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Why China called Baikal its "North Sea"

Why China called Baikal its «north sea»

"In the days of ancient China, these lands were" pastures Su Wu ", now they are known as "blue eyes" Siberia. The biggest in the world Lake Baikal is closely connected with the Chinese people, and to this day ", - so begins the article, published in early February, the Chinese analytical portal "Guanche". The reason for it became protests from residents against the construction of the Irkutsk Region on the shores of Lake Baikal for the production of bottled water plant.

Meanwhile, about, that visitors from China often talk about the Lake as his "North Sea", residents of the Irkutsk region began to talk a few years ago. What really lies behind the words of guests from China and the expectations of visitors to the lake tourists and businessmen, local residents?


Article, a translation of which was posted on the "New York Times' website in early February, It was originally published on the Chinese website "Guancha", which is positioned as a platform for scientific and analytical materials. It was a response to dissatisfaction with the residents of the village Kultuk Slyudyanka district building a plant to produce bottled Baikal water, intended for export to China. Works included in the active phase at the end of 2019 of the year.

This is not the first such project and not the most ambitious. In particular, even in 2017, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on plans for the "transfer" of Baikal water to the city of Lanzhou, to save the Chinese province of drought. anticipated, The pipeline will be laid from the territory of Buryatia.

Then the work has not begun, but in the territory of the Irkutsk region was earlier really built plant, which the, as the company in Kultuk, I had to produce bottled water. He acted on the territory of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill - Mill, which has repeatedly been accused of polluting Baikal waters. As a result, 2017 year in the Western Baikal interdistrict prosecutor's office had questions to comply with sanitary norms for water filling and operation of the plant is first suspended, then, according to media reports, he did and was closed.

In the case of plant, which is currently under construction, planned to take water from the bottom of the lake - it is the bottom line stretched several kilometers. So it will come to the plant, which is now erected near the shoreline. According to the regional administration, the company is implementing a project "AkvaSib", export water in China is of "Lake Baikal".

In the Irkutsk Region Administration to build a plant called profitable investment project. As noted by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Irkutsk region Marina Petrova, the project is implemented 2013 of the year, in full force the plant must make by 2021 th. The total investment will amount to about 1,4 billion rubles, together with the enterprise in the area will 150 new jobs.

Wherein, emphasize in the regional government, The project has passed the required environmental impact assessment and environmental damage to the lake will not cause. But locals agree with this, not all. By the end 2018 , the workers held out to the lake shore line, and at the beginning of 2019, work began in Kultuk, properly, for the construction of the plant - and the people immediately protested, what we We wrote earlier. Stories about the protests showed several regional channels, they are also covered online media.

Including residents appealed to the West Baikal district prosecutor's office, that in early February, has audited on site. The department told, that we have already found a number of violations.

"When viewed from installed, that the construction site is littered with waste facility, a temporary accumulation is carried out on the territory of, not fitted in accordance with the requirements of the law ", - quoted by the press service of the Ministry website "IrkutskMedia".

Drink to the bottom

Indignant conducting construction works, people complained to reporters on the, they knew nothing about the public hearings on the draft, that, as stated by representatives of the company, They were carried out as early as 2015 year, and also questioned the objectivity of the examination.

"We are not acquainted. We have learned about the plant that year. What will be built plant. When we arrived here the tractor, We began digging our territory. This is our territory, understand - all the people. This is not private property ", - quotes site "News Irkutsk" the words of one of the activists.

However, petition to renounce plans to build a plant was posted on site since 2017 year. Not so long ago, in connection with the beginning of the actual construction, about her remembered again.

"Production of the plant will be supplied to China. scientists confirm, that the construction of the plant will cause significant damage to Baikal, which is already suffering from environmental problems ", - mentioned in the text.

Including, mentioned petition compilers (its author was Zorikto Matanov), the construction of the plant may harm migratory birds, which traditionally have stayed in the area, and even lead to, that local residents themselves will be denied access to water. By mid-February a petition supported by more than half a million people.

It was on her material authors cited, which was released on the website "Guancha".

"However, on this regard, <between the Chinese people and the Lake Baikal> speak in the following contexts: "Petition-protest, signed 100 thousand. human", "The ban Chinese pump water from Lake Baikal", "Chinese grip Lake Baikal", "Chinese people have bought all the land around Lake Baikal", "Baikal 5-10 years will be another Chinese province," etc.. Whether the Chinese want to "return" Baikal itself thus? What is really afraid of the Russians?"- said in the text.

As a counter-authors, including reference to the words of Marina Petrova of, that the refinery project passed the environmental assessment and provide jobs to residents District, and indicate, it is unlikely that the amount of water consumed by the plant (its maximum capacity should be around 520 thousand. liter per day) can cause shallowing of the lake: "Baikal - a fishing paradise, the deepest lake in the world. (…) Is the Chinese will be able to drink it to the dregs? Of course, not".

"North Sea Celestial"

petition, dedicated to the construction of the plant, - not only, which is mentioned in the article. In the same 2017 , the treatment appeared on the website, addressed to the Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, composed Julia Ivanec. Ono bыlo ozaglavleno "Intervention in Chinese». As the authors point, Chinese citizens have been actively buying land in Listvyanka - one of the main tourist points of attraction on the lake, access to which from Irkutsk can be less than an hour.

"There is an active buying land from Russian citizens of China citizens. Now 10% (!) of village land in Listvyanka owned by Chinese. If it goes on, already in five years or ten old Russian village will inevitably become one of the Chinese provinces ", - noted the petition.

According to the text of the petition, Chinese purchase of land for development in order, to build on its hotels, in this case relate to the land of "barbaric", disrupting the landscape and erecting large, in the entire site, building. Wherein, According to the author, entrepreneurs do not pay taxes, registering land for individual housing construction.

Contacting Julia Ivanec not gained the same number of supporters, How petition ZORIKA Matanova: it is available on the site so far, but signed it about 150 thousand. human. However, the text quoted or reprinted, many local newspapers.

On a local conflict residents of small towns (He is living in about Listvyanka 2 thousand. human, Kultur Park 4 thousand. human) with the big neighbor noticed including foreign media. A year ago, the fears of residents Listvjanka journalists wrote Financial Times. Victor Sinkov, representative of the Legal Department of the Administration of Listvyanka, then I called 10% land, allegedly bought up by entrepreneurs from China, an exaggeration, but confirmed, that people are concerned about their activity.

Wherein, said municipal official, unnerved residents of the village, Chinese tour guides telling their groups about, that in ancient times belonged to China and Baikal lake called "North Sea Celestial".

- People think, what does this mean, they want to return to Baikal, - said Victor then Sinkov.

That's right - with an emphasis on the cultural significance of Lake Baikal and the existing historical link, According to Financial Times, positioned tours in the region and on the websites of some Chinese travel agencies. Besides, in the early 2010s the famous Chinese pop singer La Jiang wrote a lyrical song "On the shore of Lake Baikal", which, According to the English-language Global Times Chinese edition, It became a big hit in China. The popularity of the song has found only 2015 year - four years after the premiere, but after that, in 2016-2017, demand for tours to Lake Baikal in China jumped sharply.

Take control

Dissatisfaction with residents formulations guides coincided with news of harassment, which allegedly are subjected to Russian tourists and the guides on the background of the growing number of tourists, that travel from China to Siberia and Buryatia.

Chinese tourist flow to Lake Baikal is really growing - autumn 2018 year announced in the Irkutsk region, that the number of tourists coming to the region grew by 40% Only in the first nine months of last year. Most of the growth was due to the, who went to Lake Baikal, while among the foreigners more 66% They were citizens of China.

"In the first nine months of this year visited the Irkutsk region 1,2 million tourists. The number of foreign nationals, set migration registration, increased by 40,1% and was 263,9 thousand. Traditionally, the leading position among the countries - suppliers of tourists is China, and for the first nine months of this year visited the Irkutsk region 166,8 thousand. Chinese tourists', - quoted the head of the media agency for tourism in the region Catherine Slivin.

A similar trend was observed in the 2017 year. At the end 2017 of the year, commenting on the situation in Listvyanka television OTP, State Duma deputy, member of the working group "Baikal" Sergei Ten named proximity to the "challenge" for China tourism industry on Baikal. As Victor Sinkov, Sergey Ten data found, which leads the author of the petition, an exaggeration, but acknowledged, that the situation needs to be stricter control.

- Chinese, by the way, predict, that the number of tourists will increase annually to nearly 1 million people. And it is necessary to take all under very strict control. (…) Of course, investments are needed, but we have to pay these investments in their favor, to the taxes we have received, - said the then deputy.

The Chinese are actively going to other regions of Russia, but they Baikal enjoys great popularity, including because of its location - a flight from Beijing to Irkutsk takes about three hours, while cities are in the same time zone. But the tourist infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth of tourist traffic: because of this there are problems with garbage disposal, Besides, in previous years, the peak of the season there were news about clashes between Russian and Chinese tourists because of the lack of space, including, ferry, next to the island Olkhon. The loudest thing happened in the summer 2017 of the year, when, according to media reports, several hundred tourists allegedly tried to "storm" ferry.

As a result, proposals to restrict the flow of people coming to the Baikal expressed regularly - so, spring 2018 year in the Irkutsk region offered including kvotirovat number of tourists, coming here from abroad.

"Our written - figs to you"

In the Middle Kingdom are aware of the discontent of residents located in the Baikal settlements. but, the fall 2018 explained to journalists, the Chinese edition of Global Times is one of the Chinese guides, working on Baikal, statements about the "great northern sea" - only an element of the historical part of the tour.

"This territory belonged to China until, while China and Russia have not signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk (in XVII eyelid. - Ed.). It's just a historical information. We're not going to talk to Chinese tourists, that they need to conquer this territory again - that would be funny ", - was quoted as saying edition.

Several years ago, residents of Listvyanka similar phrases regularly heard, said deputy Duma of the municipal formation Listvyanka Andrew Sizykh, but now there are almost no precedents arises.

- Who is talking about it less, but before - a year and a half or two years ago - really sounded the phrase, that Baikal - is "our great northern sea, local here do necheg, and soon we will come here ", - he said council member of.

once, According to him, in the guest book of the Baikal Museum is one of the guests from China even left a record in Chinese - after reading this, locals (most of them owned by Chinese) crossed out inscription: "Our people are simply written on top: "Figures you '.

But the questions to the entrepreneurs from the Chinese residents there really Listvyanka, however, they are not so much ideological, as it is practical in nature and are not associated even with the amount of land purchased, and a reluctance to play by common rules, He explained Andrew Sizykh.

- The problem is not, they buy their plots and being built, and in that, that they do not comply with Russian legislation. They register the house as a private housing, then build on them three-story house with dozens of balconies and say: Here we live. Respectively, they do not pay taxes. But the flow of tourists to Lake Baikal - it's big, and it's not because, Chinese tourists some bad, but simply because, it is the law of life, It produces a lot of garbage. In the administration of Listvyanka on his removal no money, and a, who brings tourists here, obtained, this can not be embedded, because the taxes to the treasury they do not pay, - said the deputy.

contention Beach

The same material Chinese entrepreneurs, in Baikal, It linked the need to build new hotels with underdeveloped infrastructure and the growing popularity of this trend among tourists.

"This is a promising market, while local hotels do not meet the standards, and therefore, the proposal simply does not satisfy the growing demand ", - quotes the edition of the owner of one of the new hotels, a citizen of the PRC.

One of such cases was described in the media at the end of Irkutsk 2017 year - then the administration Listvjanka sued by a citizen of the PRC, who continued the construction of houses on plots bought them already after, both received a call about the cessation of work. In an interview with reporters Global Times businessman, presented as a Song, actually recognized, that most of his fellow citizens are working on the shores of Lake Baikal without a license, explaining it is too complicated procedure of obtaining a license.

"The whole process can take up to three years, it is too slow for Chinese investors ", - was quoted as saying edition. Volumes of own investments in the construction of facilities on the shores of Lake Baikal he estimated at about $12 million.

At the same time it is environmental non-compliance is of particular dissatisfaction on the part of local residents - especially in the conditions, when they were environmental requirements apply to the full extent.

So, They told the activists during the protests in Slyudyanka area in the winter of 2019, local residents, in spite of the construction of the plant, not only prohibit to build houses on the shore, but also require carry objects, built before the entry into force of amendments to the Law "On Protection of Lake Baikal" - according to them, any building, regardless of its purpose, can be built in the coastal zone only after environmental impact assessment. With proposals to soften the requirements previously acted and the Governor of the Irkutsk region Sergey Levchenko, and even in the Ministry of Natural Resources, but so far this has not been done.

The Chinese media discontent residents harmless plant like explain the fear in front of more powerful, According to the author on "Guancha", neighbor. but recognize, that the disturbance, which from time to time on Baikal is facing Chinese entrepreneurs (while working there as representatives of Korea and Japan), largely due to their careless attitude to the local environment, as well as with the, that not all visitors from China "differ refined manners, can spit, and throw garbage where their heart's content ".

Eugenia Priemskaya

Published: lentok Source

A source