|Sino-Soviet conflict (1929)|
|Part of the Chinese Civil War|
Soviet soldiers with captured Kuomintang banners.
|Commanders and leaders|
|c. 113,000 (peak)|
|Casualties and losses|
|Official Chinese accounts:|
2,000 killed, 1,000 wounded, 8,550 captured
c. 5,000 lost
|Official Soviet accounts:|
143 killed, 665 wounded, 4 missing
The Sino-Soviet conflict of 1929 (Chinese :中东路事件, Russian : Конфликт на Китайско-Восточной железной дороге) was an armed conflict between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Chinese warlord Zhang Xueliang of the Republic of China over the Chinese Eastern Railway (also known as CER).
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.
Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.
Zhang Xueliang or Chang Hsueh-liang, nicknamed the "Young Marshal" (少帥), was the effective ruler of Northeast China and much of northern China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin, by the Japanese on 4 June 1928. He was an instigator of the 1936 Xi'an Incident, in which Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of China's ruling party, was arrested in order to force him to enter into a truce with the insurgent Chinese Communist Party and form a united front against Japan, which had occupied Manchuria. As a result, he spent over 50 years under house arrest, first in mainland China and then in Taiwan. He is regarded by the Chinese Communist Party as a patriotic hero for his role in the Xi'an Incident.
The conflict was the first major combat test of the reformed Soviet Red Army – one organized along the latest professional lines – and ended with the mobilization and deployment of 156,000 troops to the Manchurian border. Combining the active-duty strength of the Red Army and border guards with the call-up of the Far East reserves, approximately one-in-five Soviet soldiers was sent to the frontier, the largest Red Army combat force fielded between the Russian Civil War (1917–1922) and the Soviet Union’s entry into the Second World War.
In 1929, the Chinese Northeastern Army took over the Chinese Eastern Railway to regain solo control of the railway. The Soviet Union quickly responded with a military intervention, eventually forcing the Chinese to return the railway to the previous format of joint administration.
On 25 July 1919, the Soviet government’s Assistant Commissar of Foreign Affairs, Lev Karakhan, had issued a manifesto to the Chinese government promising the return of the Chinese Eastern Railway to Chinese control with no financial cost.On 26 August, the Karakhan Manifesto was published by the Soviet press, but the document failed to mention neither the return of CER to the Chinese nor the lack of financial compensation.
Lev Mikhailovich Karakhan (Karakhanian) Armenian Կարախանյան Լեւոն Միքայելի, Russian Лев Михайлович Карахан was a Russian revolutionary and a Soviet diplomat. A member of the RSDLP from 1904. At first a Menshevik, he joined the Bolsheviks in May 1917.
The Chinese Eastern Railway or CER(Chinese: trad. 東清鐵路, simp. 东清铁路, Dōngqīng Tiělù; Russian: Китайско-Восточная железная дорога or КВЖД, Kitaysko-Vostochnaya Zheleznaya Doroga or KVZhD), also known as the Chinese Far East Railway and North Manchuria Railway, is the historical name for a railway across Manchuria.
The Karakhan Manifesto was a statement of Soviet policy toward China dated 25 July 1919. It was issued by Lev Karakhan, deputy commissioner for foreign affairs for Soviet Russia. The manifesto offered to relinquish various rights Russia had obtained by treaty in China, including extraterritoriality, economic concessions, and Russia's share of the Boxer indemnity. These and similar treaties had been denounced by Chinese nationalists as "unequal." The manifesto created a favorable impression of Russia and Marxism among Chinese. It was often contrasted with the Treaty of Versailles (1919), which granted Shandong to Japan.
Along with the original Karakhan telegram, the Chinese had the Vilenski pamphlet as evidence.The Vilenski pamphlet also shows the Chinese that the Soviets were willing to return the CER to the Chinese without compensation. The July 25th Karakhan telegram shows the Soviet Union's original intention, which was to return the CER back to Chinese control without compensation. The July 25th telegram was used to satisfy the diplomatic requirements for the Chinese government, while the August 26th one was published to uphold propaganda requirements inside the Soviet Union.
The first major step in uncovering the hostile takeover of the CER by the Chinese in 1929 starts with the understanding of the Secret Protocol of March 14, 1924, and the Secret Agreement of September 20, 1924. The March 14, 1924, Secret Protocol stated that all former conventions, treaties, protocols, contracts and any other document between the Soviet and China would be annulled until a conference could convene.This made all treaties, border relations and commercial relations dependent on the upcoming conference. This, in turn, gave the Soviets time to turn to Zhang Xueliang in Manchuria, the strongest warlord there at the time. He had control of the Mukden government (today the city is known as Shenyang). The Soviets were the first to propose joint management of the CER with the Chinese, but Zhang stood in the way of this joint management. The Soviets decided to make a deal with Zhang.
Shenyang, formerly known by its Manchu name Mukden or Fengtian, is the provincial capital and the largest city of Liaoning Province, People's Republic of China, as well as the largest city in Northeast China by urban population. According to the 2010 census, the city's urban area has 6.3 million inhabitants, while the total population of the Shenyang municipality, which holds the administrative status of a sub-provincial city, is up to 8.1 million. Shenyang's city region includes the ten metropolitan districts of Shenyang proper, the county-level city of Xinmin, and two counties of Kangping and Faku.
On May 31, 1924, Lev Karakhan and Dr. V. K. Ellington Koo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of China, signed the Sino-Soviet treaty. It included multiple articles, which played right into the Soviets' hand because in Article V it said “the employment of persons in the various departments of the railway shall be in accordance with the principle of equal representation between the nationals of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and those of the Republic of China.”The Soviets added, “In carrying out the principle of equal representation the normal course of life and activities of the Railway shall in no case be interrupted or injured, that is to say the employment of both nationalities shall be in accordance with experience, personal qualifications and fitness of applicants.”
While negotiations had been concluded with the Chinese, the Soviets turned to make a deal with Zhang Xueliang. They promised him full control of choosing which Chinese officials would be on the board in the joint Chinese-Soviet management of the CER. This would give him half control of CER. On September 20, 1924, he signed the Secret Agreement, not knowing the Chinese government had signed the Secret Protocol earlier in the year. Since the CER was originally controlled by the Soviets, the majority of the positions would be under Soviet control. Then the Soviets claimed they should keep majority control because any other solution would interrupt or injure the railway.
The Soviets were also the puppet master of the President for the CER. The Soviet government was able to regain majority control of the CER by playing the secret protocols off each other and outmaneuvering the Chinese. The Soviets allowed the Chinese to think they were adding workers loyal to their government. However, in reality, the Soviets were creating more jobs on the railway and hiring Soviet workers. In the end, the Soviets controlled 67% of all positions on the CER.
The Chinese entertained joint management until mid-1929. The change from Soviet control to Chinese control started when the Chinese authorities made a radical move to try to remove Soviet management. Chinese authorities stormed the Soviet Consulate in Harbin. They arrested the General Manager of the CER, his assistant and other Soviet citizens and removed them from power in the CER. The Soviets retaliated by arresting Chinese citizens inside the USSR. On July 13, 1929, the Soviets sent their formal demands to the Chinese concerning what was happening on the CER. On July 19 they discontinued their diplomatic relations with the Chinese. They suspended railway communication and demanded that all Chinese diplomats leave Soviet territory.By July 20 the Soviets were transferring their funds to New York. While in the cities of Suifenhe and Lahususa, the Soviets were terrorizing the Chinese civilians by having their warships' guns pointed at the city and having their planes make fly-bys. On 6 August, the Soviet Union created the Special Red Banner Far Eastern Army commanded by Vasily Blyukher. By doing so they were willing to do whatever it took to return the CER back to their control.
Small skirmishes had broken out in July, but this would not be considered the first major military action. The first battle happened on August 17, 1929, when the Soviets attacked Chalainor. Chinese troops retreated to an entrenchment which was supported by machine guns. The Soviets had walked into a trap—whether by Chinese deception or by accident, nobody can say. The Soviets suffered heavy losses that day; this would be the only time the Soviet forces would incur such heavy losses.
In October the Soviets forced their naval fleets up the Amur and Songhua rivers and capture the Lahasusu. This maneuver caused the Chinese to move to a different location. On their way to Fujin, Chinese troops would kill any civilian they came across and raid any stores.The Soviets stated that they did not touch the civilian population, and encouraged Chinese civilians to fight alongside them against the Chinese army. They also denied killing civilians, and were said to only take military goods. All civilian personal items were left in place; this was strictly enforced.
On November 17 the Soviets decided to take ten divisions and split their attack into two stages. The first stage was to go past Manzhouli and attack the region of Chalainor. After capturing the region, Soviet troops set their sights on Manzhouli.When they reached Manzhouli they found that the Chinese were not prepared for battle and that Chinese forces were looting houses, stores and stealing civilian clothes and trying to escape. The Soviet strategy was a success; on November 26 the Chinese were ready to sign a treaty with the Soviets on Soviet terms. On December 13, after much debate on the Chinese side, the Chinese signed the Khabarovsk Protocol. This restored peace and the 1924 status quo ante , which was the Sino-Soviet treaty of 1924.
The victory over China was an eye opener for the world. During the conflict, the Soviets used propaganda to help spread communist ideology and confuse the Chinese Army by using radio and leaflets. They did this by deceiving the Chinese command on which town was the Soviets' next target. “Its military forces combined carefully measured use of depth and variety, coordinated in the fashion of a swift action design to achieve the precise goal of ‘an annihilating offensive under complex condition’ against enemy forces.”The conflict brought a sense of military prestige back into the Asian region. The Soviet victory was also applauded by such western nations as the (US, France and Great Britain). It showed the west that the Soviets were able to use both diplomacy and military might to achieve its goal. However, while some might have applauded the Soviets for using this technique, others feared it. This was a legitimate concern. The western nations were frightened that this method could potentially mean the Soviet Union might one day be able to beat a western nation at its own game.
The impact of the conflict left the Manchurian region in a power vacuum. This left the door wide open for the Japanese to take control of the region. After observing how easily Soviet forces beat the Chinese, the Japanese employed a similar technique to defeat the Chinese and occupy Manchuria following the Mukden Incident in 1931.
The Northern Expedition was a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the "Chinese Nationalist Party", against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords in 1926. The purpose of the campaign was to reunify China, which had become fragmented in the aftermath of the Revolution of 1911. The expedition was led by Chiang Kai-shek, and was divided into two phases. The first phase ended in a 1927 political split between two factions of the KMT: the right-leaning Nanjing faction, led by Chiang, and the left-leaning faction in Wuhan, led by Wang Jingwei. The split was partially motivated by Chiang's purging of communists within the KMT, which marked the end of the First United Front. In an effort to mend this schism, Chiang Kai-shek stepped down as the commander of the NRA in August 1927, and went into exile in Japan.
The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was an event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the Japanese invasion in 1931 of northeastern China, known as Manchuria.
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The Boxer Protocol was signed on September 7, 1901, between the Qing Empire of China and the Eight-Nation Alliance that had provided military forces plus Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands after China's defeat in the intervention to put down the Boxer Rebellion at the hands of the Eight-Power Expeditionary Force. It is often regarded as one of the Unequal Treaties.
This article is concerned with the events that preceded World War II in Asia.
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The Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance, or Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance for short, is the treaty of alliance concluded between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union on February 14, 1950. It was based to a considerable extent on the prior Treaty of the same name that had been arranged between the Soviet Union and the Nationalist government of China in 1945 and it was the product of extended negotiations between Liu Shaoqi and Joseph Stalin. By its terms the Soviet Union recognized the People's Republic of China and recalled recognition of the Republic of China.
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Zhang Jinghui ; was a Chinese general and politician during the Warlord era. He is noted for his role in the Japanese puppet regime of Manchukuo in which he served as its second and final Prime Minister.
Sino-Soviet relations refers to the diplomatic relationship between the Chinese Republic and the various forms of Soviet Power which emerged from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to 1991, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
The Huanggutun Incident, or Zhang Zuolin Explosion Death Incident, was an assassination plotted and committed on June 4, 1928, by the Japanese Kwantung Army that targeted Fengtian warlord Zhang Zuolin. It took place at the Huanggutun Railway Station near Shenyang, where Zhang's personal train was destroyed by a railside explosion. This incident was concealed in Japan at the time and was referred only as "A Certain Important Incident in Manchuria".
The Treaty of Friendship and Alliance is a 1945 treaty signed by the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at 14 August 1945. At the time, Soviet and Mongolian troops were occupying Inner Mongolia and other Chinese territory, having seized it from the Japanese during World War II. In a declaration made in connection with the treaty, China accepted the independence of Outer Mongolia within its previous borders, provided that a referendum on the issue be held and that the Soviet Union ceased aiding the Chinese Communist Party. Furthermore, the two nations agreed upon joint control of the Chinese Eastern Railway and to facilitate its eventual return to full Chinese sovereignty.
Harbin–Manzhouli railway, named the Binzhou Railway, is a double-track electrified trunk railway in Northeast China between Harbin and Manzhouli on the Russian border, where it connects to the Trans-Siberian Railway via Zabaikalsk, Russia.
The 21st Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and then the Soviet Union's Red Army, active between 1918 and 1945.
On December 31, 1952, the Soviet Union returned full control of the Chinese Eastern Railway to the People's Republic of China. The return of the railway marked the first time that the China Eastern Railway had been under full Chinese control since the railway was constructed in 1898. The handover of the railway was the result of negotiations between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China culminating in the signing of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance. The Friendship Treaty stipulated that the Chinese Changchun Railway (CCR) be handed over to China no later than December 31, 1952. On that date, China received all of the assets of the Chinese Changchun Railway including 3,282.7 kilometers of railway lines, 10,200 railcars, 880 locomotives, power plants, heavy industries, and coal mines as well as houses, medical facilities, and schools. The transfer of this fully operable railway gave the People's Republic of China control over a politically and economically significant rail line. The Chinese Changchun Railway connected the national railway system to the important ports of Dalian, and Lüshun as well as to international border crossings with the Soviet Union and to North Korea.
The Warlord Rebellion in northeastern Shandong was an uprising of several allied Chinese warlord armies under the leadership of Zhang Zongchang in 1929. The rebels wanted to regain their former territories in Shandong from Liu Zhennian, the man who had defected from Zhang to the Nationalist government in Nanjing during the Northern Expedition. After some initial successes, the rebels were defeated due to the indiscipline of their forces. In the end, the uprising failed to topple Liu Zhennian's rule over eastern Shandong, but resulted in high civilian casualties and widespread destruction at the hands of both sides in the conflict.
The Han–Liu War was a major military conflict in late 1932 between the private armies of Han Fuju and Liu Zhennian over Shandong. Even though Han as well as Liu were officially subordinates to the Chinese Nationalist government in Nanjing, both were effectively warlords with their own autonomous territories. Han Fuju controlled most of Shandong and had long desired to also capture the eastern part of the province, which was held by Liu. The tensions between the two eventually escalated, leading to a war that saw Han emerge victorious. He went on to rule Shandong unopposed for the next six years, while Liu was exiled to southern China.
Konstantin Petrovich Nechaev was an Imperial Russian Army officer and White movement leader, who commanded a large Russian mercenary army in China from 1924 to 1929. Fighting for the Fengtian clique warlords Zhang Zuolin and Zhang Zongchang, Nechaev took part in several wars of the Chinese Warlord Era until his mercenary force was destroyed in the Northern Expedition. Thereafter, he mostly retired from military service and became a White émigré community leader in Manchuria. Captured by SMERSH during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, Nechaev was executed by Soviet authorities in 1946.