Author Topic: Diplomatic decolonization  (Read 4803 times)


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Re: Diplomatic decolonization
« Reply #90 on: March 14, 2022, 07:35:10 pm »
Signs of spine?

Chinese internet users, including diplomats and officials, claim that Vladivostok used to be a part of China. They claim it was Qing’s Manchurian homeland but was annexed by the Russian empire in 1860 after China was defeated by the British and the French during the Second Opium war.

Shen Shiweim, a journalist at the Chinese State-run broadcaster, China Global Television Network (CGTN) tweeted, “This “tweet” of #Russian embassy to #China isn’t so welcome on Weibo. The history of Vladivostok (literally ‘Ruler of the East’) is from 1860 when Russia built a military harbor. But the city was Haishenwai as Chinese land, before Russia annexed it via unequal Treaty of Beijing.”
China’s claims over Russia’s Vladivostok are not limited to the state-owned media. Even Chinese diplomats have jumped in. Zhang Heqing, a wolf-warrior from China currently stationed at the country’s Mission in Pakistan said, “Isn’t this what in the past was our Haishenwai?”

Meanwhile, the CCP IT cell too has gone berserk. A Weibo user wrote, “Today we can only endure, but the Chinese people will remember, and one generation after another will continue to remember!” SCMP quotes another user as saying, “We must believe that this ancestral land will return home in the future!”


Having been battered by British and French during this war, China learned of Russia’s strategic build-up of military presence on its shared northern border. Russia was only willing to withdraw troops if China were to cede territory along this border.

Facing potential attacks by Russia from the north and the onslaught of British and French forces on the south, the Qing dynasty was compelled to comply with Russia demands to stave off invasion on at least one front. This led to the signing of the Treaty of Aigun in 1858, that formed much of the present day borders between Russia and China, along the Amur River. The Chinese have historically called this treaty an “unequal treaty”, one in a series of treaties signed between the Qing dynasty and neighbouring states in the region.

Russian diplomat Count Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatyev had witnessed the havoc and plunder that the British and French had unleashed upon Beijing, including engaging in loot and plunder and the burning down of the Old Summer Palace, specifically ordered by Britain’s Lord Elgin. Elgin, having set his eyes on the loot and destruction of the Forbidden City next, urged the Chinese to sit at the negotiating table with Ignatyev as the mediator in what came to be known as the Convention of Peking between China, Russia, Britain and France.

As a result of this convention, in October 1860, the British acquired the Kowloon Peninsula and control over Hong Kong. Among other agreements, opium was made legal, a move that economically benefited France and Britain. From China’s perspective, these agreements were exploitative and sharply skewed in favour of the two western nations.

Knowing how desperately China was trying to protect its capital, Ignatyev pushed for the Qing rulers to accept the terms of the agreements, and also threw in what the Chinese call “Outer Manchuria” for Russia, an area significantly larger than what it had originally desired. One part of this territory is now called the Primorsky Krai. According to Lukin, the Russian government had already established a military outpost in the region even before signing a formal treaty of cessation with the Qing dynasty.

This area of the Primorsky Krai, along with the Golden Horn Bay, with its administrative capital as Vladivostok, became an important sea port for Russia and allowed the country to expand economic and military influence in this part of the Pacific. It is also known as the Russian Maritime Province. Today, Vladivostok is the base for the Russian Pacific Fleet.