In 1992, a group of middle-aged people from Jian’ou, a remote county in South China, entered Russia looking for opportunities for work, which ushered in a migration wave between Jian’ou and Moscow, Almaty and Osh in the decades that followed. This paper discusses their migration experience and tracks the historical development of the migration paths. It also analyses the logic behind the migration practice and the construction of the transnational space. In this space, different forces work together: traditional family networks, female friendships, voluntary associations and the authorities of local and sending societies. Among them, voluntary associations, e.g. the Minbei Chinese Association in Moscow and the Moscow Entrepreneurs’ Association in Minbei, have played a critical role by coordinating these forces and constructing the transnational corridor.