History of Hulunbuir

During the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), Hulunbuir was part of the Liaodong Commandery.[1] During the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), Hulunbuir was part of Heilongjiang province. The 1858 Treaty of Aigun established today’s approximate Sino-Russian border, at a great loss to Heilongjiang’s territory. In 1901, the Chinese Eastern Railway linked Hulunbuir to the rest of northeast China and to Russian Far East. From 1912-1949, during the Republic of China (ROC) period, Hulunbuir was part of Xing’an and Heilongjiang provinces.

A treaty between the Russian Empire and the ROC on November 7/October 24, 1915 designated Hulunbuir a “special” region under direct subordination to the Central Government of China, but in practice Russia had partial control over day-to-day administration. In 1929, the Soviet Unionbroke this agreement and invaded Hulunbuir. After the Japanese invasion of China, Hulunbuir became part of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo, which was not recognized by the Chinese. In the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China gained the support of Inner Mongol leaders like Ulanhu by promising the irredentist expansion of Inner Mongolia into areas that had majorities of Han and Manchu peoples.

After the 1949 Communist revolution, Hulunbuir was annexed into Inner Mongolia, but the region kept economic ties to the rest of the northeast via the Chinese Eastern Railway. During the Cultural Revolution, the parts of historical Manchuria inside Inner Mongolia were briefly restored to their original provinces; Hulunbuir was given back to Heilongjiang from 1969 to 1979. Until October 10, 2001, Hulunbuir was administered as a League. The area is 263,953 km2 (101,913 sq mi) and had a population of 2.710 million in 2004, while the gross domestic product was RMB21.326 billion. The jurisdiction area of the city is larger than all but 8 Chinese province-level divisions (and 42 U.S. states), although the actual urban agglomeration is just a very small part of the region, and the average population density of the area is very low.