Thursday, 31 December 2015

How the East Was Won - WSJ

I posted about China's pillaging of coral and sea life in the South China Seas. Now a story on the raping, by China, of the forests in Russia's Far East.
I've been in Russia's Far East, in 2012, when I did a car trip with some fellow adventurers, from Vladivostok to Moscow. I can attest to the observation in this article that there are as many Chinese as Russians there. I was able to use my Chinese every day to get around.
By the way not mentioned in the article is that Black Dragon River = Amur. It's the transaction of the Chinese Heilongjiang. Also the name of their most north easterly province.
Mr. Ziegler, the Asia editor of the Economist, writes beautifully, and with the fervor of a naturalist, about the destruction being wrought on the boreal forests of Siberia, which he calls the world's largest terrestrial ecosystem, as he catalogs an immense variety of species: plant, mammal, fish and fowl, and he lingers fondly over the variety of cranes that migrate there. All this biodiversity is put at risk, he argues, by the extensive and largely unregulated logging. "The timber is all bound for China," he writes. "In 1996 merely half a million cubic meters of Russian timber, eighteen million cubic feet, made its way across the border." By now, he writes, an area equivalent in size to Iceland is being logged each year. Siberia's forests are being "raped."

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