1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Harbin
HARBIN, or Kharbin, town of Manchuria, on the right bank of the river Sungari. Pop. about 20,000. Till 1896 there was only a small village here, but in that year the town was founded in connexion with surveys for the Chinese Eastern railway company, at a point which subsequently became the junction of the main line of the Manchurian railway with the branch line southward to Port Arthur. Occupying such a position, Harbin became an important Russian military centre during the Russo-Japanese War. The portion of the town founded in 1896 is called Old Harbin, but the centre has shifted to New Harbin, where the chief public buildings and offices of the railway administration are situated. The river-port forms a third division of the town, industrially the most important; here are railway workshops, factories and mercantile establishments. Trade is chiefly in the hands of the Chinese.