Developing the Russian Far East and Siberia has been an important step in state-building for Russia. Although there have been debates about appropriate ideas and policies in the strategy, developing the vast frontier region and promoting relations with Asian countries has set a steadfast direction of development for Russia. Chinese-Russian cooperation in the border region during the early stages of imperial Russia’s policies in the Far East holds enlightening significance for today’s bilateral cooperation.
The practices of interaction between Northeast China and the Russian Far East during 2009-2018 demonstrate the big potential in bilateral cooperation in the region. Meanwhile, such practices also hold implications for future collaboration. Under the framework of ‘conjunction’ between China and Russia, the two countries are exploring a more effective and sustainable pattern of participation. At the same time, it is also important to overcome issues such as low mutual trust in the business community, insufficient market openness, etc. It is a century-long dream for Russia to develop the immense virgin land in the Far East and Siberia.
After exploring the Far East, a Russian thinker of the Enlightenment Age, Mikhail Lomonosov, reached the conclusion that the strength of the Russian state rested on the development of Siberia and the Far East. Lomonosov’s ideas were accepted by Russian decision-makers of different eras and gradually became the consensus of Russian people. Since the beginning of President Putin’s third presidential term in 2012, to achieve the strategic goals of consolidating territories, balanced development between the eastern and western parts of the country, and integrating into the Asia-Pacific fast-growing region, the Russian government established specialized agencies, passed laws and regulations to actively promote a new round of development strategy for the Far East.