CHP-181-The Early Years of Sino-Russian Relations


After more than 40 days wandering in the desert Laszlo is back with a topic that languished on the list for more than six years. At last the early years of Russia-China relations can see the light of day (here at Teacup Media, that is). As you can see, this is another one of those hour plus episodes that was not long enough for two episodes and a bit overly long for one. Basically this covers the beginnings back in the late Ming when they first met and mostly in the Qing where all the history happened. This isn’t a particularly deep dive on the subject. I first give you a 走马看花 view of the history of Russia’s expansion east and how they ended up on the doorstep of Manchuria. Hope you don’t mind.

TERMS FROM THIS EPISODE:

Míng Dynasty 明朝 Second to last dynasty in Chinese Imperial history 1368-1644

Lóngqìng 隆庆 Ming Dynasty Emperor (1567-1572)

Wànlì 万里 Son of Longqing Emperor, reigned a long time 1572-1620

Qing Dynasty 清朝 Last imperial dynasty in China 1644-1912

Xīnjiāng 新疆   Autonomous Region in the northwest of China, formerly referred to as Chinese Turkestan

Hēilóng Jiāng 黑龙江 The Black Dragon River (The Amur, and name of Heilongjiang Province)

Shùn Zhì 顺治   First emperor of the Qing Dynasty, 1643-1661

Pǔyí 溥仪   The Last Emperor, a.k.a. The Xuantong Emperor, reigned 1908-1912

Northern Sòng  北宋 The first half of the Song Dynasty, lasted from 960-1126

Kāngxī   康熙   Long reigning Qing Emperor, 1661-1722

Jiāyùguān   嘉峪关   The western terminus of the Great Wall of China

Songgotu (Suǒ’étú) 索额图 Manchu diplomat during the reign of Kangxi

Qiánlóng  乾隆  Another long reigning Qing emperor, 1735-1796

Treaty of Nanjing  南京条约 The marquee “Unequal Treaty” signed in 1842

Hóng Xiùquán 洪秀全 Rebel leader responsible for the Taiping Rebellion

Jīntián, Guangxi 广西金田   Place where the Taiping Rebellion was launched

Tàipíng Rebellion  太平天国运动   A bloody Rebellion and Civil War all in one, 1850-1864

Hēihé 黑河    City in northeast Manchuria (Heilongjiang) formerly known as Aigun

Aìhún   瑷珲 Now called Heihe, formerly called Aigun, site of the signing of the Treaty of Aigun.

Yìshān 奕山 Manchu diplomat who was forced into signing the Treaty of Aigun

Qíshàn 琦善   Manchu diplomat also forced to sign unequal treaties

Lín Zéxú 林则徐   Chinese hero who stood up to the foreign traders and torched their opium

Hǔmén  虎门   Located on “The Bogue” in Guangdong, site where Lin Zexu burned the opium

Guǎngdōng 广东  Southern province in China

Convention of Chuenbi   穿鼻草约  (Chuānbí Cǎoyuē) signed 1841, never ratified.

Ili  伊犁   (Yīlí) Town, valley and river name at the northwest border of Xinjiang – Kazakhstan

Zuǒ Zōngtáng   左宗棠  (1812-1885) Military leader and statesman from Hunan

Li-Lobanov Treaty 中俄密约   (known as the Zhōng É Mìyuē ), signed 1896

Lǐ Hóngzhāng 里鸿章   Co-signer of the Li-Lobanov Treaty), Chinese diplomat and statesman

Liaotung Peninsula  辽东半岛 (Liáodōng Bàndǎo) The tip of peninsular Liaoning Province

Lǚ Dà Zūdì Tiáoyuē 旅大租地条约   Convention for the Lease of the Liaotung Peninsula at Dalian (大连)

Port Arthur Also known as Lüshunkou (旅顺口), Port located at the tip of the Liaodong Peninsula

Qīngdǎo 青岛   Scenic city in Shandong, once a German concession

Wēihǎiwèi  威海卫   Another scenic city in Shandong, once a British concession, today known simply as Weihai 威海

If you’d like to brush up on your Russian History, may I recommend an old stalwart of mine:

MARK SCHAUSS, PRESENTER OF THE RUSSIAN RULERS PODCAST

I call it “The CHP of Russian History”

 

2 Comments

  • Dear Lazlo!
    Thank you for one more excellent story. It was really interesting to hear about Sino-Russian relations from western perspective. Just two little additions:
    1. Ivan IV never send Ermak Timofeevich to conquer Siberian khanate or have any relation with his expedition (at last until Ivan Koltzo embassy). Whole enterprise were private initiative of Ermak. Stroganovs pay him from their own capital, and generally were quite happy to send him out – Cossacks starts to make troubles no less then Siberian tatars. Ivan Koltzo (second in command after Ermak) have death sentence issued in 1581 personally by tsar (Ivan kill Nogai tatar ambassadors and rob Russian caravans on Volga). So, then Ermak send him to tsar with news about military successes and request for reinforcements, Ivan Koltzo were quite nervous. So in general Siberian conquest were minor (if not marginal) part of Russian foreign policy of the time. Livonian war and confrontation with Crimean Khan were much more important for Ivan the Forth.
    2. It’s quite ok to address Ivan Petlin as “Ivashka” if you have status of Tzar or at last boyarin. And even in this case it will be quite familiarly. In many Russian sources people of low status called in such way but for modern people it will be sign of “noble disdain”. 🙂

    Can’t wait for new podcast. Wampoa academy maybe?

    • Thanks Anton! I wish I had you by my side when I was researching. So happy to have listeners in Russia. Whampoa Academy is coming one of these days. Спасибо Антон!

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