Soviet Russia and the Far East

Soviet Russia and the Far East

Soviet Russia and the Far East

Soviet Russia and the Far East

Excerpt

In Soviet Russia's international relations Europe has always occupied a more important place than has the Far East; for a comprehension of Soviet policies, however, the Far East is at least as important as Europe. In east Asia, Soviet policy could set itself its most ambitious goals, develop new political methods, and test new techniques long before they could be applied in Europe. As early as the 'twenties the Far East had emerged as an important workshop of new devices and strategies in Soviet international activities. A China ripe for the great upheaval; Japan as a buffer against the Anglo-Saxon world; a Manchurian railway worth fighting for; Outer Mongolia as the first Soviet satellite state; Tannu Tuva, the first area to complete the full course from "sovereignty" and "integrity" to the position of a third-rate province of the Soviet Union—these were the major elements of a peculiar policy conducted from Moscow: a policy often successful, sometimes miscalculated, but always a policy sui generis, bold, and dynamic, peaceful in relations with a superior power, aggressive toward inferior force. In this scheme of things, the Soviet Far East itself became an advanced military base, a strong- hold in the Pacific constantly being fortified for further action; an outpost of Soviet might, and a base for expansion. Many a misconception and many an error in evaluation of Soviet policy in general could have been avoided had the Far Eastern pattern been better known and understood.

Strictly speaking, "the Far East" is an inexact designation for this book. Embracing, as it must, relations between the Soviet Union on the one hand and China, Japan, and Korea on the other, the subject matter of this volume could not be limited to that sector of land in eastern Asia and the adjacent islands that are usually called the Far East. Russian relations with China have extended deep into central Asia; Chinese Turkestan and Mongolia have been important objects of Sino-Soviet contests. This book must therefore also be concerned with the peripheral areas of . . .

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