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Medvedev Warns of Chinese Influence in Russia

In a recent high-level meeting, Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev raised an issue that has increasingly been on Russia’s mind of late: immigration to Russia’s Far East. The Far East is a huge, thinly populated area thousands of miles from the rest of the country, with little direct contact with Moscow or the country’s other power centers. Reuters reports from Medvedev’s talk:

Not many people live there, unfortunately, and the task of protecting our Far Eastern territories from excessive expansion by bordering states remains in place.

Medvedev also said that it was:

 important not to allow negative manifestations . . . including the formation of enclaves made up of foreign citizens.

Medvedev’s veiled warning to China speaks to a common fear in Russia that Moscow is slowly losing influence over the independent-minded Russian Far East, as the region integrates with China economically. Now, many believe that immigrants from the 1.3 billion-strong country to the south may be spilling across the Russian border.

Although Moscow, as part of its own “pivot toward Asia”, promotes trade between its resource-rich Far East and the Asia-Pacific region, it is at the same time greatly worried about the growing power and influence of China.

Some in Moscow are even afraid that Russia may one day become merely a “resource-appendage” of China–effectively a Chinese colony, outnumbered and dependent on its economically advanced neighbor. With this in mind Russia has been taking steps to counteract this tendency and consolidate its far-away region:

Medvedev’s new government, formed in May, included for the first time a Ministry of the Far East to underpin other state programs already in place. One such program has brought 400 families from other former Soviet republics to the area to reinforce its Russian-speaking population.

Although the next century will be dominated more by competition between China and the U.S. in the Pacific, China’s rise is making waves in the frigid regions to its north as well, and the Russia-China relationship will grow in importance. Medvedev’s recent comments suggest that this relationship will not be entirely friendly, and give us a window into how a past Eastern great power views the rise of the next one.

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  • Mrs. Davis

    Japan faced same dilemma.
    They chose poorly.
    Did China learn lesson?

  • Mick The Reactionary

    Putin, his sidekick Medvedev and his gang are hard men, thugs really.

    They are also Russian patriots, ie they want Russian state to be strong and prosperous, they want russian people to do well.

    Of course Putin and the boys also are commited to get their cut, right off the top.

    Compare them with US Ruling Class, bunch of pantywaist globalists. Most definitely not American Patriots.

    Totally content with American Decline, commited even to cutting America down to size.

  • alex scipio

    A) Russai lacks the population or wealth necessary to defend Siberia, and has a future of even worse demographics.

    B) China needs room and can exploit resources in Siberia Russia cannot

    C) China has plenty of US debt that pays billions/yr in interest.

    D) Europe has plenty of workers and not enough jobs.

    So why doesn’t Russia SELL Siberia to China for a trillion or so (USD), use that money to hire about 1M europeans who want to work (Germany comes to mind) to rebuild Russia’s aging infrastructure and exploit the minerals and other resources in the part of the landmass Russia retains, and China can use the land of rexpansion, exploit the resources, and then maybe also do something intelligent about global terror, that harms China’s markets by making people cocoon – rather than spend – in the aftermarth of a terror attack?

    To me this meks perfect sense. In fact, you can read about it here:

  • Sam L.

    Disagree with part of MTR’s comment. Para 2: Concur that they want Russian state to be strong and prosperous, but not the people. I’ve seen no evidence of that. It would make the people harder to rule.

    Also, Russia and the USSR were and are Moscow-centric. The further reaches didn’t get much attention in the way of infrastructure or distribution of supplies, and I suspect it doesn’t now. Negative attention does not make the folk in the hinterlands like government, nor have an appreciation for government.

  • Mick The Reactionary

    Sam L.:

    “Disagree with part of MTR’s comment. Para 2: Concur that they want Russian state to be strong and prosperous, but not the people. I’ve seen no evidence of that.”

    Average wages in Russia quadrupled or better under strong man Putin benevolent dictatorship.

    If US Ruling Class performed even approximately close, we all would be making $200K/year on average.

  • Mind Over Madness

    alex scipio, this sounds fancy on paper but theres a huge problem that prevents all of it in the real world….racism. russians are one of the most racist cultures on earth and are obsessed about “greatness”. so for them to lose a huge part of “historic motherland” to “yellow people”, who most russians hold with contempt and disgust, just so that they can attract more of suspicious, non-russian foreigners to live among themselves seems to be hitting every single fear/hate reflex in the book.

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