What does the inclusion of the port of Vladivostok in the Chinese cabotage transport system really mean, an expert told the DEITA.RU news agency.
The news that the port facilities in Vladivostok are now officially considered by Beijing as one of the tools to ensure the internal traffic of goods has literally exploded the Western media. Admittedly, this was only presented as a “historic surrender of the city to China”. In foreign search engines, the corresponding query even reached the peak in terms of popularity. The news was also inspired by domestic publications, however, here most of what was happening was presented in a different flavor – Vladivostok should have a bright future as Russia’s main logistics hub. Alexey Simonov, editor-in-chief of the DEITA.RU news agency, discussed this topic with Andrey Deryabin, deputy vice-rector for international relations of the Far Eastern Federal University.
— Andrei Anatolyevich, the dream of international transport corridors, which Russian officials have been talking about for 20 years, has finally come true. China has included Vladivostok in the list of ports that should or can be used for transporting intra-China goods from the northeastern provinces to the south of the country. Someone rejoiced, especially those who are far from international trade. On the other hand, the Western press burst into a whole list of horror stories about the establishment of Chinese sovereignty over the Russian city of Vladivostok and others.
In fact, the situation in the port of Vladivostok is not so good – there are constant traffic jams of ships, the ports are overloaded, in fact, only Chinese cargo was not enough. And the Chinese themselves say that it is very problematic to send goods through Vladivostok. Can this decision be considered a real economic step, or is it rather a manifestation of intentions to cooperate with Moscow even if the United States is unhappy?
– Rather the second, of course. I understand that after the triumphant conclusion of the summit between Putin and Xi Jinping in Moscow in March this year, it was necessary to immediately implement at least part of the agreements reached. The kind that catches the eye. Here is one of the first decisions, apparently, – state-level permission to use the ports of Primorsky Krai for cabotage.
In fact, this solution had already existed for more than a dozen years at the interregional and intersectoral level. The “Primorye-1” and “Primorye-2” transport corridors from the provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin to the ports of Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Vostochny, Zarubino existed perfectly. And the loading problems with Chinese freight traffic were exclusively economic and infrastructural in nature.
For a long time, the Chinese have been asking for the admission of their vehicles, their goods to this transit, on the basis of the calculation that it will take longer to get to the ports of Dalian and several other ports in Liaoning province, the transport PRC infrastructure in this region is overloaded, and here such a short path, ready short shoulder, is relatively developed ports, why not use it.
But when everything started to work, it turned out that the infrastructure on the Russian side was almost a bottleneck, the throughput was low, and the speed of serving transit traffic also left much to be desired.
As a result, short leverage turned out to be not so short, if you count by days, and almost economically inefficient, in comparison with the traditional method.
Consequently, the flow of freight has stopped growing, before the pandemic freight was circulating, but in a very limited volume. Therefore, no revolution took place.
– At the same time, there is an opinion that it turned out to be unprofitable for Chinese trucking companies to go to the ports of Primorye, since freight rates in China are higher than payment in the direction Russian. Also, the return traffic is much less.
– Yes, in this case there was a kind of advertising legitimization of the existing order of things, and nothing more. But it’s good that there is such a demonstration of China’s intentions towards Russia.
“Something like a hello to Washington…
– Can you say that. This, at least, demonstrates the willingness of the PRC to maintain partnership relations with the Russian Federation, even in such a difficult international situation.
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