Cross-Border economic zone as an urbanization core at a periphery region (case of the Sino-Russian border)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of Peoples of the Far East, Russian Academy of Sciences Far Eastern Branch
Address: Russian Federation, Vladivostok
Occupation: Senior Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 3

In 2018, the topic of the “cross-border territories of the advanced development” was included into the agenda of Sino-Russian official talks. According to the view of the Russian and Chinese officials, these territories created between the border ‘twin cities’ in the Russian Far East and the North-East China (Pogranichny-Suifenhe,Blagoveshchensk-Heihe, Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang, etc.) should be the cores for further urbanization and economic development of the peripheral territories. This paper studies the potential of these zones as the urbanization, demographics and regional development “growth poles”. Both sides of the Sino-Russian borderland experiencing under-development problems, which cause the population drain. Central government addresses this issue by creating incentives to look for the new forms of the cross-border economic cooperation to overcome these problems. Amongst all of the proposed cross-border economic zones, the most discussing at the moment is the “PogranichnySuifenhe” which has already been once a testing ground for similar trans-border zone project (middle of 2000s), but failed due to the number of reasons. Drawing on that experience and current field studies (2016-2018) in the borderland areas, authors conclude that cross-border territories of advanced development could promote urbanization of peripheral territories in case administrative measures be joined by the development of the export-oriented industry and the logistics components. Study also highlights the new stage of the cross-border cooperation, including economic zones, after the sharp change of the currency exchange rate. Establishment of such zones is in line with the national-level regional policies, but requires more internal coordination between related departments, especially considering new openness measures such as Vladivostok Free Port.

KeywordsRussia, China, cross-border economic zones, urbanization
Publication date27.03.2019
Number of characters26715
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