Half of Heixiazi island, which was returned to China in the middle of October, could be developed as a tourist resort according to an an official from Fuyuan county, Heilongjiang province.
Yu Wenli, head of the Fuyuan tourism bureau, said the return marked the end of a 79-year dispute over the island between Russia and China, and offers new opportunities for Fuyuan, which borders the island.
‘I have received a lot of inquiries about developing the island as a tourist resort,’ Yu said.
The Fuyuan trade and investment promotion department said more than 20 businesspeople from Guangzhou, Beijing, Dalian, Shenzhen and Hong Kong have shown interest in the tourism plan, and setting up import/export businesses.
Zhu Sijun, deputy director of the publicity department of Fuyuan, said: ‘In view of the island’s geographic location, a proposal to develop the area into a Northeast Asia free trade zone is also under consideration.’
Discussions on building a railway to connect the island with the mainland are already under way, and an airport is also envisaged.
Heixiazi Island is located at the confluence of the Heilongjiang and Wusuli rivers, and serves as a natural border between China and Russia. It was occupied by the former Soviet Union during a 1929 border skirmish.
Source: China Daily