Tracking down my secret grandmother in a Chinese city with a Russian past
Harbin, in China’s far northeast, owes its modern beginnings entirely to a railway. For the first three decades of the 20th century, it was effectively a Russian city. It is a place that has sparked my curiosity ever since I came across a 1927 ship’s passenger list that revealed the name of my grandfather Frank Newman’s “second wife”: Nina Kovaleva, 25, born in Sevastopol, Russia. He would leave his Shanghai-based family with her in the early 1930s. The list also named a daughter, Kyra, aged five, born in Harbin. It was a stunning revela­tion. It implied that my grandfather, an inspector for the Harbin postal sub­district from about 1912, had led a double life for at least a decade. I conta
Tracking down my secret grandmother in a Chinese city with a Russian past
Why China and Russia have their eyes on the Arctic
While the warming relations between Russia and China remain marred by mutual suspicion, the countries have found much common ground in the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean. The countries have said they want to work together in developing the Northern Sea Route, Russia’s traditional Arctic shipping route, after China launched what it called the “Polar Silk Road” last year. While Chinese investment along border regions have fed popular resentment in Russia, the countries have much to gain from collaborating on shaping the Northern Sea Route into a viable alternative shipping route, analysts said. “Russia looks to link the Asia-Pacific region with Europe through this Northern Sea Route as it's
 Why China and Russia have their eyes on the Arctic