P. Y. TSVETOV
Candidate of Historical Sciences
Key words: China, Heilongjiang, Harbin International Trade and Economic Fair, Far East, Border Trade
China's Heilongjiang Province is geographically, historically and economically close to Russia. With five subjects of the Russian Federation - the Amur Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Trans-Baikal, Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories-this province has a border length of more than 3 thousand km.
Even at the beginning of the last century, our compatriots were already working on the China-Eastern Railway. The Russians not only built the city of Harbin (now the administrative center of the province), but also created a unique cultural environment in the image and likeness of the one that was in their homeland: Russian architecture and theaters, Russian educational institutions, periodicals in Russian, shops. The architecture of the city traces the features of St. Petersburg and Moscow.
In 2009, the tourist center "Usadba Volga" was established in the suburbs of Harbin. And when you enter this center through the wooden gate, you experience a feeling akin to teleportation from one civilization to another. After the rural landscape typical of East Asian countries, consisting of water-soaked rice paddies and small workshops on the roadsides, the eye opens up a whimsical view of the tourist center, reminiscent of a manor house near Moscow with a regular park, pond and antique statues, and a Russian village with an indispensable church and well.
"Estate Volga", according to the creators, should embody the image of Russia, its material and spiritual culture. Here, while strolling along the alleys of the estate, you can listen to Russian classical music and old Russian romances playing from hidden speakers in the grass, or admire a copy of the monument to Alexander Pushkin in Tsarskoye Selo.
It is no coincidence that the authorities of Heilongjiang Province have invested a lot of money in creating such a center of Russian culture and Chinese recreation. The province's secondary and higher education system has long had a tradition of learning the Russian language. The fruits of the enlightenment are noticeable - here you can often meet young Chinese who speak passable Russian.
These traditions are now part of the organization: in early 2010, a Society of Russian Language teachers was established in Heilongjiang. It unites employees of 22 educational institutions of the province, including well-known centers of Russian studies in China. Among the main tasks of the Society are to promote the teaching of Russian in China and create a language platform for interaction with Russia.
Currently, the authorities of Heilongjiang position their region as a bridge between Russia and other provinces of China, as well as Taiwan. And, apparently, there is a reason for this. A Taiwanese entrepreneur who visited Harbin in early 2010 said in an interview with Xinhua: "We came to Heilongjiang just to look for opportunities for cooperation with Russia. As Sino-Russian trade revives, Taiwan intends to continue construction in Russia
* Since 1953 It's called the Harbin Railway. It passed through the territory of Manchuria (China) and connected Chita with Vladivostok and Port Arthur.
technopark for wood processing " 1.
The Heilongjiang "bridge" is already operating not only in the plans of businessmen. Over the past few years, Heilongjiang has been leading the list of Russia's trade partners. In 2009, this province accounted for 17.5% of the total trade turnover between the two countries, although there were years with a higher indicator. The global financial crisis could not but affect trade and economic relations: in 2009, the volume of Russian-Chinese trade decreased by more than 30% compared to 2008.*
China, like a number of other Asian countries, has taken the blows of the crisis relatively easily and is now trying to catch up. And cooperation with Russia should play an important role in solving this problem. According to Sun Yao, Deputy Chairman of the People's Government of Heilongjiang Province, "in order to respond to the challenges of the international financial crisis, the provincial administration has set itself the task of strengthening investment cooperation with Russia." 2
The annual Harbin International Trade and Economic Fair has been promoting Chinese business ties with Russia for more than two decades. Initially, its work was envisaged with the predominant participation of Russian businessmen. But over the years, the geography of its participants began to expand.
In 2010, it was attended by 37 delegations from China and more than 20 foreign countries. The exhibition was attended by 220 thousand guests. The total amount of contracts concluded was $22.27 billion.
The largest number of transactions was concluded between representatives of Russia and China - in the amount of $6.54 billion. This gave rise to experts to talk about a new upswing in trade and economic relations between the two countries.
At the Harbin Fair, Russia was represented by several regions that originally designed the rented stands. Among them, special attention of visitors was drawn to Yakutia, which presented meat industry products, and the Jewish Autonomous Region, which focused on its transport infrastructure connecting Russia and China.
The round table of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Russia and China, which was held for the first time in the format of the Harbin Fair, did not go unnoticed. Among the Russian delegations, the most effective were representatives of Kamchatka, who not only presented their region (as other delegations did), but also signed an agreement on cooperation in trade, economic, scientific, technical, cultural and other spheres with the People's Government of Heilongjiang Province.
Within the framework of the agreements reached at the Harbin Fair, cooperation is planned in such sectors as logging and wood processing, agriculture and construction. It is planned to establish a direct air connection between the Kamchatka Territory and the province
* In the first 7 months of 2010, the trade turnover between China and Russia grew to $30.7 billion, reaching the pre-crisis level. (The 13th Meeting of China-Russia Trade and Economic Subcommittee held in Moscow - www.english.mofcom.gov.cn/aarti-cle/news-release/significantnews/201009/2010090 7113112.html) (прим. ред.).
Heilongjiang. This was discussed with representatives of one of the largest carriers in China - South China Airlines.
The agreement on cooperation in trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural fields was signed by the leadership of Heilongjiang Province and representatives of the Trans-Baikal Territory.
The presentation of the Center for Economic and Investment Cooperation of Russia and China attracted attention among many events at the fair in Harbin. This state-owned organization, established in late 2009 under the Council for the Development of Productive Forces (SOPS), is primarily aimed at providing consulting and legal services to Chinese businessmen for their successful entry into the Russian market. Already today, the Center's specialists are working to create special economic zones in the Trans-Baikal Territory and Blagoveshchensk, as well as to attract Chinese companies to invest in the facilities of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. The Center is headed by a member of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, former Russian Ambassador to China (1992-2005), orientalist Igor Rogachev.
Unfortunately, the expositions of most Russian regions, as before, sought to attract the Chinese with natural resources (including energy, wood) and recreational opportunities. Today, this is no longer enough.
Speaking on July 2, 2010 in Khabarovsk at a meeting dedicated to the development of the Far East and strengthening Russia's position in the Asia-Pacific region, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called on specialists to pay special attention to high-tech cooperation with the Asia-Pacific countries. In his opinion, Russia's specialization in the field of high technologies in East Asian markets should be carried out in such industries as energy, aircraft construction, and space services. At the same time, this does not remove the range of traditional Russian goods in demand in the Asia-Pacific region from the agenda. "In addition, for a number of Asia-Pacific countries, Russia remains the main supplier of hydrocarbons. And we need to develop our energy infrastructure, attract investment in oil refining and chemicals, in the extraction and transshipment of raw materials, " 3 Dmitry Medvedev believes, in fact, focusing on introducing qualitative innovations here as well.
The Russian President also drew attention to the fact that in developing international cooperation in the Far East, "it is important to use the experience of our neighbors in creating a favorable investment climate and creating special economic zones." 4
The speech of the head of the Russian state can be considered as the desire of the country's leadership to maximize the use of international relations as one of the levers for modernizing the domestic economy. Dmitry Medvedev later confirmed this at a meeting in Moscow with Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives to international organizations: "An important task is to use the potential of the Asia-Pacific region in the interests of improving the Russian economy. The vast Asia-Pacific region contains inexhaustible resources, including investment, scientific and technological resources, which are so necessary to ensure a normal life in our Far East and Eastern Siberia, and to put our economy on an innovative path. At the same time, Russia's policy in the Asia-Pacific region should continue to be aimed at ensuring the security of our eastern borders and promoting peace and stability here. Based on the same approaches, we intend to strengthen our strategic partnership in every possible way, including interaction in the international arena with the People's Republic of China, ensure further development of cooperation with India, strengthen ties with Japan and other countries, including, of course, the ASEAN states."5
The focus on the significant development of business ties between the Russian Far East and neighboring Asian countries is expressed not only in the program speeches of the top officials of the Russian state. At the end of 2009, the Russian government approved the Strategy of Socio-economic Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region for the period up to 2025, and a Program of cooperation between the regions of Siberia and the Far East and North-East China was signed with the Government of the People's Republic of China. President Dmitry Medvedev instructed the Government to prepare a Program of actions to strengthen Russia's position in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of 2010.
Through Harbin, the whole of China is getting closer to our Far East.
Harbin - Moscow
1 Gradual diversification of Chinese capital entering the Russian market - http://russian.people.com.cn/31518/6875959html
2 RCEPC assists Chinese enterprises in successfully entering the market - http://rassian.people.com.cn/31518/702718html
3 Integration with the Asia-Pacific countries is a serious resource for economic growth in the Far East - www.kremlin.ru/news/8233
5 Presentation at a meeting with Russian Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to international organizations, 12 July 2010, Moscow - www.kremlin.ru/tran-scripts/8325
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