Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

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The Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact (traditional Chinese :中蘇互不侵犯條約; simplified Chinese :中苏互不侵犯条约; pinyin :Zhōng-sū hù bù qīnfàn tiáoyuē) was signed in Nanjing on August 21, 1937, between the Republic of China and the Soviet Union during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It went into effect on the day it was signed. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on September 8, 1937. [1]

Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Contents

Polikarpov I-16 with Chinese insignia. I-16 was the main fighter plane used by the Chinese Airforce and Soviet volunteers. Soviet volunteer.jpg
Polikarpov I-16 with Chinese insignia. I-16 was the main fighter plane used by the Chinese Airforce and Soviet volunteers.

Effects

At first the treaty led to improving relations between the Kuomintang, Chiang Kai-shek's government and the USSR. Following the signing of the pact, the Soviet Union began sending aircraft to the Chinese national government in Operation Zet, as well as economic aid to help stave off Japanese occupation. Chiang hoped this was a precursor to Soviet intervention into the war, however as time passed he soon realized that the USSR was constricted in what aid it could actually provide, due to not wanting to upset the tacit alliance with Britain, France, and later the United States, who favored China in the war but, would back Japan against the USSR in order to weaken both.

Kuomintang political party in the Republic of China

The Kuomintang of China is a major political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan, based in Taipei and is currently an opposition political party in the Legislative Yuan.

Chiang Kai-shek Chinese politician and military leader

Chiang Kai-shek, also known as Generalissimo Chiang or Chiang Chungcheng and romanized as Chiang Chieh-shih or Jiang Jieshi, was a politician and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and then in Taiwan until his death. He was recognized by much of the world as the head of the legitimate government of China until 1971, during which the United Nations passed Resolution 2758.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.

The treaty also allowed the USSR to focus its attention more on the Western border where Nazi Germany was building up for what appeared to be war with the USSR especially after the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact was signed. The pact contributed to the worsening relationship between China and Nazi Germany, which had already seen the end of German military assistance in China.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

China State in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Breach of the pact by the Soviet Union

Ironically, in 1937, while the pact was being signed, the Soviets brazenly breached it before and after the signing, conducting the Xinjiang War (1937) from August to October.

The Soviet Army was assisting its puppet Governor Sheng Shicai in Xinjiang. The Kuomintang Muslim General Ma Hushan led the 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army) to resist the invasion.

Sheng Shicai Chinese warlord

Sheng Shicai was a Chinese warlord who ruled Xinjiang from 1933 to 1944. Sheng's rise to power started with a coup d'état in 1933, when he was appointed the duban or Military Governor of Xinjiang. His rule over Xinjiang is marked by close cooperation with the Soviet Union, allowing the Soviets trade monopoly and exploitation of resources, which effectively made Xinjiang a Soviet puppet state. The Soviet era ended in 1942, when Sheng approached the Nationalist Chinese government, but still retained much power over the province. He was dismissed from post in 1944 and named Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Growing animosity against him led the government to dismiss him again and appoint to a military post. At the end of the Chinese Civil War, Sheng fled the mainland China to Taiwan with the rest of Kuomintang.

Xinjiang Autonomous region

Xinjiang, officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), is a provincial-level autonomous region of China in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2. Xinjiang contains the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, which is administered by China and claimed by India. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan), and India. The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang's borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. The most well-known route of the historical Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. In recent decades, abundant oil and mineral reserves have been found in Xinjiang, and it is currently China's largest natural gas-producing region.

The 36th Division was a cavalry division in the National Revolutionary Army. It was created in 1932 by the Kuomintang for General Ma Zhongying, who was also its first commander. It was made almost entirely out of Hui Muslim troops, all of its officers were Hui, with a few thousand Uighurs forced conscripts in the rank and file. It was commonly referred to as the "KMT 36th Division", or "Tungan 36th Division".

Before the invasion, Ma Hushan had communicated with Chiang Kaishek, and he mentioned to Peter Fleming that Chiang was going to send help to fight the Soviets. However, the outbreak of war with Japan led Ma Hushan to face the Soviet Invasion on his own, despite resisting and killing Russian soldiers, Ma Hushan's forces eventually succumbed to Soviet mustard gas bombardment, and Ma Hushan fled to India, where he took a steamer back to China.

Peter Fleming (writer) British writer and soldier

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Peter Fleming was a British adventurer, soldier and travel writer. He was the elder brother of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

Sheng Shicai then invited Soviet forces to garrison in Turfan, right next to Gansu province.

The Republic of China government was fully aware of the Soviet invasion of Xinjiang province, and Soviet troops moving around Xinjiang and Gansu, but was forced to mask these maneuvers to the public as "Japanese propaganda" to avoid an international incident and for continued military supplies from the Soviets. [2]

The Chinese government responded with its own military moves. The Muslim General Ma Buqing was in virtual control of the Gansu corridor at this time. [3] Ma Buqing had earlier fought against the Japanese, but since the Soviet threat was great, Chiang made some arrangements regarding Ma's position. In July 1942 Chiang Kai-shek instructed Ma Buqing to move 30,000 of his troops to the Tsaidam marsh in the Qaidam Basin of Qinghai. [4] [5] Chiang named Ma Reclamation Commissioner, to threaten Sheng Shicai's southern flank in Xinjiang, which bordered Tsaidam.

After Ma evacuated his positions in Gansu, Kuomintang troops from central China flooded the area, and infiltrated Soviet occupied Xinjiang, gradually reclaiming it and forcing Sheng Shicai to break with the Soviets.

The Ili Rebellion broke out in Xinjiang when the Kuomintang Chinese Muslim Officer Liu Bin-Di was killed while fighting Turkic Uyghur Rebels in November 1944. The Soviet Union supported the Turkic rebels against the Kuomintang, and Kuomintang forces were fighting back.

The Kuomintang Chinese government ordered Muslim General Ma Bufang several times to march his troops into Xinjiang to intimidate the pro Soviet Governor Sheng Shicai. This helped provide protection for Chinese settling in Xinjiang. [6] Ma Bufang was sent with his Muslim Cavalry to Urumqi by the Kuomintang in 1945 during the Ili Rebellion to protect it from the Uyghur army from Hi (name for Ili at that time). [7] [8] [9] [10]

See also

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References

  1. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 181, pp. 102-105.
  2. Hsiao-ting Lin (2010). Modern China's Ethnic Frontiers: A Journey to the West. Taylor & Francis. p. 58. ISBN   0-415-58264-4 . Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  3. Asia, Volume 40. Asia Magazine. 1940. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  4. War, Leadership and Ethnopolitics: Chiang Kai-shek and China's frontiers, 1941-1945
  5. Nationalists, Muslim Warlords, and the “Great Northwestern Development” in Pre-Communist China
  6. Human Relations Area Files, inc (1956). A regional handbook on Northwest China, Volume 1. Printed by the Human Relations Area Files. p. 74. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  7. Paul Preston; Michael Partridge; Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN   1-55655-768-X . Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  8. Paul Preston; Michael Partridge; Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN   1-55655-768-X . Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  9. Paul Preston; Michael Partridge; Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN   1-55655-768-X . Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  10. Paul Preston; Michael Partridge; Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN   1-55655-768-X . Retrieved 2010-06-28.

Further reading