Sunday, September 17, 2006

Russia to lease almost 2.5 million acres to China

Mark Steyn linked recently to this quote from Radio Free Europe:
The Federal Forestry Agency recently announced plans to lease 1 million hectares of woodlands to China for 49 years, "The Moscow Times" reported on August 23. The daily carried a commentary from Ekho Moskvy radio that argued that "Russia has not undertaken anything on this scale since selling Alaska to the United States in 1867." The article noted that it would be unwise to conclude such an agreement given "the Chinese people's diligence, sheer numbers, and ability to think in terms of centuries.... Suppose 49 years from now, Russia realizes there are no ethnic Russians living on those 1 million hectares. How would it ask the Chinese to leave?" The commentary also argued that "the Kremlin is cozying up to China to spite the United States.... [But] however much the Kremlin dislikes the United States, Washington is not after Russian land or witnessing enormous emigration, and is certainly not interested in Russia falling apart and the appearance of, for example, a Chinese-Finnish border and a Caucasian caliphate." The article suggested that the Kremlin dislikes the United States because Washington "has the unpleasant habit of raising questions about human rights and official corruption."

[A hectare equals almost 2.5 acres.]
Steyn noted the following:
Given that even alcoholic Slavs with a life expectancy of 56 will live to see Vladivostok return to its old name of Haishenwei, Moscow might as well flog it to Beijing instead of just having it snaffled out from under.

Chinese industry will see a boost from China's new control over Russia's resource rich eastern frontier. The Chinese military will benefit greatly as well.
Previous - Chinese bomb shelters, Chinese troops in Haiti and the Panama Canal.

The Chinese military buildup and, most importantly, the Clinton-China scandal.

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