Skip to comments.China's Growing Interests in Siberia
Posted on 05/06/2011 6:55:09 AM PDT by Cardhu
There are just 6 million Russians left on the Siberian side of the border with China. Ninety million Chinese, backed by a voracious economy, live on the other side. China's influence in Russia's far east is growing rapidly and Siberia has become the raw material supplier to Beijing's economic miracle.
One needs a lot of time and patience to reach the remote Russian settlement of Mirnaya. It takes almost four days to cover the 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) from Moscow to Lake Baikal in Siberia. Another 1,000 kilometers brings one to the regional capital of Chita, an old Cossack center. Mirnaya is still another 300 kilometers by car to the southeast, in the direction of China.
The name Mirnaya means "The Peaceful One." But these days there is little evidence of peace and security in Mirnaya. Stray dogs roam the streets among collapsed houses. The long winters have torn holes the size of sinks into the asphalt. And apathy is reflected in the eyes of the town's few remaining residents.
Mirnaya was once a thriving garrison town with a movie theater, a kindergarten and a park. The Soviet army maintained a base here to keep an eye on neighboring China. Then the Soviet Union collapsed and the military left. To survive, those who stayed behind gradually dismantled and sold off what was left, piece by piece. First they removed the windows from the prefabricated buildings where the officers had once lived and sold them in Chita. Then they ripped radiators and pipes from the walls and sold them to scrap dealers, who then sold the metal in China. The buildings now stand like skeletons in the steppes, evidence of a ruined country.
"My brother Vadim died in one of those buildings when he was 32," says Irina,...
(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...
"Svetlana already has an idea for how she can show her gratitude to Russia. "We have to build an Orthodox church with a tall bell tower," she says, "so that the Chinese over there can hear that there are still people here."
A long, well written article on the changing face of Russian Siberia and China, with photos.
We ought to make Siberia the 51st state. Of all the former peoples of the USSR, Siberians have always been [had to be], the most independent thinking. They’d love us. Then, there’s the mineral resources. And we’d be accross the street from the greatest take-out in the world.
Get hold of Travels in Sibera by Ian Frazier.
Great read about Siberia and what it is like now.
At one point, he and some friends drive from St Petersburg to (almost) Vladivostok.
Geography has made China and Russia are natural enemies. Much more natural enemies of each other than either are of the USA.
Tom Clancy wrote an excellent novel about this subject:
“The Bear and the Dragon” in 2000.
I LOVE the Mongols. Hell, after we get Siberia, I’d give them back China-and Russia.
The nearest I got to Siberia was in the Kara Sea, east of
Novaya Zemlya in 1952.
China's economic rise has made itself felt around the world -- particularly on the Chinese border with Russia's far east. Here, the pecking order is impossible to mistake: The Chinese gate is on the left, the Russian on the right. A train full of Siberian timber rumbles into China.
Don’t know if I want to know why you were there in 1952 :)
I did enjoy the history parts, but, he had to put something in besides driving mile after mile.
The part I found most interesting was his last driving trip up through Yakutsk. Specially as the AC was out here at work and we were sweating through 90 deg days.
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