Chinese to become second largest ethnicity in Russia, Moscow demographer says

Chinese businesses in Russia are known for employing only ethnic Chinese almost exclusively and for using intensive types of agriculture and lumber harvesting (Image: flashsiberia.com)

Chinese businesses in Russia are known for employing only ethnic Chinese almost exclusively and for using intensive types of agriculture and lumber harvesting (Image: flashsiberia.com) 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

If current trends continue, with ever fewer immigrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus coming to Russia and with birthrates among Russia’s larger non-Russian ethnicities remaining low, Zhanna Zayonchkovskaya says, the Chinese will be the second largest ethnicity in Russia by mid-century.

The senior scholar at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Economic Predictions said that Russia has no choice but to rely on immigrant workers and that it has no other source except for China, on which it is likely to be able to rely in the next several decades. Zayonchkovskaya added that 

Russia will not be able to do without massive immigration even if it raises the pension age. Doing that “will not level out the demographic waves or the problems of having a sufficient number of working age people. It will solve the problems of the pension fund, but the demographic situation will remain just as complex.”

There are three reasons why her remarks are likely to be especially disturbing to many Russians:

  • First, Russians have long been accustomed to believe that the second largest nationality in the Russian Federation are the Tatars, a group which Russians generally view as integrated or at least Russian speaking, qualities not found among immigrants from Central Asia, the Caucasus or China.
  • Second, Zayonchkovskaya’s words also suggest that one or more of the Central Asian or Caucasian country migration flows into Russia is larger than the six million Tatars, a conclusion that, if true, means immigration into the Russian Federation is far larger than any Moscow official has ever acknowledged.
  • And third, her projection not only feeds into Russian fears about the overwhelming size of China’s population opposite Russia’s underpopulated Siberia and Far East but also may have consequences for the country’s ethnic mix far sooner than even the Moscow demographer suggests.
Chinese husbands in Russia are believed to be good providers for family. (Image: china-times.ru)

Chinese husbands in Russia are believed to be good providers for family. (Image: china-times.ru)

The reason for that final point is that there is evidence that an ever larger number of young Chinese men who can’t find spouses at home because of Beijing’s notorious one-child policy that led to gender-selection-driven abortions are coming to Russia to find brides.

Many of these new mixed couples are returning to China, but at least some are remaining to live and work in Russia, a trend likely to transform the ethnic mix in Russia east of the Urals if not yet in the country as a whole.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Matt Franklin
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBsvzKshKCw R. Arandas

    I went to Russia myself years ago, and a Chinese taxi driver claimed that many Chinese people were not at all really welcome in their nation…

    • Alex George

      No they aren’t, but if there are enough of them the Russians might have to change their tune.

  • zorbatheturk

    I call it Mao’s Revenge…

  • Alex George

    Putin will go down in history as one of the worst leaders Russia has ever had.

    He is so obsessed with his foreign ventures in Syria and Ukraine, that he cannot see what has been happening internally. Even his revamped security service is more aimed at keeping Russians in line than dealing with potential Muslim issues (there are 23 million native-born Muslims in Russia) nor the even larger numbers of Chinese.

    Chinese have been slowly moving into Siberia and the Russian Far East for years but now it is accelerating. The Chinese are very good at moving slowly and thinking long term. Putin’s successor will be fortunate if he only loses the Far East.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBsvzKshKCw R. Arandas

      I think…Russia is not really a true long-term threat to the West. Its population numbers are steadily declining, its economy is in shambles, it has become increasingly isolated internationally, and even Putin cannot possibly reign forever.

      I would argue that an increasingly assertive China would pose a far greater challenge to the West than Russia.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        The dwarf has ignored the danger from China, obsessed as he is with
        recreating his beloved USSR and trying to force the Ukrainians to join
        it- which they won’t.
        Within a decade or so, Peking will simply start taking what it wants. Pedo Putolini has weakened Dwarfstan so much by his stupidity that he or his successor will be unable to prevent any Crimea-like annexations, short of using nukes. Not a good idea when your opponent is one of the world’s two superpowers, and also has nukes.

      • MichaelA

        true but maybe taking the far east and siberia from russia will solve chinas land problem
        that could be good for everyone

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBsvzKshKCw R. Arandas

          But what if China becomes a threat instead of Russia then?

          • MichaelA

            true, or iran, or india
            i think china is a threat now but if they are starting to look north instead of south that has to be good
            the chinese must realise by now that going south wont work because vietnam, philippines, indonesia everyone is opposed to any chinese expansion
            but siberia and russian far east are mainly empty

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBsvzKshKCw R. Arandas

            Are you Taiwanese by any chance, bro?

          • MichaelA

            No

  • http://anenemyofthestate.wordpress.com/ Bevin Chu

    Russia has nothing to fear from Chinese in Russia.

    As the US and Canada know from long experience, Chinese immigrants are “model minorities”. They always do their best to quietly fit in. They have never demanded that the US or Canada change to suit them. Chinese in Russia will be the same way.

    The are the exact opposite of militant Sharia Law zealots in Europe.

    • boldbishop

      You slit eyed ching chongs only make the atmosphere look uglier. You have already spoilt Australia, Canada and some areas in the US. Now don’t do that to Russia. It’s not a new world country for you people to migrate to.

      • http://anenemyofthestate.wordpress.com/ Bevin Chu

        Actually Australia, Canada, and the US were not “new world countries” for PEOPLE such as you to migrate to.
        The land belonged to the Aborigines who migrated there first.
        You are the illegal aliens in Australia, Canada, and the US.
        You are “undocumented aliens” who did not receive permission from the Aborigines to squat on their land.
        You are in no position to dictate who may move there.