Changchun, the lost Spring City of the North

Changchun, the lost Spring City of the North

Figure question from: Oriental IC, this article from the public numbers: New Weekly (ID: new-weekly), Author: Li Hao

Changchun, a former automobile city and movie city, has once become a city that has never been brilliant. Now it is gradually being marginalized in the competition of domestic cities, and it has become obscured in the competition with the northeast brother cities.

When the halo of the automobile city and the movie city goes, Changchun is facing the crisis of transformation and the status and status of the city. This is a city of difficulty in finding the right position after a farewell to the past.

Once there was a paragraph that taught you to distinguish people from the three eastern provinces by listening to their accents: a typical northeast flavor, Liaoning people; those who spoke like standard Putonghua, Heilongjiang people; except for the above two categories, the others were Jilin people.

In Jilin Province, which is sandwiched between the two provinces of Liaohei, the characteristics are relatively less distinct, and it has gradually become a corner that has been forgotten. The provincial capital Changchun, which is not strong, is a microcosm of Jilin Province.

The decline in economic growth, the monotony of industrial structure, and the outflow of population... Behind the decline of the old industrial bases in the Northeast, the former "elderly son of the Republic" is no longer the scene.

Changchun, a former automobile city and movie city, has once become a city that has never been brilliant. Now it is gradually being marginalized in the competition of domestic cities, and it has become obscured in the competition with the northeast brother cities.

Changchun used to be the city of movies. Figure / Antolavoasio

1 Where is Changchun?

If you take stock of the “four major cities” in the northeast (Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Dalian), you will find that the four cities along the Middle East Railway of the year, lined up from north to south, propped up the urbanization and industrialization of the Northeast. Spine.

Since these four cities are all sub-provincial cities, the gap between the data and the economic aggregate is not obvious, so it is inevitable that they will often be compared with each other.

But for non-Jilin people, Changchun has always been the most neglected of the four major cities.

Harbin and Russian style are bundled together, and Central Avenue and Sophia Cathedral echo each other, making it difficult to ignore this city with both northeastern characteristics and exotic customs.

Shenyang has always been the first city in Kanto, and it was once the leader of the Qing Dynasty, the hometown of Fengqing, and the old industrial base of the Northeast. The famous Wulihe Stadium recorded the glory of Chinese football to the world, and the Tiexi District became A research sample of the decline of the old industrial base in Northeast China.

Dalian may be the most non-northeast city, the seaside, the football, the square and Wanda, the city has many attractive business cards.

When it comes to Changchun, people from other provinces usually worry: Changchun? Where is Changchun?

Changji Intercity Railway EMU. Figure / xue siyang

The business cards of the Auto City and Movie City in the old days have been somewhat blurred. The tourist attractions such as the Puppet Palace, Jingyuetan and Nanhu Park only exist in the “Old Photograph of My Dad’s Dad”.

This is the embarrassment of Changchun: it is the only city in Jilin Province that does not rely on mountains or water, doomed to its awkward position in the tourism market.

That's why many foreign tourists only stay in Changchun for a few hours-they just come here to change planes, and then rush to Changbai Mountain, Wusong Island, or Chagan Lake to the west.

Changchun is just a passing place for many tourists.

Open the map and you will find that Changchun is actually in the geometric center of Northeast China. Jilin Province is the land of Longxing in the Qing Dynasty. In the early Qing Dynasty, the court set up wicker edges to defend against the invasion of foreign ethnic groups and banned it until Jiaqing. It was not until the Jiaqing period that the city was officially established; and with the Russian construction of the Middle East railway spread to Kuanchengzi (now Changchun), it gradually formed a modern city.

The highlight of Changchun’s development occurred during the Republic of China. After Japan occupied the northeast, the last emperor Pu Yi was taken to Changchun and became the pseudo-Manchurian emperor supported by Japan.

Why did Japan choose Changchun as a pseudo-Manchurian state? Because the Russians in Harbin are too deep, and Shenyang is the home of the warlords, the Japanese simply chose a city with a central location to focus on building an administrative center similar to Washington, DC, and Canberra, Australia.

As a result, Changchun became a pseudo-Manchurian capital "Xinjing", and the limelight instantly overshadowed Harbin and Shenyang, which was called "Fengtian".

Xinjing station platform. Figure / wiki

“Xinjing” has been rapidly developed. The city has been built according to careful planning. A large number of public buildings have been built up, rail transit has been rapidly spread, the industrial scale has been expanding, and facilities such as toilets have even taken the lead. After the large-scale greening, “Xinjing” was called “Oriental Switzerland” by the outside world.

When Changchun was in Jiandu, the urban population was around 100,000. After more than ten years of construction, the urban population reached more than 700,000. Together with a large number of troops and floating population, the peak of the population in Changchun reached 1.2 million. This figure even surpassed Tokyo in the same period – the largest city in Asia at the time.

It is no wonder that some people will predict that Changchun is one of the most promising cities to compete in the Chinese capital.

In 1939, Xinjing Datong Street (this present Changchun People's Street).

2 How brilliant it was, how much later

With the aid of industrial foundation, mineral resources and Soviet Union, Changchun became the earliest automobile industry base and film production base in New China after liberation, and the famous FAW and Changchun film studio became the symbol of Changchun.

The first Jiefang brand car was born in FAW, and the Changying Factory has also filmed more than 1,000 films. "Five Golden Flowers", "Shangganling", "Heroes and Children", "Liu Sanjie" and "White Haired Girl"... These films constitute The beautiful memory of that generation, Changchun also won the "Oriental Detroit" and "Oriental Hollywood" reputation.

At the same time, the rail passenger car, optoelectronic technology, chemical and chemical, bio-pharmaceutical industries and other industries are blooming. The Changchun Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry have also become the top scientific research institutions in the country. If the city of Changchun is regarded as a person, Changchun at that time can be described as a spring breeze.

Changchun's tram.

After the reform and opening up, Changchun, as the old industrial base, and Shenyang, Anshan and other cities were impacted by the market economy and began to decline. A sign of decline is that Changchun, once proud of the car industry, is beginning to slide sharply.

Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and other cities have made great progress by virtue of Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda and other foreign brands, so that Changchun as an automobile city advantages no longer, and Changchun film studio because of institutional reasons, in the 1990s year after year losses, and even on the verge of collapse.

Now, a small town in the city of Dongyang, a county-level city in Zhejiang, has already occupied the half-wall of the country's film and television industry, and also stole the name of the "East Hollywood" that once belonged to Changchun.

The automobile and film industries are the long-term development pillars of Changchun, and their decline is also the epitome of the decline of the city. Similar to other big cities in the Northeast, Changchun has a lot of glory in the era of planned economy, and it has fallen behind in the current market economy.

Located in Changchun FAW headquarters building. FAW was once known as the cradle of the automobile industry. Figure / wiki

Now, walking in the historic and cultural blocks of Changchun, you will see buildings similar to the pseudo Manchuria Palace Museum. Flying over Changchun by plane, you can see the urban network with Xinmin Street as the axis, which stems from the "New Beijing" Urban Plan made by the Japanese.

On the streets of the city, you can also see Japanese-style buildings. The “Manchu-style” or “Xingya-style” buildings represented by “one courtyard, four sections and one raft” are also representative architectural styles during the Puppet Manchurian period.

It can be said that the history and culture of Changchun is always inseparable from that humiliating history.

When Harbin vigorously promotes the exotic customs of Russia, Changchun always tries to avoid the history of the "Xinjing", and carefully hide the brand of Japanese aggression. Shenyang became a famous historical and cultural city in 1986, and Harbin also ranked in this column in 1994, and Changchun was on the list in 2017.

In 2002, Changchun Cultural Square. Figure / Broboman

3 “Northern Spring City”

However, Changchun’s economic strength is not weak. According to statistics in 2017, Changchun's GDP is behind Dalian in the four major cities in Northeast China, higher than Harbin and Shenyang.

However, compared with Shenyang, the economic development of Changchun has a high dependence on heavy industry, and the development of the tertiary industry is relatively insufficient. When outsiders visit Shenyang, they will be impressed by the high-rise buildings, hotels and luxury stores there, and Changchun is too low-key in these export-oriented modern services and in urgent need of improvement.

This is also related to the low-key and moderate personality of the Changchun and even the Jilin people. Liaoning is closer to the Guanzhong, so many people are generally regarded as hard-working and capable, and the body is strong. Heilongjiang is in the north, the weather is cold in the year, people are used to wear white stubble, drink strong white spirit, and drive the big wheel wooden car.

The Jilin people, which are trapped in it, are not as distinct from the northeast of the two neighboring provinces. If the city is likened to a man, the quality of Harbin is more rigid and more masculine; the Shenyang is like a "Zhao Jiaban", a witty humor, and the hand is full of "play"; Dalian is the daughter of the north sea, and is actively embracing the overseas market; as for Changchun, it may be the little home of the boudoir. The name of the "the Spring City of the North" is self-satisfied.

At that time, the "Northeast Family" was popular in the north and south of the Yangtze River.

In the TV series, the Northeast family, the actors, with a heavy northeast accent, showed the whole nation the family life of the old industrial base in the northeast.

Many people think that it is a story that happened in Shenyang Industrial Zone, but in fact, this drama was filmed at the Changchun FAW factory. Changchun people neither promote nor fight for this name.

Calvino said in "Invisible City": "As soon as the image in memory is fixed by words, it will be erased in reality."

This sentence may also be suitable for Changchun: when the aura of Motor City and Film City fades, Changchun faces the pain of transformation and the crisis of urban identity and status. This is a sleepy city that is looking for the right location after farewell to the past.

This article from the public numbers: New Weekly (ID: new-weekly), starting in the "New Weekly" 539 author: Li Hao

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