China will more likely develop friction with Russia

China will more likely develop friction with Russia.

Siberia is seeing a large influx of Chinese workers and companies, many of them arriving illegally. While such an influx is hugely beneficial to the development of Siberia in which many treasures remain unextracted, the loyalty and identity of the immigrants is Chinese and is unlikely to ever gravitate towards Moscow. Their trade will be with China. China will hunger to develop the nearby resources in Siberia, which are in relative proximity to the heavier industries in the north of China. The Kremlin would enjoy earning from additional extraction but is profoundly worried about the Sionization of the area.

Several Russian surveys and studies have been done. Last year summarizing them all Medvedev said ‘it is essential to defend the area against “excessive expansion by bordering states”‘.

Russia is a vast country with 17 million square kilometers versus China 10 million. Russia’s population is at 143 million, China has almost 10 times that many people and has a growth rate twice that of Russia. Siberia has seen Russians leave for Western Russia as the Soviet Union failed and industries and military complexes were abandoned. The vacuum is present.

Russia and China are able to manage their relationship well, public opinion isn’t much engaged with the issue. It may be something that a few well thought out treaties can settle for decades to come. Doing so will be hugely beneficial to both countries but it’s likely that under any scenario the area will start orbiting Beijing.