Originally broadcasted on May 29th, it was just rebroadcasted just yesterday. 鳳凰衛視(Phoenix Media) released an episode of 皇牌大放送 (Royally Huge Broadcast), on 防川 (방천/FangChuan), which is an island administered by the 吉林省延邊朝鮮族自治州琿春市 (길림성연변조선족자치주혼춘시/JiLin Province, YanBian Autonomous PrefectureHunChun City), and lies at the crux of the border between Russia AND North Korea. This piece of geography is very important. As the documentary says, “The only thing dividing China from North Korea, is the 圖도門문江강(두豆만滿강江/Tumen River), which connects it to the 日本海 (ほんかい/Sea of Japan), or as the North and South Koreans call it “The 동東해海 (East Sea). It is the Northeast Pacific Ocean’s largest sea border, surrounding Russia, the Korean peninsula, and Japan, accessible through 6 straits.”
And then, it was worth noting one thing:
“The Sea of Japan is still the only body of water that hasn’t been exploited for its natural resources.”
Is there no area where the Chinese won’t try to exploit for its natural resources? ←That’s a rhetorical question, we all know they’d do it if they could.
In fact, the whole documentary doesn’t go much into the contemporary issues surrounding these nations and their security concerns. Rather, it’s more of a historical greography lesson. Noting how previous Korean nations like the 발해 (渤海/Balhae). Of course, as obligatory, no Chinese historical documentary would be complete without mentioning how other European nations took part in its land grabs. In this case, Russia on Manchuria.
From here, they moved on from the “sovereignty claims” in Sino-Russian border disputes, to the “interests claims” between the Chinese and Japanese. So when Russian control conflicts with Japanese interests, this leads to the Русско-японская война (日露戦争にちろせんそう/Russo-Japanese War).
Before finally moving onto the main purpose of the documentary: Modern economic development of the area. They mentioned an early 1990s effort to develop the region failed due to account freezes, and the fall of the former Soviet Union, it foreshadows why the later Changjitu project would fail. [ Changjitu stands for 長春(장춘/ChangChun)–吉林(김림/JiLin)–圖도門문(두豆만滿/Tumen)], a.k.a. the “Greater Tumen Initiative”. Originally a joint effort by China, Russia, and North Korea, the latter two partners pulled out, because for Russia, that part was’t all that developed, while for North Korea realized development was really for China, and it would lead to competition with the use of own ports.
Straight from Phoenix’s website:
In case that doesn’t work, here’s the Youtube embed:
Another thing to note is the original resolution of the video, was standard definition —minus the edited modern footage of 習近平 (습근평/Xi, jin-Ping). 鳳凰衛視(Phoenix Media). However, they started broadcasting in High Definition on January 1, 2014, and already had HD-quality video online for some of their videos. The series’ last episode that was related to North Korea, was in April last year, and that was in high definition. Most of the footage for this documentary was shot in 2012. I understand that it’s release now is a blatant promotion of the 一帶一路 (One Belt, One Road [OBOR]), but why hold it back for all these years?