chapter  10
29 Pages

Desecuritizing Sovereignty: Economic Interest and Responses to Political Challenges of Chinese Migration in the Russian Far East

ByMikhail A. Alexseev

Modern challenges to sovereignty arise from multifaceted issues and trigger diverse repertoires of policy responses from multiple actors within the challenged state. Adding to the complexity, challenges to sovereignty arise indirectly and circuitously from lesser challenges, such as economic competition or inter-group conflict. Migration of Chinese nationals poses a challenge to Russia's sovereignty over its Far Eastern territories not because of the migration size and not because the migrants want to settle down and claim territory. The deputy governor of one Siberian province, A. Kazannik, warned of the threat of "Sinification" of Siberia arguing that the process will happen in this manner: "Chinese migrant—Chinese cultural center—Chinese business—Chinese worker—Chinese soldier". Opinion survey data from Primorskii krai with 1,010 respondents provides a foundation to examine both compatibility of responses to Chinese migration with public attitudes, as well as the relationship between response preferences and perceptions of political, socioeconomic, and cultural impacts of cross-border migration among local Russians.