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Chui Chun Fung, Faculty of Architecture

Programme: Discovering the Charms of the Sino-Russian Borderlands

Partner Institution: Harbin Institute of Technology

Period: July 1—8, 2023

I joined the "Discovering the Charms of the Sino-Russian Borderlands" organized by Harbin Institute of Technology, which was so much fun. I had never been to Northeast China before, and this tour let me experience Northeast Chinese culture, including food, the language/accent, and the people, such as North Korean and Russian minorities.

The program lasted one week, and we went to different cities such as Mudanjiang, Jixi, and Hulin. Hulin is really at the border, where we can see across the Ussuri River and observe Russia. We also visited Xinghaiku, which is a lake shared by China and Russia. Due to its location, Heilongjiang was the starting point and ending point of the Second World War. The Imperial Japanese Army occupied this area and began a full-scale attack on China, as we all know. For this reason, we visited several war museums, especially Hutou fortress, which is an important fortress where Japanese war crimes and terror happened. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese slave laborers were forced to build this fortress, which the Japanese aimed to use as a base to attack the Soviet Union. At the end of the war, the Soviet Red Army destroyed the fortress and its remaining Japanese soldiers.

Harbin also left a great impression on me. The Russian influence on the city is obvious, which is reflected by the beautiful Saint Sophia's Church and the countless Russian restaurants and souvenir shops at the main shopping street. The buildings are also mainly Russian style on the main street. Of its 9.6 million citizens, 400k are Russians.

Harbin Institute of Technology is one of the best universities in China. The HIT Aerospace Museum is impressive. It displays many models of gears and equipment used in space explorations. I am so proud of China's contribution to space.


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