The Russian Jewish Autonomous Region of Birobidzhan will be the Russian site for a bridge connecting that nation and China, and is part of an effort to increase regional trade.The bridge, which some claim is the first connecting the two nations, will span the Amur River, which flows between Russia and the Chinese province of Heilongjiang. On the Russian side it will connect to the town of Nizhnileninskoe. The project is pending approval from the Kremlin and Beijing. Construction should be completed by 2010.”Products from Moscow to Kamchatka will cross the border in our region,” said Valery Gurevich, deputy governor of the region.The bridge will be used primarily to transport iron ore from Russia’s largely untapped southeastern deposits into China. It is a small part of Russia’s larger plans to increase trade with its neighbor.Birobidzhan, founded under Stalin in the marshes of southeastern Siberia, received its status as an autonomous region in 1934. While roughly 43,000 Jews settled in Birobidzhan from 1928 to 1938 as part of Stalin’s plans to give each Soviet ethnic group its own region, today they account for only roughly 5 percent of its 75,000 residents.
China-Russia bridge in Jewish region