Workers at a logging site in Inner Mongolia. (Photo/Xinhua)
A Zhejiang businessman is launching a legal appeal accusing Russian authorities of illegally seizing his logging investment in the country, Guangzhou's 21st Century Business Herald reports.
Fu Jianzhong purchased a logging company in Khabarovsk a decade ago after China and Russia signed a mutual forestry resource agreement. Russian authorities have so far seized 250 million yuan (US$40 million) in capital and about 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in other assets. The case has been stalled for over five years.
Fu said he will present all evidence showing Russian authorities have acted unlawfully toward him and his company, the paper reported. The value of Fu's initial investment is said to have increased from 7 billion yuan (US$1.12 billion) to 15 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) in three years. His company's annual profit is estimated at 30 million yuan (US$4.8 million).
A truck driver employed by Fu's company was reportedly found in possession of a passport with a fake Russian visa during an inspection of Chinese staff carried out by authorities. Moreover, rumors of a Chinese company illegally felling trees have been circulating in the industry and wider region for some time.
Many of the company's assets have been auctioned off by the state as his relationship with the Russian government reached a new nadir. The two countries' governments have discussed the case on a number of occasions without finding a resolution. In an interview with the Guangzhou paper, Fu said the Russian authorities' behavior in dealing with this issue has been peculiar and the whole incident appears to be a swindle.
Fu said that only mediation by a neutral third party will be able to settle the case fairly. He has also threatened to publish evidence proving the Russian government's illegal acts during a future arbitration process, the paper said.
Fu Jianzhong 傅建中