According to an article published in the Asian WSJ (by subscription) published November 14 entitled "In eastern Russia, influx of Chinese breeds tension," Chinese are migrating north into the empty spaces of Siberia. They are starting farms and businesses, and a number of Russians are wondering whether the country will still be theirs if the immigration continues. For the Chinese peasants migrants, plots of empty land are available for cultivation. "Many Russians fear being overwhelmed by their dynamic and more-populous neighbor.... But on the ground, especially in Russia's sparsely populated countryside, Chinese labor is helping to stave off economic ruin" writes Guy Chazan, author of the WSJ piece. Businesses are finding that Chinese workers who are willing to do work that Russians refuse to do.
This migration has been occuring at a time when Moscow has been developing closer relations with China, encouraging Chinese investment in the energy sector. I passed this article along to a Russian Jotman reader who comes from this region. In a couple days, we'll see what he has to say.
Update: A Russian Jotman reader's perspective on the situation in Siberia has now been posted.