BEIJING(AP) - Chinese mapmakers are struggling to meet the demand for new
maps of the former Soviet Republics amid feverish border trade following the collapse
of the Soviet Union, an official newspaper reported.
The China Daily said the China Cartographic Publishing House is rushing to print
100,000 maps to satisfy customer demand. The publishing house is China's only producer
of maps of the new Commonwealth of Independent States.
"The maps are especially appealing to the business people on the northern and
western frontiers," said Duanmu Jie, deputy editor-in-chief of the publishing
State-run book stores sell out of the maps within hours and Chinese businessmen visiting
the former Soviet Republics sometimes have only one map for 100 people, the newspaper
It said tourists and students planning to travel to the Independent Republics on
the Trans-Siberian Railway are also snapping up the maps.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, China moved rapidly to pursue trade and economic
cooperation with neighboring republics.
In the first six months of this year, border trade between former Soviet Republics
and northeast China's Heilongjiang province came to U.S. $626 million, the China
Daily said. Heilongjiang shares a 3,045-kilometer border with the former Soviet Republics.
Heilongjiang officials predict this year's total trade with the Commonwealth of Independent
States will reach U.S. $1.2 billion, up 60 percent from last year, the newspaper