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Destinations \ Waterways \ Amur River (Mongolia-Russia-China)

Amur River (Mongolia-Russia-China)

Waterways (main page)

Amur River locatorHardly known outside of the region, this river tops the list of world largest rivers (length wise). It ranks behind only the Yangtze and Huang Ho (Yellow River) among China's longest rivers and is equal in size and might to Alaska's Yukon River. Chinese call it Heilong Jiang (Black Dragon), Mongols - Kharamuren (Black River), and the Russians call it Amur. It starts in the mountains of the Northern Mongolia and for a while is just a small stream until it meets Argun and Shilka Rivers in Eastern Siberia. Here the River matures to a large size and flows east for 4,400km (2,750mi) all the way to the Pacific ocean forming much of the border between eastern regions of Russia and China. For ages, the River served as a "cultural highway" along which peoples moved, exchanging and mixing customs, beliefs, and artistic traditions. It was the main route of communications connecting the forests of the Siberian interior, the Pacific coastland, and even the remote shores of the Arctic Ocean. Migrations of peoples from China and the Central Asia brought agriculture, animal husbandry, metalware, and pottery to the gateways of Siberia. The Native people who inhabited river's lower valley were a mixture of various of Tungus and Manchu tribes from the interior, Nivkh, and probably Ainu migrants from Sakhalin Island and the Amur estuary. The River plays a role in the formation of an incredible biodiversity, the highest (after the Mississippi River) in the northern hemisphere. It contains a unique mix of subtropical and northern flora and fauna. The river's valley and its flood lands are the nesting area for 95% of the world population of Oriental White stork, 65% of red-crowned cranes and 50% of White-naped Cranes. Archeologists might be surprised by few facts. The world's earliest pottery is known from the lower reaches of the Amur River, Japan, and southern China, all about 16,000 calendar years ago. Evidence of Neolithic Culture found on the river near Khabarovsk, with pottery or earthenware, stone sinkers for fishing, and stone tools.

Chinese border patrol boatRussian border patrol boatThe border conflict on Ussuri River (Amur's tributary) almost led the Soviet Union and China to war in 1969. Tension built up during the late 1960s along the border, where 658,000 Soviet troops faced 814,000 Chinese troops. On March 2, 1969, a Soviet patrol and Chinese forces came into conflict. Both sides claimed that the other side attacked first. The Soviets suffered 31 dead and 14 wounded. Click for more details here

Quick facts:

  • Total length - 4,416km (2,760mi) - the 8th longest River in the world.
  • For 1,600km (1,000mi) the river is a natural boundary between Russia & China.
  • Chinese main cities: Huma, Heihe, Jiayin, Tongjiang, Fuyuan
  • Russian main cities: Blagoveshchensk, Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk, Nikolayevsk
  • There are no hydropower dams, locks, or any large industrial plants on the River.
  • The River is ice free for 5-6 months (mid May - mid November).
  • Main tributaries: Shilka, Argun, Zeya, Bureya, Songhua, Sungari, Ussuri & Amgun.
  • River's basin is a home to Siberian Tiger, Oriental White stork & Red-crowned cranes.
  • The River has some 120 fish species, more than any other Russian river.
  • 300 ancient drawings were found not far from Khabarovsk city.
  • Indigenous groups: Nanai, Ulchi, Udegai, Oroch, Negidal, Itelmen, Evenk, Udeghe..
  • The Sino-Soviet border conflict of 1969 resulted in more than 100 dead on both sides.

  • Related destinations

    Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) RR
    Lena River (Russia)
    Yenisei River (Russia)

    Amur River near Komsomolsk-na-Amure city Lowlands of Amur Along the Russia-China border


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