Don't miss




Pope arrives in Uganda, calls Africa 'Continent of hope'

Read more


France's "Hommage National"

Read more


Hollande’s Grand Coalition: Conflicting interests undermine fight against Jihadists (part 2)

Read more


France in Mourning: What response to Paris Attacks? (part 1)

Read more


Going above and beyond to measure pollution

Read more

#TECH 24

COP21: How technology fights climate change

Read more


Burkina Faso gears up for crunch presidential elections

Read more

#THE 51%

Standing up against violence

Read more


Cutting the cash flow: How governments are tackling terror financing

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.



Latest update : 2012-10-01

Is Siberia becoming Chinese?

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, more and more Chinese citizens have settled in Siberia, looking for new opportunities. France 24's reporters went to Blagoveshchensk, where one of the oldest Chinese communities in Russia is well-established, but where some Russians are very much uneasy with the Chinese presence.

The Siberian city of Blagoveshchensk is located over 8,000 kilometres from Moscow, but barely 800 metres from China. The two countries are only separated by the Amur river. In winter, when it freezes over, the Amur can be crossed on foot.

Until 1989, “Blago”, as the locals call it, was a closed city, off-limits to foreigners. These days it symbolises the growing Chinese influence in Russia’s Far East. Large parts of the economy have been taken over by the Chinese. Farmlands - abandoned former collective farms - are mostly run by Chinese migrants. Mixed marriages are common, and Chinese is the most popular foreign language, taught from school up to university.

The two communities live side by side in relative harmony, although some Russians are not so happy about this Chinese “invasion”. Some find themselves shut out of the labour market due to competition from Chinese workers, who are paid considerably less. These Russian workers complain of a “yellow peril”.

Despite these xenophobic remarks, the Russians in Blagoveshchensk need the Chinese. The locals here remember that not so long ago, Chinese products helped them to cope with the post-Soviet Union transition. These days, it’s thanks to Chinese entrepreneurs - like those we interviewed in our report - that the Russian economy is continuing its modernisation.

For the Russian authorities, there's no question of turning their back on their big neighbour. Indeed, a new bridge will soon be built over the Amur to connect the two countries.




2015-11-26 climate change

Journey to Antarctica, a continent under threat

FRANCE 24 brings you a rare special report from the South Pole. Our reporters climbed aboard the French polar ship Astrolabe and followed an expedition of scientists measuring...

Read more

2015-11-13 PKK

Video: A rare look inside the Kurdish rebel movement

FRANCE 24 brings you a rare look inside the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, in the midst of fighting a guerrilla war against the Turkish army and the Islamic State group.

Read more

2015-11-05 Syria

Video: Inside Assad’s Syria

For the past month, Russian bombs over Syria have further complicated the civil war, a conflict that has been tearing the country apart for almost five years. What is the...

Read more

2015-10-30 Afghanistan

On the refugee trail from Afghanistan to Germany

FRANCE 24 brings you an exclusive documentary from the refugee road to Europe. This is the extraordinary tale of a one-way journey from Afghanistan to Europe. Our reporter...

Read more

2015-10-23 Brazil

Brazil: How real is Rio's renewal ahead of 2016 Olympics?

After the FIFA World Cup last year, Rio de Janeiro is set to host the Olympic Games next summer. Over the past few years, the city has been transformed and reinvented to be able...

Read more