Wednesday, October 5, 2011

China’s Russian Interplay

Russia is pumping millions of dollars into the long depressed Vladivostok region, mere hours from the Chinese border in anticipation of the September 2012 Asia Pacific Economic Conference in 2012.

Vladivostok was key military city during the Soviet Union, but when it colllapsed…the military left, taking many of the jobs with it. Now a region once lauded for having a glourious future, is a rusted out shell of its’ former self beseiged by corruption and an influx of Chinese workers, as many Russians leave the region seeking better opportunity.

All of this activity is taking place as fear increases that the region will eventually be lost to China. This is an interesting dynamic as we have a shrinking Russian population and a rising Chinese population that is cramped for space on the mainland. My guess would be that China would seek to expand its’ territorial base any way it could.

If I was in Kremlin and wanted to keep the Vladivostock region, I’d launch a comprehensive development program there, that incentivizes Russians to move or stay there through jobs. And I’m not talking one off projects either, but jobs that provide meaningful pay and a chance for a future. Otherwise, you might as well surrender the region to China.

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