INNER MONGOLIA, China -- On a warm August day in Manzhouli, on China's northeastern border with Russia, workers are unloading truckloads of Russian goods for storage in local warehouses. Later, the goods will be repackaged and reloaded onto Chinese trucks and trains for distribution throughout China.
The process is lengthy and inefficient. But it is also a mainstay of the border economy, which some locals worry is threatened by regional manifestations of China's sweeping Belt and Road Initiative on infrastructure. Others say that local BRI projects are more about shoring up diplomatic relations with Russia than benefiting the region.