In ancient times Jilin was inhabited by various peoples the Mohe and the Wuji. It also formed a part of the Goguryeo kingdom. The kingdom of Bohai was established in the area from 698 to 926 AD. The region then fell successively under the domination of the Khitan Liao Dynasty, the Jurchen Jin Dynasty, and the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty much of the area was under the control of the General of Jilin, whose area of control extended to the Sea of Japan to encompass much of what is Russia’s Primorsky Krai today. Immigration of Han Chinese was strictly controlled.
However, after the Primorsky Krai area was ceded to Russia in 1860, the Qing government began to open the area up to Han Chinese migrants, most of whom came from Shandong. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Han Chinese had become the dominant ethnic group of the region. In 1932, the area was incorporated into Manchukuo, a puppet state set up by Japan, and Changchun (then called Hsinking), capital of Jilin today, was made the capital of Manchukuo. The Chinese Communist Party took Jilin in contral in 1948.
In 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded, Jilin province was smaller, encompassing only the environs of Changchun and Jilin City, and the capital was at Jilin City, while Changchun was a municipality independent from the province. In the 1950s Jilin was expanded to its present borders today. In recent times Jilin has been facing economic difficulties with privatization. This has prompted the central government to undertake a campaign called “Revitalize the Northeast”.
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