Chinese reporters on a tour to a Sino-Russian border city on Sunday was surprised to find that the border guard on the Russian side was a straw man.

The straw man guard on the Sino-Russian border.Photo:

Mainland online media professionals were invited to Tongjiang in Heilongjiang Province over the weekend to inspect the border town and the Sino-Russian Amur Bridge Project.

A journalist working for state-owned news portal said he used a telephoto lens to take a picture of the Russia watchtower, only to find that the guard standing on the tower is not a real person but a dummy.

Chinese reporters were also surprised to find that there was no sign of construction for the Amur Bridge railroad on the other side of the Amur River, known as Heilongjiang River in China.

The Amur River, or Heilongjiang River with a Russian watchtower in sight. Photo:

The Amur Bridge railway project was given the go-ahead after talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last year. The Chinese side has already finished 60 percent of its part of the construction, said.

The 2,215-metre bridge, which will connect Tongjiang with Nizhneleninskoye in Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Oblast, is expected to transport 21 million tonnes of goods every year when it’s completed in 2016.


Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.