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Introducing Chángchūn

The Japanese capital of Manchukuo between 1933 and 1945, Chángchūn today is an industrial city and a hub of China’s booming automobile manufacturing business. Volkswagen has a factory in town, and Toyota has set up a joint venture to build its Prius hybrid cars.

With Soviet assistance, China’s first car-manufacturing plant opened here in the 1950s, and that company, now called FAW Group, is China’ largest automotive manufacturer. Its stated goal is to ‘let every Chinese family own a car’ – a scary thought, perhaps, given the traffic that already snarls Chángchūn and other northeast cities.