Changchun (simplified Chinese: 长春; traditional Chinese: 長春; pinyin: Chángchūn) is the capital and largest city of Jilin Province, and is located in the northeast of China. Lying in the center of the Songliao Plain, Changchun is administered as a sub-provincial city, comprising 7 districts, 1 county and 2 county-level cities. According to the 2010 census of China, Changchun had a total population of 7,674,439 under its jurisdiction. The city's urbanized (or metro) area, comprising 5 districts and 4 development areas, had a population of 3,815,270 in 2010 as the Shuangyang and Jiutai districts are not urbanized yet.
The name of the city means "long spring" in Chinese. Between 1932 and 1945, Changchun was renamed Hsinking (Chinese: 新京; pinyin: Xīnjīng; literally: "new capital") by the Japanese as it became the capital of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo, occupying modern Northeast China. After the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Changchun was established as the provincial capital of Jilin in 1954.
Known locally as China's "City of Automobiles", Changchun is an important industrial base with a particular focus on the automotive sector. Because of its key role in the domestic automobile industry, Changchun was sometimes referred to as the "Detroit of China." Apart from this industrial aspect, Changchun is also one of four "National Garden Cities" awarded by the Ministry of Construction of P.R. China in 2001 due to its high urban greening rate.
Renamed Changchun by the People's Republic of China government, it became the capital of Jilin in 1954. The Changchun Film Studio is also one of the remaining film studios of the era. Changchun Film Festival has become a unique gala for film industries since 1992.
From the 1950s, Changchun was designated to become a center for China's automotive industry. Construction of the First Automobile Works (FAW) began in 1953 and production of the Jiefang CA-10 truck, based on the Soviet ZIS-150 started in 1956. Soviet Russia lent assistance during these early years, providing technical support, tooling, and production machinery. In 1958, FAW introduced the famous Hongqi (Red Flag) limousines This series of cars are billed as "the official car for minister-level officials".
Changchun hosted the 2007 Winter Asian Games.
Changchun lies in the middle portion of the Northeast China Plain. Its municipality area is located at latitude 43° 05′−45° 15′ N and longitude 124° 18′−127° 02' E. The total area of Changchun municipality is 20,571 km2 (7,943 sq mi), including metro areas of 2,583 square kilometres (997 sq mi), and a city proper area of 159 km2 (61 sq mi). The city is situated at a moderate elevation, ranging from 250 to 350 metres (820 to 1,150 ft) within its administrative region. In the eastern portion of the city, there lies a small area of low mountains. The city is also situated at the crisscross point of the third east–westward "Europe-Asia Continental Bridge". Changchun prefecture is dotted with 222 rivers and lakes. The Yitong River, a small tributary of the Songhua River, runs through the city proper.
Changchun has a four-season, monsoon-influenced, humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa). Winters are long (lasting from November to March), cold, and windy, but dry, due to the influence of the Siberian anticyclone, with a January mean temperature of −15.1 °C (4.8 °F). Spring and fall are somewhat short transitional periods, with some precipitation, but are usually dry and windy. Summers are hot and humid, with a prevailing southeasterly wind due to the East Asian monsoon; July averages 23.1 °C (73.6 °F). Snow is usually light during the winter, and annual rainfall is heavily concentrated from June to August. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 47 percent in July to 66 percent in January and February, a typical year will see around 2,617 hours of sunshine, and a frost-free period of 140 to 150 days. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −33.0 °C (−27 °F) to 35.7 °C (96 °F).