A stunning double rainbow appears over Hunchun city, Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture, Northeast China's Jilin province after a heavy rain on June 22. （Photo by Xu Chang/Xinhua）
It lies at the point where China, Russia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea meet, with the proximity of the three countries offering opportunities to tap major cross-border markets.
The city of Hunchun, in the Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture of Jilin province, is now poised to leverage its geographical and other advantages to ratchet up major industries such as trade and tourism.
There are four national-level road and railway ports in Hunchun that provide crucial links with Russian and DPRK logistics hubs. In the recent decades of rapid development, the city government has invested 1.15 billion yuan ($163.2 million) in port infrastructure, with total customs clearance capacity growing to 2.4 million visitor numbers and 7 million metric tons of cargo a year, according to official figures.
More than 3,000 tourists a day from Russia alone head to Hunchun during peak travel periods, with port customs authorities clearing record visits last year, according to Zhai Jutong, director of the administration of Hunchun's immigration and exit border checkpoint.
To meet the increasing numbers of visitors and cargos, port authorities have also added state-of-the art cargo and passenger channels, while a new development zone opened in March will help the city push ahead as a logistics hub in Northeast Asia for the supply chain management, high-end warehousing, integrated distribution and transaction settlement sectors.
Kong Fanye, manager of crossborder e-commerce operations for Hunchun Smart-city Investment Management, a group that is involved in offering warehouse and distribution business-to-customer services that utilize Hunchun's China-Russia border resources, said business has been brisk in the past year.
"Popular Chinese products range from smartphones and laptops to textiles and household appliances," he said.
The improved infrastructure and logistics channels in recent years are also improving Hunchun's standing as a northern seafood distribution hub. Most of the king crabs that China imports from Russia to meet demand from diners in major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Guangdong province, are distributed via Hunchun, according to trade figures.
Hunchun can serve as a model for the innovative development of the marine economy with its convenient access to rich ocean resources, according to Bayanqolu, Party secretary of Jilin province.