CHINA’S BACK YARD | This is part of an occasional series examining China’s efforts to win friends and clients in Asia and to assert a more dominant role across the continent.
But for the Chinese, smelling the sea air is all they can do. Their border lies 10 miles inland, because of the Russian annexation of the area in 1860. That means China’s landlocked northern provinces are dependent for sea access on Russia, whose efforts to develop eastern ports haven’t amounted to much, and North Korea — which has some reliability issues, to say the least.
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