Open Forum

Some argue that troubled cross-border relations defy extravagant claims made about Sino-Russian, such as that an alliance exists. Others argue that those ties have been troubled but have improved to the point that they no longer pose a problem for overall relations. This article recognizes persistent difficulties in the local dimension of the relationship, but it leans to the latter argument, stressing dramatic changes stemming from energy agreements and recent Chinese approval of energy-intensive, joint industrial projects on the Russian side of the border. While most attention has focused on the eastern nexus leading to Vladivostok, here I examine a linkage further west connecting Heihe and Blagoveshchensk across the Amur River.

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