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Extent according to Definition 1 (dark red), Definition 3 (dark red + medium red) and Definition 4 (dark red + medium red + light red)
Northeast China (Template:Zh-stp; literally "east-north") and Manchuria (Manchu: Manju, Template:Zh-stp) are names of a region in Northeast Asia. Manchuria was the traditional homeland of peoples such as the Xianbei, the Khitan, the Jurchen, and most recently and famously, the Manchus, who lent their name to the region.

Depending on the definition one uses, "Manchuria" can refer to any of several regions of various sizes. These are, from the smallest to the largest:

  1. The provinces of Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Liaoning provinces in the People's Republic of China, since 1956;
  2. The above, plus the eastern part of Inner Mongolia (specifically, the areas administered today by Hulunbuir, Xing'an League, Chifeng, and Tongliao);
  3. The above, plus the area of the defunct province of Jehol. Jehol overlaps partially with some areas that are already included above, but it also adds the northernmost part of Hebei Province, around Chengde. This is equal to the extent of Manchukuo;
  4. The above, plus Outer Manchuria or Russian Manchuria, a region in Russia that stretches from the Amur and Ussuri rivers to the Stanovoy Mountains and the Sea of Japan. (To contrast with Outer Manchuria, the rest of Manchuria may also be called "Inner Manchuria".) Outer Manchuria comprises Primorsky Krai, southern Khabarovsk Krai, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, and Amur Oblast. These were part of Manchu China according to the Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689, but were ceded to Russia in 1858 and 1860;
  5. The above, plus Sakhalin Oblast, which is generally included on Chinese maps as part of Outer Manchuria because it is directly offshore from the rest of Outer Manchuria and thus can be argued as a natural part thereof, though it is not actually explicitly mentioned in the Treaty of Nerchinsk.

References to the so called Greater Manchuria can also be seen, which is purely used as an ethnic history term. In addition to the area described above, Greater Manchuria also includes the whole of the Korean peninsula, Sakhalin and the Kuriles, as well as sometimes the Japanese archipelago. The term is sometimes used when discussing about the ethnic history of the area, and is not used in conjunction with the situation of the political entities in the area.

The region borders Mongolia in the west, Russia in the north, China proper to the south and Korea (North Korea) in the east.



The literal translation of Manchuria in Chinese is Manzhou (滿洲), but Chinese generally find the contemporary use of that name in Chinese offensive because of its connotations of Japanese occupation under the puppet state of Manchukuo during World War II, which is seen as an episode of national humiliation. In fact, calling someone from Northeast China a "Manchurian" (Manzhouren) may be construed as an insult, since this can be taken as linking that person with Manchukuo. It is more common to say Weiman (偽滿 / 伪满), or "False Man[churia]", when referring to Manchukuo.

In China, the usual name of the region is "The Northeast" (Dongbei), which is rendered as Northeast China in English. An inhabitant of Northeast China is a "Northeasterner" (Dongbeiren). "The Northeast" in this case is not just a word for a compass direction, but denotes the entire region, encompassing its history, culture, traditions, dialect, cuisine, and so forth, in effect replacing the concept of "Manchuria". As such, other provinces in the northeastern part of China are not considered to be a part of "the Northeast"; only Manchurian provinces are. This is similar to the United States, where "The South" usually refers only to the southeastern states and their culture and history, and not to states like California.

The use of the term Manchuria in English does not provoke nearly as strong a negative reaction among Chinese, but it is generally frowned upon. Few in Northeast China today would endorse the use of the word "Manchuria" in English or "Manzhou" in Chinese.


Major cities:


Earlier history

Manchuria was the home of nomadic tribes of Manchu, Ulchi, Goldi and Nanai. Various ethnic groups or kingdoms including the Fuyu, Goguryeo, Xianbei, Khitan, Bohai (Mohe) and Jurchen have risen into power in Manchuria.

Han Chinese dynasties in China loosely controlled southern Manchuria up until the Song dynasty. During the Song dynasty, the Khitan set up the Liao dynasty in Manchuria. Later, the Jurchen (Manchu) overthrew the Liao and formed the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), which went on to conquer Northern China. In 1234 the Jin Dynasty fell to the Mongols, who were later on thrown out by the Ming Dynasty in 1368. In 1644 the Manchu conquered China and established the Qing dynasty (1644-1912).

To the south, the region was separated from China proper by the Inner willow palisade, a ditch and embankment planted with willows intended to restrict the movement of the Han Chinese into Manchuria during the Qing dynasty, as the area was off-limits to them until the Qing started colonizing the area with the Han during the later parts of the dynasty. The Manchu area was still separated from modern-day Inner Mongolia by the Outer willow palisade, which kept the Manchu and the Mongols living in the area separate.

Russian and Japanese influence

To the north, the boundary with Russian Siberia was fixed by the Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) as running along the watershed of the Stanovoy mountains. South of the Stanovoy Mountains, the basin of the Amur and its tributaries belonged to the Manchu Empire. North of the Stanovoy Mountains, the Uda valley and Siberia belonged to the Russian Empire. In 1858, a weakening Manchu China was forced to cede Manchuria north of the Amur to Russia at the Treaty of Aigun. In 1860, at the Treaty of Peking, the Russians managed to extort a further huge slice of Manchuria east of the Ussuri River, so that Manchuria was divided into a Russian half known as "Outer Manchuria" and a remaining Chinese half known as "Inner Manchuria". In modern literature, 'Manchuria' usually refers to Inner (Chinese) Manchuria. [cf. Inner and Outer Mongolia ]. As a result of the Treaties of Argun and Peking, Manchuria (and China) lost access to the Sea of Japan.

Manchuria was known for its shamanism, opium and tigers. The Manchu imperial symbol was a tiger with a ball of opium in its mouth. Manchu Emperors were, first and foremost, accomplished shamans. By the 19th century, Manchu rule had become increasingly sinicized and, along with other borderlands of the Chinese Empire such as Mongolia and Tibet, came under the influence of colonial powers. England nibbled at Tibet, France at Hainan, Germany at Shantung while Russia encroached upon Turkestan and Outer Mongolia, having annexed Outer Manchuria.

Inner Manchuria as well came under strong Russian influence with the building of the Chinese eastern railway through Harbin to Vladivostok. Japan replaced Russian influence in Inner Manchuria as a result of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905, and Japan laid the South Manchurian Railway in 1906 to Port Arthur (Japanese: Ryojun).

Between World War I and World War II Manchuria became a political and military battleground. Japanese influence extended into Outer Manchuria in the wake of the Russian Revolution but Outer Manchuria had reverted to Soviet Russian control by 1925. Japan took advantage of the disorder following the Russian Revolution to occupy Outer Manchuria but Soviet successes and American economic pressure forced Japanese withdrawal.

During the period of the warlords in China, Chang Tso-Lin established himself in Inner Manchuria but, being too independent for the increasing Japanese influence, he was murdered; the last Manchu emperor, Pu Yi, was then placed on the throne as to lead a Japanese puppet government. Inner Manchuria was proclaimed as an independent state, Manchukuo, which was in reality a Japanese puppet state. Inner Manchuria was thus formally detached from China by Japan in the 1930s to create a buffer zone to defend Japan from Russia's Southing Strategy and, with Japanese investment and rich natural resources, became an industrial powerhouse. Prior to World War II, Manchuria was colonized by the Japanese and Manchukuo was used as a base to invade China, an expensive action (in men, matriel and political integrity) that was as costly to Japan as the invasion of Russia was to Nazi Germany, and for the same reasons.

After World War Two

After the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945 the Soviet Union invaded from Russian Manchuria as part of its declaration of war against Japan. From 1945 to 1948, Inner Manchuria was a base area for the Communist People's Liberation Army in the Chinese Civil War. With the encouragement of Soviet Russia, Manchuria was used as a staging ground during the Civil War for the Chinese Communists, victorious in 1949.

During the Korean War of the 1950s, 300,000 soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army crossed the Chinese-Korean border from Manchuria to recapture Korea from South Korean and American Forces.

In the 1960s, Manchuria became the site of the most serious tension between Soviet Russia and Communist China. The treaties of 1858 and 1860 which ceded territory north of the Amur were ambigious as to which course of the river was the boundary. This ambiguity led to dispute over the political status of several islands. This led to armed conflict in 1969, called the Sino-Soviet border conflict. With the end of the Cold War, this boundary issue is being resolved through negotiations.

In 2004, Russia agreed to turn Yinlong Island as well as one half of Heixiazi Island to China, ending a long-standing border dispute between Russia and China. Both islands are found at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, and were until then administered by Russia and claimed by China. The event has fostered feelings of reconciliation and cooperation, but it has also sparked some discontent on both sides, with some Russians unhappy about the loss of territory, and some Chinese unhappy that the Chinese government has effectively surrendered claims over the other half of Heixiazi Island by accepting the Russian offer. The transfer has been ratified by both the Chinese National People's Congress and the Russian State Duma but has yet to be carried out.

Today irredentism is popular in China, with many calling for the territory to be returned to China, whether by negotiation, subversion, military conquest, or demographic swamping. Russia also faces mounting problems with increasing numbers of Chinese immigrants pouring into relatively empty Outer Manchuria from crowded Inner Manchuria.


Manchuria was the first region to industrialize in China. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Northeast China continued to be a major industrial base of China. Recent years, however, has seen the stagnation of Northeast China's heavy-industry-based economy as China's economy continues to liberalize and privatize; the government has initialized the Revitalize the Northeast campaign to counter this problem.


The three provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning have a total population of 107,400,000 people. The majority of the population of Northeast China is Han Chinese. Manchus form a significant minority, and have been almost completely assimilated into the Han Chinese; the Manchu language is almost extinct, and many Han Chinese in Northeast China, as well as the rest of China, can claim some Manchu ancestry. Other major ethnic groups include the Mongols and the Koreans.


The concept of "Northeast China" is important in the way Northeastern Chinese view themselves. People from Northeast China usually define themselves as "Northeasterners" first and then by province (Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang). This stands in contrast with the rest of China, where people usually identify themselves first and foremost by province.

This self-concept exists in part because Northeast China is culturally homogeneous — Northeasterners have a sense that they are similar to each other, and different from the rest of China. This is because most people in Northeast China are descended from relatively recent immigrants, who left their homes in the late 19th or early 20th century to trailblaze a new life in Manchuria, which was relatively empty at the time. Also, provincial boundaries in the Northeast have been more temporary than in other parts of China, thus giving little time for provincial identities or cultural contrasts to take hold. Most other provincial boundaries were fixed during the Ming dynasty while those in Northeast China were first drawn in the late 19th century and have been changed numerous times since then.

In general, the culture of Northeast China takes its elements from the cultures of north China, especially Shandong where most of the Han Chinese migration into Manchuria originated, and has innovated on its own.

People from Northeast China speak northeastern varieties of Mandarin Chinese, known collectively as Dongbeihua, or the Northeast China dialect. This dialect is very similar to the Beijing dialect, upon which standard Chinese (Putonghua) is based; however there are enough differences to give the Northeast China dialect its own distinctive flavour, one that is frequently exploited by television shows and so forth to bring across a "northeasterner stereotype", for comedic purposes. Ethnic Manchus speak Chinese, and the Manchu language is almost extinct. Ethnic Koreans and Mongols tend to be bilingual in both their own languages (Korean language and Mongol language) and the Chinese language.

The cuisine of Northeast China is distinguished by the use of uncooked vegetables. In almost every other region of China, vegetables are cooked thoroughly before being eaten. Northeast China is also distinguished by the popularity of extremely strong distilled spirits known collectively as baijiu.

Errenzhuan and Jiju are popular forms of traditional entertainment in Northeast China.

Northeast China is the base for China's winter sports. Ice hockey and skating athletes often come from or were educated in Northeast China.


Northeastern Chinese are usually stereotyped to be loud, open, honest people, sincere in friendship and quick in making decisions; but also boisterous and prone to fighting. This stereotype may originate from the fact that most northeasterners are descended from 19th-century Han Chinese immigrants, who are romanticized as pioneers and trailblazers to the frontier, as well as pre-19th-century non-Han Chinese groups like the Manchus, romanticized as free, unconstrained nomads roaming the great grasslands.

The title of this article does not imply any official position by Wikipedia on the correct name of this es:Manchuria eo:Manĉurio fa:منچوری fr:Mandchourie it:Manciuria nl:Mantsjoerije ja:満州 no:Mandsjuria pl:Mandżuria fi:Mantšuria sv:Manchuriet zh:满洲


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