Thursday, December 30, 2010
Territory Between China and Russia
In 1929, the former Soviet Union invaded Heixiazi (R: Bolshoi Ussuriysky) Island while the Chinese empire was in chaos. In addition, the Russians occupied Yinlong (R: Tarabarov) Island. Heixiazi and Yinlong islands are located at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers in Manchuria, about 1,000 miles northeast of Beijing. During the cold war, the two rivals fought over the frontier of these islands in the 1960s. However, on October 14, 2008, the Russians and the Chinese finally ended the territory disputes following decades of negotiations. Under this agreement, Russia and China divided the disputed territories along the Amur River and the upper Argun River, along with the Tarabarov and Great Ussuriisky Islands. Russia agreed to give up Yinlong Island and half Heixiazi islet, about 174,000 square kilometers of the disputed 375,000 square kilometers. But, this agreement has angered both the Russian and Chinese citizens. The Chinese want everything returned to China, not the half of Heixiazi Islands, while the Russians want to have the whole Heixiazi Island since they possessed it for years. Despite the objections, however, both governments want to develop the disputed area into a peace zone. In fact, for years, the Khabarovsk territory government developed a plan to establish a Sino-Russian trade zone on Great Ussuriisky Island. On the Chinese side, Heilongjiang province expects that the railroad in Harbin will connect with Siberian Railroad, leading to trade to with Europe, as far as Rotterdam, Netherlands.