How Chinese Actors Influence the Russian Far East´s Environment: Voices in the Russian press (1990s – 2010s) by Benjamin Beuerle
22. 7. 2020 11:00 AM
Since the breakdown of the Soviet Union, contacts between the Russian Far East and China have vastly intensified. Chinese investments, trade with China, migration from and to China and scientific exchanges have come to play an important role for the Russian Far East´s economy and society. At the same time, the growing disparity in terms of population numbers and economic development between the respective border regions seems to have contributed to a rise of concerns and complaints about the environmental impacts Chinese actors have in the Russian Far East in terms of water and air pollution as well as climatic changes.
Taking the specific case of the pollution of the Amur river as main example and the Khabarovsk based newspaper Tikhookeanskaia Zvezda as major source, the paper asks which arguments have been brought forward (by whom) to support claims about negative Chinese impacts on the Russian Far East, how these claims have developed over time, to which extent they have been (un)disputed and if it is possible to find counter-discourses which see China´s environmental impact in a positive light. The picture which emerges from this analysis regarding concerns and moods in the Russian Far Eastern public (and their possible factual backgrounds) might as well shed some light on the prospects for future Russo-Chinese relations and partnerships in the Far Eastern region.