Why is the Jiagedaqi (or Jagdaqi) District under the jurisdiction of Heilongjiang Province even though it lies entirely within Inner Mongolia? What is the history of this arrangement?
As J. P. Morgan once said, there are two reasons, the official reason and the real reason.
The official reason is that has no proper site for a provincial seat, in Daxinganliang where Jiagedaqi is located, and it therefore needs to be administered from Heilongjiang.
The real reason is that it is more mountainous and forested than the rest of Inner Mongolia, and its mineral resources fit better with Heilongjiang's industrial economy than with Inner Mongolia's agricultural and pastoral economy. Heilongjiang will fight very hard for these resources, and has more to gain that Inner Mongolia has to lose. Also, Heilongjiang has more clout because Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region. Heilongjiang can argue that it is better for Jiagedaqi to be part of the Chinese "mainstream."
It is worth noting that prior to the Communist takeover, parts of present day Heilongjiang were then part of inner Mongolia. So these things are subject to periodic border adjustments, etc, with the latest one going "against" Inner Mongolia. It's almost like a border dispute. Why did both Germany and France fight over Alsace-Lorraine? They both wanted the region's iron ore. Unlike say, Germany and Alsace Lorraine, or Germany and the Sudetenland, this is an internal Chinese matter; "foreign affairs" is not part of the picture. Both Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia have been part of China since the Qing dynasty (1644), except for a brief interruption by Japan's Manchukuo between the world wars.
I think this is because Jiagedaqi is rich in minerals such as coal, graphite, gold and zeolite. Now, we all know that the Chinese are after minerals to boost their industry, and losing it to an autonomous area requires bureaucracy for getting those minerals out.
- Ecological Resources. Qitaihe is located in the semi-mountain area of Wanda Mountain with rivers, forests, and abundant rainfall and mineral resources, which include coal, gold, graphite, marble, limestone and zeolite.
-PRC: Heilongjiang Energy Efficient District Heating Project