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Dynamics of the Russia–China Forest Products Trade

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Relying primarily on English language scholarship, this paper seeks to highlight the dynamics of China's economic integration beyond its borders as Chinese economic actors extend their search for commodities—in this case into the Russian Federation for timber products. The paper considers the shifts in the political economy of Russian forestry exports from a predominantly domestic and Japan‐focused trade during the 1947–1991 Cold War era to a north–south trajectory increasingly emphasizing trade with China from 1993 to 2010. Chinese and Russian bilateral trade data, acting as a barometer of national forestry‐related policies, highlight the economic convergence and benefits brought to both the Russian and Chinese timber sectors over the past two decades. Far from being an environmentally deterministic process—one based on the physical geographic characteristics on the ground in both of these states—this binational commodity trade shows that the geography of the Russia–China forest product trade is highly dynamic, temporally variable, and intimately intertwined with national political and economic considerations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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