Yesterday we had a brief report summarizing the situation of the closure of the Cherkizovsky market in Moscow, which has had a major economic impact on tens of thousands of Chinese merchants and prompted Beijing to complain. The Chinese statement, part of which is translated on the WSJ’s China Journal, is quite peculiar, attempting to walk the line between defending the rights of Chinese businessmen while at the same time delicately skirting Russia’s policy on intellectual property enforcement (Cherkizovsky was the kind of place to go for pirated movies, counterfeit handbags, etc.). Look how Beijing argues that illegal business is still good business for Russia … and they have a point.
“China supports Russia’s crackdown on smuggling crimes and wholeheartedly guides enterprises and businesspeople to obey Russia’s laws and regulations. But the emergence of the unlawful ‘gray customs clearance’ phenomenon has its own special historical background. Chinese merchants doing business in Russia have, objectively, long found it difficult to clear customs, among other obstacles. The transformation of business activities also requires a certain transition period. Many Chinese merchants have been doing business in Russia for many years, and they have made outstanding contributions to the prosperity and economic development of Moscow and other Russian cities,” the statement said.