Heilongjiang Province is located in the northeast of China. It faces Russia across Heilongjiang River and Wusuli River to the north and east, borders Inner Mongolia to the west and Jilin Province to the south.
Agriculture and industry in Heilongjiang have been developed fast. In 2003, the GDP of Heilongjiang Province was 443.3 billion Yuan. As far as agriculture is concerned, Heilongjiang ranks first in China in the amount of cultivated area, the degree of mechanization, and the quantity of exported grains, grains in stock, soybean production and green food production. Stock breeding in Heilongjiang occupies one third of that of China, and the production of milk and other dairy products rank first in China. The monitored green-food-growing area and the production of certificated green food also rank first in China.
As an old industrial base in China, Heilongjiang has developed a unique economic pattern: it gives priority to heavy industry, state-owned enterprises and the large enterprises directly under the Party Central Committee (CPC). Heilongjiang has been in close economic, trade and technical cooperation with more than 150 countries and regions in the world. There are 25 first-grade national ports and 9 frontier trade areas in the province, and the trade cooperation with Russia accounts for 53.6% of the total export-import volume of the province and 1/5 of the total trade between China and Russia.
At the end of 2005, Heilongjiang had a population of 38.2 million, 47% of which is rural population and 53% is urban population. Besides Han Nationality, 53 minority nationalities live in Heilongjiang and the population of the minority groups totals 1.77 million, which accounts for 4.6% of the total population of the province. 10 of the minority nationalities, Manchu, Korean, Hui, Mongolian, Daur, Xibe (Sibo), Oroqen (Olunchun), Hezhe, Owenki and Kirgiz (Khalkha) have been living in Heilongjiang for a long time.
By the end of 2002, there are one Mongolian Autonomous County, one Daur Region, 69 minority nationality towns/townships and 676 regions inhabited by ethnic groups in compact communities. The Manchus accounts for 58.5% of the total minority population of in Heilongjiang.
Agricultural resources: Heilongjiang Province is one of the three most famous black earth belts in the world. The total cultivated area and the per capita area of farmland in Heilongjiang ranks the first in China. The cultivated area totals 142.68 million mu (1mu equals 0.0667 hectare), which accounts for 7.6% of the total cultivated area in China. The per capita area of cultivated farmland in Heilongjiang is 3.75 mu (the per capita area of farmland of agricultural employees is 19.2 mu), much higher than the per capita area of cultivated farmland in China, which is 1.5 mu.
Forest resources: Heilongjiang is the largest base of forestry and timbering industry in China. The vast forest covers the mountains of the Greater Xing'anling Mountains and the Lesser Xing'anling Mountains, Wanda Mountain, Zhangguangcai Mountain and Laoye Mountain. The forestry area in the province is 19.19 million hectares, and the forest coverage is 41.9%. There are a variety of rare animals and plants in the forests.
Mineral resources: Heilongjiang is rich in mineral deposits because of the complicated terrain and geological structures. There are 131 discovered mineral deposits, 77 of which are proved reserves. The reserves of 41 deposits are among the top 10 in China and 9 of those deposits are dominant mineral resources, such as petroleum, coal, gold and black lead. The oil deposits are mainly distribute in Daqing Prefecture in the west, the coal deposits are located along Hegang, Shuangyashan, Jixi and Qitaihe cities in the east and Heibaoshan Prefecture in the northwest, and gold is mainly distributed along the Greater Xing’anling Mountains and along the banks of Heilongjiang River. Other nonferrous metals are mainly found in the north and nonmetal deposits are located all over the province.
Water resources: Heilongjiang has rich water resources. There are four water systems of the rivers of Heilongjiang, Wusuli, Songhua and Suifen, consisting of 1918 rivers whose drainage area are larger than 50 sq km. Among them, 27 of which have a drainage area larger than 5,000 sq km and 18 of which have a drainage area of 10,000 sq km.
The capital of Heilongjiang is Harbin. Heilongjiang covers one prefecture of Daxing'anling, 12 prefecture-level cities of Harbin, Qiqihar, Hegang, Shuangyashan, Jixi, Daqing, Yichun, Mudanjing, Jiamusi, Qitaihe, Heihe and Suihua, 46 counties, 19 county-level cities and one autonomous county.