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Into The Heart Of Manchuria

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.370.1 - 3.370.9

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James L. Hales

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3148

Into the Heart of Manchuria

James L. Hales University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


Professor and Mrs. Hales taught at the Northeast China Institute of Electrical Power Engineering in Jilin City in the People's Republic of China during the 1992-93 school year.

The challenges of preparing to go and some of the early frustrations are recounted. Several illustrative experiences are detailed; then general observations are made about current conditions for young Chinese college graduates. INTRODUCTION

My wife and I taught at the Northeast China Institute of Electric Power Engineering from September 1992 until June 1993. The institute is in Jilin City, Jilin Province. Jilin City is about 350 miles north of Pyongyang, North Korea, and 300 miles west of Vladivostok, Russia. It is very nearly at the geographical center of the area in northeastern China commonly called Manchuria. This area was occupied by the Japanese from about 1932 until it was liberated in 1945. The Japanese used the city of Changchun as their Manchurian capital during the occupation. Today Changchun is the capital of Jilin Province. It is approximately seventy miles west of the city of Jilin.

The northernmost provinces in China are Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang. Jilin Province is south of Heilongjiang and east of Inner Mongolia. Changchun and Jilin are industrial cities on the Songhua River with a population of two million and 1.5 million people, respectively.

We would spend most of the next eleven months on this agricultural plain with rolling hills. How did we come to be there? We need to go back to events a few years earlier.

The First China Visit

In January of 1989 my wife and I were invited to participate in a People-to-People visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC). The delegation, consisting of forty individuals, fifteen of whom were spouses, were engineering faculty in universities all across the United States and representing a number of engineering disciplines.

Our objective was to visit and exchange ideas and experiences with engineering faculty at selected universities in the People's Republic of China. We were to visit three cities in the PRC and spend the last two days in Hong Kong. We went first to Beijing, then Shanghai, and finally to Wuhan, an interior city on the Yangtze River about five hundred miles west of Shanghai. The entire excursion was three weeks in duration.

We attended a five-day conference (The Fourth International Conference on Continuing Engineering Education) in Beijing and then visited several universities. This was at the time of

Hales, J. L. (1998, June), Into The Heart Of Manchuria Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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