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Russia and China: "She loves me, she loves me not"

From Moscow, Cameron Sawyer comments on Paul Simon's assessment of relations between Russia and China: "All very true, but the significant strategic alliance between Russia and China memorialized in a flurry of treaties, including vast military sales, vast sales of energy, military technology transfers, and intensive trade relations, all oriented in a vaguely anti-American direction, is a fact. Maybe not a marriage made in heaven, but certainly a marriage of enormous perceived convenience.

Manchurian history is not quite a history of Russian conquest. From 1895 until the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese war in 1905, China and Russia (plus France and Germany the so-called Triple Intervention) were sort of allies, during which the Russians, with Chinese blessing, built Harbin, naval facilities in Port Arthur to build up force against the Japanese, and the now bypassed terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

The unpleasantness in Manchuria between Russia and China started in Soviet times, when Stalin tried to fill the vacuum left by the defeated Japanese and dismantled and shipped out most of the industrial plant installed by Japanese during the occupation of the 30 s. I doubt that this sticks out very much in Chinese memories in comparison to the incredible atrocities committed there and elsewhere in China by the Japanese.

See B.A. Romanov: Russia in Manchuria (1892-1906) the History of the Foreign Policy of Tsarist Russia in the Epoch of Imperialism (Edwards, 1952)".

Ronald Hilton - 3/9/02