Changchun, with only a history of 200 years, is a relatively young city by China’s ancient standards. Yet, more than 6 million people live in the city. Changchun can be found in the hinterland of the Songliao Plain, with Baicheng city to its northwest, Siping to its southwest, Jilin to its southeast, and the Leilongjiang Province to its northeast. As well, the city is the capital of the Jilin Province, meaning it is also its political, economical, and cultural center.
One of the reasons that Changchun is such a new city is because it was once the capital of the Japanese-ruled state of Manchukuo during its occupation from 1937 to 1945. Evidence of the city's dishonorable past remains, mainly in the form of the palace where the last Qing emperor, Pu Yi, ruled the state as a puppet of the occupying Japanese. Years later, the Russian Soviets took over the city during World War II until October 1948 when China once again reclaimed control, though not without bloodshed.
Industry of Changchun
Today, Changchun is known as the "City of Movies" and "City of the Automobile." Famous for being the cradle of Chinese film production, the studios of Changchun have produced over 600 films since its establishment in 1946. Some of the old films still linger on throughout the country. Furthermore, visitors should not miss the Puppet Imperial Palace where scenes from the infamous 1987 film The Last Emperor were filmed, not to mention it is also a piece of historical Manchukuo and the palace of Qing Emperor Pu Yi.
Changchun also lays claim to China's first automobile company; the China No.1 Automobile Group now takes on a leading position in the country’s automobile industry. In fact, the corporation produces over one-fifth of all domestic autos.
When to Visit Changchun
For visitors, winter is the best time to visit Changchun. Although it is freezing cold, there is little snow and the air is dry. This weather has resulted in some of the finest ski resorts in China. The Beidahu, Jingyuetan, and Songhuahu resorts are particularly great places for ski lovers seeking both fun and challenge. Finally, the dramatic frosty scenery in the area has been recognized as one of the four natural wonders of China.