China is embarking on a massive plan to construct a $600 to $700 million logistics hub in the Russian far eastern Amur region.
Reports from the two nations indicate that the construction effort will be led by the Xuanyuan Group Industrial Development, a private import and export corporation. CEO Hailong Xue told Russian media outlet RT that the logistics hub will be used to handle the increasing freight turnover between the two nations, which has more than doubled over the past year. (Related: Russia and China pledge friendship, denounce the West.)
The hub will connect the Chinese city of Tongjiang in the northeastern Heilongjiang Province and the Russian town of Nizhnelenin in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (region). The hub will be designed to help facilitate cargo transfers across the Russian and Chinese borders along the Amur River.
“The location of this hub is very important as it will be right between our borders. There is a narrow stretch between our frontiers which makes cargo transfer rather problematic,” said Hailong. “But, with our project, we estimate that freight transportation will reach 10 million tons annually.”
If Hailong’s prediction is accurate, then it would increase cargo traffic between Russia and China fourfold within the next few years.
Plans for the hub are still being finalized, but current statements from Hailong indicate that the company wants the terminal to be able to store and transport both hazardous and nonhazardous goods, such as liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, aviation fuel, helium and technological and manufacturing goods and materials.
The project is estimated to cost between $600 and $700 million and is expected to be completed by 2027.
China expanding investments in Russia following Western withdrawal
China has poured a massive amount of investments into Russia following the pullout of many major Western corporations since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
Zhou Liquin, chairman of the Chinese Entrepreneurs’ Union of Russia, noted that Chinese businesses have been actively filling in the niches left by the exit of Western corporations and are eager to expand their presence in Russia even further.
“The withdrawal of Western companies from Russia has created vast opportunities for Chinese businessmen and enterprises to cooperate with Russia,” said Zhou. “For example, in the vehicle manufacturing sector. Many Chinese carmakers have entered the Russian market throughout the past year. While previously they made up only five to six percent of the market, now it is almost 40 percent.”
Zhou noted how China is building on the fact that it has been one of Russia’s most important trading partners for the past 14 years at least, and both countries have continually created platforms and opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.
“Chinese businessmen are interested in Russia’s raw materials. Russian businessmen are interested in Chinese machinery and equipment,” said Zhou. “This makes our cooperation mutually beneficial and opens up the potential for development.”
Zhou added that, since the introduction of Western sanctions on Moscow, trade between China and Russia has only flourished. He noted that since the departure of the American dollar, between 80 to 85 percent of transactions between the two nations have been carried out using either the Chinese yuan or the Russian ruble.
“Businesses in both Russia and China are already accustomed to using national currencies in cross-border transactions,” said Zhou. “It is very convenient for direct cooperation. We expect the ratio of yuan and ruble transactions in mutual trade to grow to 90 percent, depending on the type of product.”
Learn more about China’s latest overseas ventures at CommunistChina.news.
Watch this clip showing Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un meeting in the Amur Region.
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