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Grim up north

(Global Times)

09:00, January 10, 2013

After five years of gathering evidence, Fu Jianzhong is hoping to launch an international case over his investment in a Russian forest, which he claims has resulted in losses of over 250 million yuan ($41 million).

"A local interest group set a trap and illegally took back the timberland we had bought," Fu told the Global Times Monday.

Fu, who is 62 and the chairman of Zhejiang Eternal Industry Group, a private company specializing in real estate, finance and trade, showed the Global Times around 100 pages containing 173 items of evidence, as well as investigation results released by various government departments in China.

In 2003, Fu set up a joint company named Heilongjiang Xinzhou Timber Co together with State-owned Chenneng Trade Co, to buy 100 percent stock rights in Khabarovsk Muxing Timber Co. Xinzhou Group had a 70 percent stake in the joint venture.

Via the deal, the joint company obtained the operation rights to 247,000 hectares of forest for 49 years in Khabarovsk, a city in eastern Russia that is around 30 kilometers from the Chinese border.

The joint company had invested a total of 250 million yuan in developing the project by the end of 2007.

China Development Bank, one of the three policy banks in China, also offered a 230 million yuan long-term loan for the investment in 2003.

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