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You're reading: Russia’s far East – A bridge to Asia, or to nowhere?
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“We will propose that capital from developed countries construct a super-highway between London, Moscow,Vladivostok and Beijing,” said the plan, endorsed in 1922 by the Soviet revolutionary leader. “We will tell them that it will open up the untold riches of Siberia.”

Ninety years on, the Kremlin has redecorated Russia’s window on the east in the hope of improving its image in the eyes of investors from the world’s fastest-growing region, and reviving its flagging popularity among hard-pressed locals.

Tsarist Russia completed a 9,300-km (5,800-mile) rail line to Vladivostok in record time, only to fall to the Bolsheviks a year later. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was inspired to develop the city by a visit to San Francisco, another Pacific city on a bay, in 1959.

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