Monday, December 20, 2004

Chinese immigrants in Russia

Large scale Chinese immigration is starting to change the demographics of Russia:

Each year the pace is accelerating. Such is the influx that locals and some analysts predict a seismic demographic shift.

They say the Chinese will change the ethnic makeup, and there are fears that they eventually may gain control over huge swathes of eastern Russia.

Sergei Buchma, the deputy president of an association of Russian-Chinese entrepreneurs, runs a business center in Vladivostok where eight Chinese companies with an annual collective turnover of $10 million are based.

"Ten years ago they were all shuttle traders," he said. "Now they are big managers, some of them turn over millions of dollars a year. They already control half of the economy here. Within 30 or 40 years they will have economic control of this whole area."

Statistics fuel the Russian fears. In the Vladivostok region, the population density is 15 times lower than in the Chinese areas just across the border.

The local Russian population numbers 2.1 million. About 280,000 Chinese are working in the area officially, but the real number may be many times higher.

Some local politicians blame lack of financial support from Moscow and its indifference to the far-flung regions.

Nikolai Markovtsev, a national legislator from Vladivostok, said: "If official policies don't change, within 30 years the Chinese will dominate the Russian Far East. Last year alone, 40,000 Russians left the coastal regions."

3 Comments:

At 1:54 AM, Blogger A Simple Sinner said...

This would be a fascinating topic to revisit - as so few westerners are writing about it! 4 years on, Chinese Northern expansion into Siberian and Far Eastern Russia has expanded, while Russian demographics have floundered. By 2040 the burden of child-producing in a nation that is depopulating at a rate of 700,000 a year will be falling on the shoulders of a scant 10M Russians in the demagraphic of 20-29. 5M Russian women aren't going to repopulate the place unless they commit to 10+ kids a piece.... (every decade the equivalent of London - population wise - will just fall off the map...)

In the mean time, Chinese habitation in Siberia and far-Eastern Russia has gone from 5 thousand in the 1980s to 4 MILLION today with expectations that it will exceed 10 Million in the next 24 months - 2010.

NO ONE is talking about this. Why?

 
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