Qiqihar (Chinese: 齐齐哈尔; pinyin: Qíqíhā'ěr) is the second largest city in the Heilongjiang province of China, located in the west central part of the province. The built-up (or metro) area made up of Longsha, Tiefeng and Jianhua districts had 979,517 inhabitants, while the total population of the prefecture-level city was 5,367,003 at the 2010 census.[1] These are mainly Han Chinese, though the city is also home to thirty-four minorities including Manchus, Daur, and Mongols.[2] Close to Qiqihar are numerous wetlands and the Zhalong Nature Reserve, famous in China for being home to numerous red-crowned cranes.


The Crane City (鹤城)
Location of Qiqihar City (yellow) in Heilongjiang (light grey) and China
Location of the city centre in Heilongjiang
Coordinates: 47°21′N 123°55′E
CountryPeople's Republic of China
County-level divisions16
towns and townships156
Municipal seatJianhua District
  TypePrefecture-level city
  CPC Qiqihar SecretarySun Shen (孙珅)
  MayorLi Yugang (李玉刚)
  Prefecture-level city42,205.82 km2 (16,295.76 sq mi)
4,039.3 km2 (1,559.6 sq mi)
970.3 km2 (374.6 sq mi)
147 m (482 ft)
  Prefecture-level city5,367,003
  Density130/km2 (330/sq mi)
  Urban density370/km2 (950/sq mi)
  Metro density1,000/km2 (2,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+08:00 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code(s)0452
ISO 3166 codeCN-HL-02
GDPCNY 106.58billion
License Plate黑B
Administrative division code230200
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese齐齐哈尔
Traditional Chinese齊齊哈爾
Manchu name
Manchu scriptᠴᡳᠴᡳᡤᠠᡵ


The Khitan people settled in the region under the Liao dynasty. The word "Qiqi" is a reference to a local river; the word "hari" refers to defense.


Early history

Qiqihar is one of the oldest cities in the northeast of China. The region was originally settled by nomadic Daur and Tungus herdsmen. Qiqihar is a Daur word, which means border or natural pasture. [3] The city's original name was Bukui (卜奎), the Chinese transcription of a Daur word meaning "auspicious".[4] The city's oldest mosque, the Bukui Mosque, predates the foundation of the city by seven years.[5] As the Czarist Russian eastward advance to the Pacific coast, Qiqihar became a major garrison center in 1674. In 1691, a stronghold was constructed in Qiqihar because of the Qing government's campaigns against the Mongols.[6] Around 1700 it was a center for Russo-Chinese trade. A military depot with barracks and an arsenal was set up there, and many convicted criminals were exiled to the area. Heilongjiang Martial domiciled in Qiqihar City in 1699.[3] The Qing Dynasty had initially intended to keep far-northern Heilongjiang province as a semi-pastoral area, separate from the wider Chinese agricultural economy, so it did not allow seasonal urban migrants, such as those from Hebei and Shandong who wished to participate in the Qiqihar fur trade, to own acres and transform the land. After the Russian Empire seized Outer Manchuria according to the unequal treaties of Aigun and Beijing, the Qing made the decision to lift the various restrictions it placed on Northeast China and on Heilongjiang residency in particular, in 1868, 1878, and 1904. It enlisted Han Chinese to help to teach the local Solon people farming techniques, providing materials and tax exemptions to convert them from hunting.[7] In 1903, The completion of the Chinese Eastern Railway made Qiqihar a center for communications between China and Russia. A network of lines radiating from Qiqihar was extended into the northwestern part of Heilongjiang Province including Jiagedaqi and Manzhouli in the late 1920s.

Second Sino-Japanese War

In 1931, Japan used a false flag attack, remembered as the September 18 Incident, to justify moving its Guandong Army to capture major cities in Northeast China that month, starting with Shenyang, Changchun, then Jilin City. General Ma Zhanshan was ordered to act as Governor and Military Commander-in-chief of Heilongjiang Province on October 10, 1931. General Ma declined a Japanese ultimatum to surrender Qiqihar on November 15. However, after the loss of Jiangqiao Campaign, the Japanese began their occupation of Qiqihar on November 19, 1931.[8] Liaoning fell in December, and Harbin in February; the puppet Manchukuo government of the Japanese-occupied territory under General Zhang Jinghui established Qiqihar as its administrative center and of Longjiang province. Qiqihar became a major military base for Guandong Army and its economic importance also grew rapidly. During the occupation, the Imperial Japanese Army established Unit 516 in Qiqihar for research into chemical warfare.[9] A major mustard gas tank left over from the Second Sino-Japanese War buried underground was accidentally damaged in August 2003, causing 43 injuries and one death.[10]

Modern era

After the defeat of Japan, the Democratic Regime Qiqihar Municipal Government was established, under the administration of Nenjiang Province. Japanese forces in Northeast China surrendered to the Soviet Union while Japanese forces in the rest of China surrendered to the United States.[11][12] From March to May, Soviet troops progressively withdrew from their positions, giving the People's Liberation Army more notice than the National Revolutionary Army so that the former could occupy more positions in the context of the Chinese Civil War.[13] Qiqihar was controlled by the Communists on April 24, 1946, along with other important regional cities like Changchun, Jilin City, and Harbin. Qiqihar was established as the capital of Heilongjiang Province after the foundation of People's Republic of China in 1949. However, since Songjiang Province was merged into Heilongjiang Province, the provincial capital was transferred to Harbin in 1954. During the first five-year plan of China from 1951 to 1956, many factories including Beiman Special Steel Co. and China First Heavy Industries were aid-constructed by the Soviet Union in Fularji District, making Qiqihar an important center of equipment manufacturing industry in Northeast China. In 1984, Qiqihar was designated to be one of the 13 Larger Municipalities in China by the General Office of the State Council.[14]


Qiqihar City sits on a land area of 42,289 square kilometers at an altitude of 100–500 meters, with an average elevation of 146 meters.


Qiqihar is located along the middle and lower reaches of the Nen River and the hinterland of Songnen Plain, which is adjacent to the Greater Khingan Range and Hulunbuir Prairie. Bordering prefecture cities are:

The city's metro area is located 359 km (223 mi) from the provincial capital of Harbin, 282 km (175 mi) from Baicheng, 139 km (86 mi) from Daqing, and 328 km (204 mi) from Suihua. The total area under the city's jurisdiction is 42,289 km2 (16,328 sq mi). The region's elevation above sea level is generally between 200 m (660 ft) and 500 m (1,600 ft).[15]


Qiqihar has a cold, monsoon-influenced, humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa), with four distinct seasons. It has long, bitterly cold, but dry winters, with a 24-hour average in January of −18.6 °C (−1.5 °F). Spring and fall are mild, but short and quick transitions. Summers are very warm and humid, with a 24-hour average in July of 23.2 °C (73.8 °F). The average annual precipitation is 415 millimetres (16.3 in), with over two-thirds of it falling from June to August. The annual mean is 3.95 °C (39.1 °F). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 56% in July to 73% in February, the city receives abundant sunshine, with 2,839 hours of bright sunshine annually. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −39.5 °C (−39 °F) to 42.1 °C (108 °F).[16]

Climate data for Qiqihar (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 2.4
Average high °C (°F) −12.4
Daily mean °C (°F) −18.6
Average low °C (°F) −23.7
Record low °C (°F) −39.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 1.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3.5 3.0 3.4 5.1 7.2 11.2 13.7 11.2 9.1 5.1 3.5 4.9 80.9
Average relative humidity (%) 67 58 47 46 46 62 73 73 66 57 60 67 60
Mean monthly sunshine hours 190.6 208.6 260.4 248.5 282.7 282.2 269.4 271.7 247.3 227.6 185.4 164.9 2,839.3
Percent possible sunshine 70 73 71 61 61 60 56 62 66 68 66 63 64
Source: China Meteorological Administration[17]


Qiqihar is divided into 16 divisions: 7 districts (; ), 8 counties (; xiàn) and 1 county-level city (县级市; xiànjí shì).

# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2010 est.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)[18]
1 Longsha District 龙沙区 Lóngshā Qū 354,987 283 1,254
2 Jianhua District 建华区 Jiànhuá Qū 292,579 81 3,612
3 Tiefeng District 铁锋区 Tiěfēng Qū 331,951 695 478
4 Ang'angxi District 昂昂溪区 Áng'ángxī Qū 80,109 623 129
5 Fularji District 富拉尔基区 Fùlā'ěrjī Qū 256,159 375 683
6 Nianzishan District 碾子山区 Niǎnzishān Qū 72,151 290 249
7 Meilisi Daur District 梅里斯达斡尔族区 Méilǐsī Dáwò'ěrzú Qū 165,852 1,948 85
8 Nehe City 讷河市 Nēhé Shì 625,892 6,664 94
9 Longjiang County 龙江县 Lóngjiāng Xiàn 572,764 6,197 92
10 Yi'an County 依安县 Yī'ān Xiàn 480,035 3,780 127
11 Tailai County 泰来县 Tàilái Xiàn 302,027 4,061 74
12 Gannan County 甘南县 Gānnán Xiàn 368,734 4,384 84
13 Fuyu County 富裕县 Fùyù Xiàn 276,537 4,335 64
14 Keshan County 克山县 Kèshān Xiàn 403,175 3,632 111
15 Kedong County 克东县 Kèdōng Xiàn 264,285 2,083 127
16 Baiquan County 拜泉县 Bàiquán Xiàn 519,766 3,569 146


According to the sixth national population census, the population amounted to 5,367,003 people.[19] There are 2,720,725 men and 2,646,278 women. The population age of 0-14 was 691,722, 4,238,140 people aged 15–64 and 437,141 people aged 65 and older.


Qiqihar is a heavily industrialized city involved in manufacturing.

In 2009, the city's 95 large-scale equipment manufacturing enterprises, with total assets of 30.6 billion yuan, accounting for the city's industrial enterprises above designated size of 46.5% of total assets, the number of employees 5.2 million, accounting for the city's industrial enterprises above the size of 45.6% of the total number of employees. The main business income of 25.57 billion yuan, industrial added value of 8.05 billion yuan, profits of 1.96 billion yuan, 1.03 billion yuan of taxes, respectively, year on year growth of 2.9%, 3%, 19.6% and 22.3%, accounting for the city's industrial enterprises above designated size were 40.6%, 40%, 44.3% and 31.7%, respectively.


Qiqihar has 23 hospitals.


Companies conducting business in Qiqihar include RT-Mart, Walmart, GOME Electrical Appliances, and Suning Commerce Group.


Since Qiqihar is a large city, numerous banks work here. Some of the banks include Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China.


Qiqihar is very close to the Zhalong Nature Reserve. Also there is the Longsha park.



Qiqihar is served by its own domestic airport, Qiqihar Airport.


Qiqihar is well-connected in terms of railway transportation. Trains from Qiqihar Railway Station connect the city with Harbin, Beijing, Dalian, Hangzhou, Xi'an and several other major cities in China. Qiqihar Airport, 13 km (8.1 mi) from Qiqihar's downtown area, operates daily flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and other major cities in China. In the district of Ang'angxi, the Harbin-Manzhouli Railway intersects with the Qiqihar-Bei'an Railway.

The new Harbin-Qiqihar High-Speed Railway (哈齐高铁) is scheduled to open in August 2015; it will provide frequent high-speed service to Harbin, as well as some direct trains to Beijing.[20]


The Nen River is used to transport material.


Numerous schools exist in the city. Four elementary schools feed into 8 city or county high schools.

There are two universities: Qiqihar University and its medical school.

Sister cities

Notable people from Qiqihar


  1. 2010年齐齐哈尔市第六次全国人口普查主要数据公报. Dongbei Wang (in Chinese). 2011-05-12. |
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. "Survey of the City". Qiqihar Municipal Government. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  4. 齐齐哈尔自然环境, Xinhua News, 2006-08-25, archived from the original on 2011-07-21, retrieved 2010-09-11
  5. 卜奎清真寺, Qiqihar News, 2005-06-27, retrieved 2010-09-11
  6. Qi, Xipeng (齐锡鹏) (1989). 齐齐哈尔历史述略. Heilongjiang People's Press. ISBN 978-7-207-01417-7.
  7. Shan, Patrick Fuliang (June 2006). "Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Race Relations: The Chinese Treatment of the Solon Tribes in Heilongjiang Frontier Society, 1900-1931". Asian Ethnicity. 7 (2): 185–187.
  8. Matsuzaka, The Making of Japanese Manchuria, 1904-1932
  9. "Mustard Gas Victims Prepare Case Against Japan", China.org.cn, 2004-06-28, retrieved 2010-09-11
  10. "Diplomatic row over poison gas", The Guardian, 2003-08-13, retrieved 2010-09-11
  11. Zarrow, Peter Gue. [2005] (2005). China in War and Revolution, 1895–1949. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-36447-7. pg 338.
  12. LTC David M. Glantz, "August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria". Leavenworth Papers No. 7, Combat Studies Institute, February 1983, Fort Leavenworth Kansas.
  13. Heinzig, Dieter (2004). The Soviet Union and Communist China, 1945-1950: The Arduous Road to the Alliance. M.E. Sharpe. p. 100.
  14. 国务院关于批准唐山等市为"较大的市"的通知.
  15. "Geography and Topography". Qiqihar Municipal Government. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  16. 黑龙江省齐齐哈尔市地理位置及气候资源概况. 图骥网. Retrieved 2014-01-13.
  17. 中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年) (in Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  18. National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China (December 2012). 《中国2010年人口普查分县资料》 (in Chinese). China Statistics Press. ISBN 978-7-5037-6659-6.
  19. 《齐齐哈尔市2010年第六次全国人口普查主要数据公报》. Qiqihar Municipal Bureau of Statistics
  20. 哈齐客运专线更名哈齐高铁 成为我省首个高速铁路线路 Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, 哈尔滨日报, 2015-7-30
  21. As of today, Krasnoyarsk City Administration has concluded protocols of intent and agreements on cooperation with the following foreign cities:
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