Sino-Russian relations

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Sino-Russian relations
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Sino-Russian Relations refers to the relations between Russia and China. Sino-Russian relations trace back to the late Ming Dynasty and early Tsarist Russia in Chinese and Russian history, and underwent many changes throughout the centuries, especially during the twentieth century. The People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation currently maintain exceptionally close and friendly diplomatic relations, strong geopolitical and regional cooperation, and significant levels of trade.


[edit] Qing Dynasty and Tzarist Russia

[edit] Initial contact

The first diplomatic contact between Russia and China began in the 1660s as a result of conflict over the Amur krai region, on the left bank of the Amur River. In 1689, two countries signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk, which awarded the territory to China. A border was established to follow the Stanovoi Range and the Argun River, and some limited trade was conducted, with China as the dominant power.

[edit] Russian encroachment

In 1858, during the Second Opium War, China grew increasingly weaker as the "Sick man of Asia", while Russia strengthened, eventually annexing the left bank of the Amur river, including Outer Manchuria and Sakhalin, in the "Unequal" Treaty of Aigun. By 1899, the Chinese Boxer Rebellion challenged the encroachment by the British, French, and Russians, which was previously ratified in the Convention of Peking of 1860.

[edit] Xinhai and October Revolutions

Both countries saw their monarchies abolished during the second decade of the Twentieth Century, the Qing Dynasty in 1912, following the Xinhai Revolution, and the Russian Tsarist Dynasty in 1917, following the February Revolution.

[edit] Soviet Union, Republic of China, People's Republic of China

[edit] Russian Civil War and Mongolia

During the early days of the Soviet Union, around the time of the Russian Civil War, Mongolia became a contested territory. After being held by the Chinese warlord Xu Shuzheng in 1919, and then by the Russian White Guard General turned independent warlord, Ungern von Sternberg in 1920, Soviet troops with support of Mongolian guerrillas led by Damdin Sühbaatar, defeated the White warlord and established a new pro-Soviet Mongolian client state, which by 1924 became the People's Republic of Mongolia.

[edit] KMT, CPC, and the Chinese Civil War

In 1921, the Soviet Union began supporting the Kuomintang, and in 1923, the Comintern instructed the Communist Party of China to sign a military treaty with the KMT. But in 1926, KMT leader, Chiang Kai-shek abruptly dismissed his Soviet advisers, and imposed restrictions on CPC participation in the government. By 1927, after the Northern Expedition was concluded, Chiang purged the CPC from the KMT-CPC alliance, resulting in the Chinese Civil War which was to last until 1950, a few months after the People's Republic of China, led by Mao Zedong, was proclaimed. During the war, some Soviet support was given to the CPC, who in 1934 were dealt a crushing blow when the KMT brought an end to the Chinese Soviet Republic, beginning the CPC's Long March from Shaanxi.

[edit] Second Sino-Japanese War and WWII

In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria and created the puppet state of Manchukuo (1932), which signalled the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1937, a month after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the Soviet Union established a non-aggression pact with the Republic of China. During the World War II period, the two countries suffered more losses than any other country, with China (in the Second Sino-Japanese war) losing over 30 million people and the Soviet Union 20 million.

[edit] Joint-victory over Imperial Japan

On August 8, 1945, three months after Nazi Germany surrendered, and on the week of the American Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet Union launched Operation August Storm, a massive military operation mobilizing 1.5 million soldiers against against one million Kwantung Army troops, the last remaining Japanese military presence. Soviet forces won a decisive victory while the Kwantung suffered massive casualties, with 700,000 having surrendered. The Soviet Union distributed some of the weapons of the captured Kwantung Army to the CPC, who were still battling the KMT in the Chinese Civil War.

[edit] War of Liberation and the People's Republic of China

Between 1946 and 1950, the CPC was increasingly enjoying massive support from the Chinese people in the "War of Liberation," effectively implementing a People's war, while the KMT became increasingly isolated, only belatedly attempting to stem corruption and introduce popular reforms. On October 1, 1949 the People's Republic of China was proclaimed by Mao Zedong, and by May 1950 the Civil War was brought to an end in the Battle of Kuningtou, which saw the KMT expelled from Mainland China but in control of Taiwan. With the creation of the People's Republic of China, the supreme political authority in the two countries became centred in two communist parties, both espousing revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist ideology: the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

[edit] From comradery to the Sino-Soviet Split

"All people of the world unite, to overthrow American imperialism, to overthrow Soviet revisionism, to overthrow the reactionaries of all nations!" (Chinese propaganda poster, 1969 — text in italic corresponds to blackened characters)

Thus, in the immediate years after the PRC was proclaimed, the Soviet Union became its closest ally. Soviet design, equipment and skilled labour was set out to help industrialize and modernize the PRC. But the extent of actual support, while not insignificant, fell well below Chinese expectations. In the 1960s, relations became deeply strained following the Sino-Soviet Split, culminating in the Sino-Soviet border conflict. Increasingly, the PRC began to consider the Soviet Union, which it viewed as Social imperialist, as the greatest threat it faced, more so than even the leading imperialist power, the United States. In turn, overtures were made between the PRC and the US, such as in the Ping Pong Diplomacy and the 1972 Nixon visit to China.

[edit] Post-Mao era and stabalizing relations

In 1976, Mao died, and in 1978, the Gang of Four were overthrown by Deng Xiaoping, who was to soon implement pro-market economic reform. With the PRC no longer espousing the anti-revisionist notion of the antagonistic contradiction between classes, relations between the two countries became gradually normalized. In 1979, however, the PRC launched the Sino-Vietnamese War, an invasion of Vietnam (a Soviet ally) in response to Vietnam's invasion and subsequent occupation of Cambodia which overthrew the Dengist government-backed Khmer Rouge from power. Even though Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev went on to criticize the post-Maoist CPC when it allowed for PRC millionaires as having lost the socialist path, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 90s, Russia itself turned to privatization.

[edit] Dissolution of the Soviet Union

But unlike in the PRC, this was a much more extreme, highly unregulated form of privatization which resulted in massive losses to foreign speculators, near-anarchical conditions and economic collapse. Thus, in the post-Cold War period, while Russia remained vastly more developed (economically and militarily), in a systemic and deep way (i.e. the PRC in 1949 was less industrialized than Russia in 1914), the PRC emerged in a far more favourable and stable financial position. But whereas the severe Russian shortage of capital was new, Chinese economic and military underdevelopment was not. Nor was the PRC's desperate and ever-growing need for mineral resources, especially petroleum fuel, which Russia holds in abundance in such Asiatic regions as western Siberia.

[edit] Russian Federation, People's Republic of China

[edit] Refound common interests

After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, with Russia having been considerably weakened, both countries found common interests and a common free market orientation, and related to these, a common opponent: the United States as the sole superpower. In 1991, the Sino-Russian Border Agreement was signed apportioning territory that became contested during the Sino-Soviet border conflict.

[edit] Settling the disputes

Main article: Outer Manchuria

In 2004, Russia agreed to transfer Yinlong Island as well as one half of Heixiazi Island (zh:黑瞎子岛) to China, ending a long-standing border dispute between Russia and China. Both islands are found at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, and were until then administered by Russia and claimed by China. The event was meant to foster feelings of reconciliation and cooperation between the two countries by their leaders. The transfer has been ratified by both the Chinese National People's Congress and the Russian State Duma, but has yet to be carried out to date.

[edit] A strategic alliance

In 2001, the close relations between the two countries were formalized with the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, a twenty-year strategic, economic, and controversially, (argurably) an implicit military treaty. A month before the treaty was signed, the two countries joined with junior partners Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The PRC is currently Russia's largest customer of imports needed to modernize the People's Liberation Army, and the foremost benefactor of the under construction Russian Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline.

[edit] See also

International relations of the People's Republic of China Image:Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
Geographical and geopolitical: Asia (East Asia)
International organizations: United Nations · UN Security Council (Permanent member) | Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation | ASEAN Plus Three | East Asian Summit | IAEA | IMF | ISO | Shanghai Cooperation Organization | UNESCO | WHO | World Trade Organization

ru:Российско-китайские отношения

Sino-Russian relations

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