Staunton, Aug. 25 – The representative of a Chinese corporation visited the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District in the Russian Federation to take part in a conference on permafrost and to express Beijing’s interest in getting involved in the processing of reindeer meat there which could then be exported to China.
Jiao Jain told the conference that China’s experience with melting glaciers in the Himalayas can usefully be extended to what Russia is going through in the north as a result of climate change, arguing that this shared experience can bring the two countries closer together (smotrim.ru/video/2670392).
While in Salekhard, the capital city of the autonomy, the representative of the XY Group said his corporation would like to get involved in the processing of reindeer meat produced in Yamalo-Nenets, a suggestion that local officials warmly welcomed (nazaccent.ru/content/41178-kitajcy-zainteresovalis-proizvodstvom-oleniny-na-yamale.html).
This is the latest example of Chinese penetration of the Russian North and one likely to have ethno-national consequences: 70 percent of the Yamalo-Nenets AD population consists of Nentsy, a numerically small people in the Russian North. They are responsible for almost all of the reindeer herding in the region.
Chinese involvement with them will give them both an economic and a political boost, economic in that it will bring in new wealth to the Nentsy and politically because it will give them a new ally in their conflicts with Russian gas extraction industries there.