The Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, formally signed the “Supplemental agreement for the east section of the Sino-Russian border” at Diaoyutai State Guest House in July. This agreement between the two countries redefines a total of 4300 kilometers (2,672 miles) of the Sino-Russian border. According to critics, this act also means that China has permanently lost vast territories that originally belonged to China.
The Communist Party mouthpiece, Xinhua news agency didn’t report any details, except for emphasizing the fact that Russia will return Yinlong Island and half of Heixiazi Island to China. These two areas account for a total of 174 square kilometers (108 square miles). However, the land ceded to Russia totals 1.6 million kilometers (994,000 square miles).
Xinhua also stated, that when meeting Sergei Lavrov, the Chinese leader Hu Jingtao expressed his appreciation for Russia’s support regarding Taiwan, Tibet and the Beijing Olympics. Mr Lavrov stated that the previous frequent association between the two countries’ leaders laid a good foundation for the Russian-Sino relationship.
During the cold war, China and Russia were once deadly foes. But after Jiang Zemin came to power, the relationship warmed again, partly because both sides intended to rival the United States and strengthen their influence on international affairs. Meanwhile, Beijing is badly in need of Russia’s crude oil and natural gas. China is also the major buyer of Russia’s military hardware.
Early in 2001, Chen Xiang, a Hong Kong reporter, in a column in a Hong Kong newspaper under the penname of Zhong Guo Ren, disclosed that “The crux of this agreement is that China loses around 1.6 million square kilometers (994,000 square miles) of land permanently”. This is equivalent to more than forty times the land mass of Taiwan. The agreement was not formally signed until July this year.
Chen Xiang was the associate editor-in-chief of Wen Hui Bao – a newspaper closely affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) . He resigned in anger after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Later he began working for Singapore’s English newspaper the Strait Times.
Jin Zhong, chief editor of Hong Kong’s “Open Magazine”, criticized the Chinese Government's concealing of the signing of the border agreement, saying that the people of China have a right to know the details.