Russian and Soviet Policy in Manchuria and Outer Mongolia, 1911-1931

Russian and Soviet Policy in Manchuria and Outer Mongolia, 1911-1931

Russian and Soviet Policy in Manchuria and Outer Mongolia, 1911-1931

Russian and Soviet Policy in Manchuria and Outer Mongolia, 1911-1931

Excerpt

Manchuria and Outer Mongolia have held a special place in Sino-Russian relations of the last one hundred years, as testing grounds of imperial and revolutionary power and policies. To China, striving to find a new place of strength and unity in a drastically changed political world, Manchuria, by 1911, meant the opening up of new opportunities for settlement, for agricultural and industrial development, and for modernization. To Japan and Russia, control of Manchuria's strategic routes and resources spelled potential domination of East Asia. Outer Mongolia, once the center of a conquering empire, was still, for China, a neglected border region; for Russia, an alternative route of expansion toward the major centers of Chinese power.

In his authoritative study, Dr. Peter S. H. Tang has traced the evolution of imperial Russian and Soviet policy toward these two "fault-areas" of world politics between 1911 and 1931. The choice of these initial and terminal years is, for the student of politics, a felicitous one, for it enables him to examine in detail and compare the aims, tactics and methods of the pre-1917 and post-1917 Russian regimes.

Before as after 1917, the status of Outer Mongolia lent itself to a complicated pattern of maneuver. While outwardly upholding China's suzerainty as a device for avoiding the "internationalizing" of the problem of Outer Mongolia, both imperial and Soviet empire- builders zealously built up political, economic, and military strongholds of influence. The proclamation, on Soviet soil, of the Mongolian People's Republic was only the most dramatic act of interference in the evolution of modern Mongolia. By 1931, Mongolia was far more closely bound to the Soviet Union, and far more completely cut off from China, than ever before in its history. From a . . .

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