuri, Yalu, and Liao rivers are navigable. Tungpei’s chief seaport is Lüta.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.