February 16, 2015 12:35
China plans an international tourism zone in the Duman River delta on its northeastern border with Russia and North Korea, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday.
All three countries are to join the project, which encompasses 10 sq.km of land each from China's Hunchun region, North Korea's Rajin-Sonbong area and Siberia.
The zone will be home to a hot springs hotel, golf course and other leisure and tourism facilities. Tourists will be able to visit visa-free.
Xinhua reported that Beijing, Pyongyang and Moscow already authorized the development and put together a joint task force to oversee it. It is the brainchild of the Chinese government.
Hunchun Mayor Jin Chunshan was quoted as saying both North Korea and Russia are eager to pursue the project. "Tourism knows no politics or boundaries," he added.
China hopes to finalize its blueprint this year.
The three countries have been pursuing several joint tourism and industrial projects in their border areas.
In June 2011, China and North Korea developed a sightseeing course linking Rajin Sonbong and Hunchun, and some 1,300 Chinese tourists have taken it route so far. It stretches for a mere 70 km, but there are several stops along the route which offer rare glimpses into North Korea.
China now wants to extend the course to include Russian border cities.
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