I read a book recently barbed wire and babushkas, and from the perspective of the author it appeared as if the Siberian Russians absolutely hate the Chinese, is this true? What do Chinese think about the Russians?
I have read the book you are talking about, it is quite good, however I feel it is rather a strong generalisation, it is like saying all whatever people are thieves or something.
My personal motorbike trip through Russia elicited nothing more than curious glances and hellos, they did laugh at my inability to drink as much as them but that is genetic. However there is some truth in all of the perceived hatred.
#1 History, Stalin did not support Mao Zedong in the Korean war with full MiG support hence MiG alley. This caused the Sino-Russian split, when China wanted independence from the Soviet Union even though Stalin helped Mao attain power. Though this may seem ungrateful it was a rather nasty relationship anyway, i.e. China could supply endless expendable labour while the USSR could provide technology and weapons, the infantry rushes in Korea 1951 AND the war with Vietnam where China lost 10,000-50,000 troops and 100-400 tanks in 'teaching' Vietnam a lesson in 1979. Ergo the infantry rush was still used as recent as 1979!
Anyway, the split meant both sides started spouting up anti Soviet and anti Chinese propaganda against each other, for decades meaning that there is an ingrained hate.
#1.1 This was exacerbated by the fact that both powers nearly went to full scale war with each other over the Demansky Island , more here. Which resulted in a gigantic build up on infantry and war machines on both sides of the river over this 0.7sq km island.
Over time China accused Russia of land grabs, as my dad puts it 10,000 Hong Kongs have been taken, I do not know the Russian point of view in all of this but when the USSR had all the guns you can't do anything about it. A similar thing happened in Hong Kong itself, the British had guns lots of them and therefore FORCED the lease of Hong Kong.
#2 The cultures i.e. White Siberians who migrated by force or by choice to Siberia and Far Eastern Russia the cultures are different. On various things, Food / religion, language.
Consider Europe for a moment, France and Germany, they are next to each other, they have similar languages in that they have a common Greek alphabet ancestry and borrow words from each other. The same applies to French and English, for example we borrow the word entrepreneur and all sorts.
In China/Siberia, Russians use Cryllic and speak toned language. In China they speak Mandarin and or variations of which is harsh and atonal and uses pictogram characters not Cyrillic. Thus there is incompatibility there.
In General we eat and drink similar things to each other, we have staples of bread, wheat oats etc which is common to all our countries. So are food and languages are similar. Although we've been at war with each other for decades pre 1900 and had two big ones. Though this was politicians accentuating and purposely driving divisions between peoples.
In Siberia, the people there eat as a staple the humble potato, Kartoshka the growing seasons are a bit short for wheat in Siberia, and other root crops as well as meat. In Siberia I remember being told that not eating meat at a meal is like not eating meat at all.
While in China, people eat millet, wheat turned into noodles and rice. Note Northern and western China rice is not eaten in great quantities they eat potatoes and millet, if you go to Beijing you will see that they eat a millet style porridge in the mornings, you go South to Shanghai or Xian where the rice growing regions are and they eat congee a rice based porridge.
Again another difference.
As in the book 1984 by Orwell, Winston States that peoples are kept separate so that they can't sit down and realise that the propaganda is untrue and that the barbarous enemy is generally the same as he is. Some events like the Christmas celebrations in the trenches of WWI show this.
Finally the skin colour is the same. You put an Englishman next to a German if they don't speak you can mistake one for the other. While Siberia and China people look different. You stick a Chinese person next to a white Siberian and you can immediately tell the difference.
China is currently a massive squid sucking up resources and money, on the border regions and many areas near the coast there are phenomenal factories and infrastructure building in China. consider Heihe vs Blagoveshchensk . Heihe was little more than a military town 20 years ago, nothing there but a huge garrison of infantry. In 20 years it has developed so quickly compared to Blagoveshchensk. In that the PRC government has in effect enacted policies for rapid expansion and development along the Amur river yet the Russians have no managed to achieve a similar amount of progress. Such that the exports by volume at least go one way. (China buys Russian weapons produced in the Komsolonsk region). This undermines the Russian economy massively, why buy Russian if you can get made in China much cheaper?
All of the above reasons are why people are suspicious of their neighbours there is just such a large number of differences that it is hard not to as said I went out there and wasn't harassed at all sooo your mileage may vary. I found Siberians to be friendly and accommodating almost all the time, I emphasise almost.