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After 28 years of negotiations between China and Russia, the construction of a road bridge linking the two countries across the Heilongjiang River began this week.

It is the first bridge between the two countries, 1,283 meters long, connecting the Chinese city of Heihe to the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. Estimated at 2.5 billion yuan (about 328 million euros), the bridge will enter service in October 2019.

The two countries want to boost bilateral trade and increase “Chinese investment in infrastructure, energy, natural resources in Russia,” said Li Jianmin, researcher in Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“The bridge is an important link, and is part of the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor. It will strengthen cooperation between the two regions, “said Qin Enting, head of the Chinese Communist Party Committee for the city of Heihe.

Asked by the Xinhua News Agency, Song Kui, chairman of the China-Russia Contemporary Institute of Regional Economic Studies in Heilongjiang, explained that “the bridge will benefit the development of the Russian Far East and the revitalization of the former industrial base of the northeastern provinces “.

The goal is to reach 1.5 million passengers between the two cities each year by 2020, double the current figure. In addition, the volume of freight is expected to reach 3 million tonnes in 2020, ten times more than today, thanks to this bridge.

In April 2015, a railway bridge is under construction between the two countries. Crossing the Heilongjiang River, it is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The 2,215-meter long Tongjiang-Nizhneleninskoye Railway Bridge will link the Chinese city of Tongjiang, Heilongjiang, to the Russian city of Nizhneleninskoye, in the oblast. Jewish autonomous Russia.

With an annual freight volume of nearly 21 million metric tons, the bridge will optimize bilateral development of trade, transport and tourism. Especially since the volume of trade between the two countries fell by 29.3% year-on-year in the first eleven months of 2015, reaching $ 61.3 billion.

With these new infrastructures, the two countries intend to increase the volume of commercial exchanges. Especially since “the basis of economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia is solid. Both countries will make efforts to boost bilateral trade, “said Shen Danyang, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in January 2016.
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