Economic links between Russia and China: from cross-border to interregional cooperation (the case of Sverdlovsk region and Heilongjiang province)

Irina D. Turgel, Natalia Yu. Vlasova, Linshi Xu


The article considers major trends in the cooperation between Russia and China on the regional level. China is one of Russia’s main trade partners, which makes it particularly important to enhance the efficiency of this relationship on the national as well as on the regional level. Considering the dynamics of international integration processes, the authors analyze how the role of cross-border and interregional cooperation is changing over time, paying special attention to those regions that are remote from each other.
The article focuses on the case of Sverdlovsk region and Heilongjiang province. The available data demonstrate the diversity of the existing trade and other relations between these industrial regions and enable the authors to characterize the institutional framework for this cooperation, its key priorities and problems. A general overview of the current and prospective joint projects is also provided. The authors compare economic specialization, systems of settlement, the level of urbanization of Sverdlovsk region and Heilongjiang province and draw a conclusion that the economies of these regions are complementary. 
The article also points out that it is essential to consider the long-term effects of Eurasian integration projects and to assess the positive and negative impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on Sverdlovsk region in order to identify priorities for the region’s foreign policy.


cross-border and interregional cooperation; Sverdlovsk region; Heilongjiang province; complementarity of regional economies; drivers of cooperation; Belt and Road Initiative; Steppe Road

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