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Harbin

Harbin is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China,as well as the tenth most populated city in the People's Republic of China.Harbin serves as a key political,economic,scientific,cultural and communications hub in Northeast China.

Harbin,which is originally a Manchu word meaning "a place for drying fishing nets",grew from a small rural settlement on theSonghua River to become one of the largest cities in Northeast China.Founded by Russia in 1898 with the coming of the Trans-Manchurian Railway,today known as the Chinese Eastern Railway,the city first prospered as a region inhabited by an overwhelming majority of the Jewish immigrants.It is known for its bitterly cold winters and is often called the "Ice City." Harbin is notable for its beautiful ice sculptures in winter and its Russian legacy,and it still plays an important part in Sino-Russian trade today.In the 1920s,the city was considered China's fashion capital since new designs from Paris and Moscow reached there first before arriving in Shanghai.In 2010,Harbin was declared a UNESCO "City of Music".