Physical characteristics: The dominant physical feature of this region is its winter cold and ice. Equally distinctive and important are its two extensive wetlands-the northernmost associated with the Songari River and the southern with the Liao River. Nevertheless, its basic natural resources of iron ore and coal have made it economically vital to the rest of China.
History: The Manchus invaded China in the seventeenth century, establishing the Qing dynasty in 1644. The lands of Manchuria, however, were not open to Han settlement until the dynasty's end in 1911. Most Chinese migrants worked in existing industry and on large commercial farms producing mostly soybeans and corn.
Economic activities and resources today: Manchuria is China's most important region for heavy industry. Coal and iron mining are also central to the region's economy, and ginseng, soybeans, and timber are major products.
Housing: caves carved into the loess cliffs and mud-brick houses in rural areas; apartments in urban areas. Some Russian influence in the architecture.
Social organization: nuclear families
Transportation: walking, mule, and horse in rural areas
Food staples: meat and soybean curds