China looks set to relocate key enterprises to Russian Far East

China is set to move a number of enterprises operating in 12 key sectors  to the Russian Far East, Russia’s Ministry for Far East  Development announced earlier this week. The sectors  concerned include metallurgy, power engineering, machinery, shipbuilding, the chemical, textile and cement industries, telecommunications and agriculture.The idea was discussed during a recent visit to Beijing by Far East Minister Alexandr Galushka.
The Chinese proposal has been received warmly by the Ministry and is the latest step in Russia’s attempts to realign itself eastward since relations  with the West began deteriorating after its annexation of Crimea. According to  Russia’s Sputnik news agency,  
Chinese firms have invested more than $1.9bn in Russia’s Far East development projects in the past two years and a further 31 agreements worth a total of $2.6bn have also been signed by the Russian Far East Development Corporation.
The region’s principle attraction for Beijing is its abundance of natural resources. At the end of 2015, the Chinese company Sinopec bought a 10% stake in the Russian petrochemical company Sibur and a consortium of Chinese investors purchased a 13.3% share in mining company Norilsk Nickel’s Bystrinsky gold and copper project.
Greater industrial economic and industrial cooperation between the two countries has been accompanied by increased levels of migration from China through its north-eastern Heilongjiang province. More than 1.5 million Chinese tried to enter Russia illegally from China in the 18 months ending in June 14, the official in charge of controlling the Russian-China border  Alexander Shaikin calculated  last year; and there are now believed to be somewhere between two and five million Chinese now living in Russia compared to the 250,00  in 1997 as estimated by the  Moscow Carnegie Centre.