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Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit



Read more at:  Blagoveshchensk and Heihe

Blagoveshchensk and Heihe

Blagoveshchensk (Благовещенск) and Heihe (黑河) are two cities facing each other across the Amur River. Though only 500 meters apart, they were completely isolated from each other for over two decades when the border was hermetically sealed in the late 1960s. When the border opened again following...

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Read more at: Heihe


Heihe (黑河) is a booming city in Heilongjiang Province, China, opposite the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk (Благовещенск). The Free Trade Zone established on a small river island next to Heihe is one of the most active site of exchange between the two countries. While it is lively, Sino-Russian...

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Read more at: Hulun Buir

Hulun Buir

Eastern Transbaikalia (Восточное Забайкалье) and Hulunbuir (呼伦贝尔市), geographically and culturally adjacent to one another, have been under the dominion of Russia and China from the second half of the seventeenth century. This caused a permanent burden on the trilateral relationship between China...

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Read more at: Hulun Lake

Hulun Lake

Hulun Lake, the Hailar River, and the Ergune River are upper reaches of the Amur/Heilongjiang River, that constitutes the border between China and Russia for over 3,000 km, making it one of the world’s longest border rivers. The border river not only demarcates the two countries geographically but...

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Read more at: Hunchun


Few Chinese towns as small as Hunchun boast as many elegant Seoul-style coffee shops and stolid Russian restaurants at quite such close quarters, and in no other settlement this large along the Sino-Russian border do Han Chinese make up only around half of the local populace. In the south-...

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Read more at: Khabarovsk and Vladivostok

Khabarovsk and Vladivostok

Khabarovsk and Vladivostok were founded in 1858 and 1860 respectively in the newly acquired Russian Far East. These dates correspond to the Treaty of Aigun and Convention of Peking which transferred these vast Northeast Asian territories from the Qing Empire to the Russian Empire and shaped the new...

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Read more at: Kyakhta


Kyakhta is a small town on the border between Russia (the Buryat Republic) and Mongolia. Just over the border on the Mongolian side is the town of Altan Bulag. Until 1911 this was the border between the Russian and the Qing Empires, and Kyakhta’s opposite number was the Chinese trading settlement...

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Read more at: Manzhouli


Manzhouli and Zabaikalsk are border railway cities located right on the Russia-China border along the Transsiberian railway. Former military stronghold and nowadays a smuggler’s paradise, Manzhouli became China’s busiest ‘land port of entry’ (口岸), accounting for nearly 65% of all continental...

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Read more at: Naikhin and Tongjiang

Naikhin and Tongjiang

The Nanai (Нанай), who number around 12,000 in the Russian Far East, and the Hezhe (赫哲), which have population of approximately 4,600 in northeastern China, are peoples long identified as belonging to a single Tungusic group, but who for decades have inhabited very different political and economic...

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Read more at: Suifenhe


Suifenhe (绥芬河), occasionally referred to as Sun’ka (Сунька) by Russians, is a fascinating border city in northeast China, situated on the Suifun River (or Razdol’naya River in Russian). It was a sleepy and stagnant small rural town until the late 1980s. Its rapid growth and expansion in the last...

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Read more at: Tunka


The Republic of Buryatia is situated in Eastern Siberia, in the Russian Federation. Buryatia borders Mongolia in the south, and is sandwiched between Irkutsk Oblast in the west and Zabaikalsky Krai in the east. The region has a strong Siberian identity, which at times differs starkly from the...

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Read more at: Vladivostok


Vladivostok is a port city covering several beautiful bays and promontories facing the Sea of Japan. Founded in the 1860s shortly after Russia acquired this territory from China, it was initially a military fortress and naval base, and only later developed into a thriving trading city. It acquired...

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Read more at: Zabaikalsk


The Sino-Russian-Mongolian border triangle is located in the upper basin of the Argun River. The Argun, a wide headwater tributary of the Amur, marks the oldest boundary section between Russia and China. Although the line of delimitation has not shifted significantly since 1689, it has nevertheless...

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Read more at: Zhuengadabuqi


The remote border crossing that connects Mongolia and China through Bichigt (on the Mongolian side) and Zhuengadabuqi (朱恩嘎达布其, on the Chinese side) has seen an increased volume of traffic in recent years as personnel, equipment, and supplies enter Mongolia and natural resources, particularly oil...

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