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Vladivostok and Chinese connection

Date: 07 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


Chinese social media users across various platforms have claimed that the territory of Primorsky Krai of which Vladivostok is the administrative capital, historically belonged to China.



While these claims were not officially endorsed by China’s foreign ministry, they come at a time when the country has been particularly aggressive in the context of its territorial disputes in the region. 



  • Before Primorsky Krai became Russian territory in 1860, it was a relatively small Manchu settlement under the sovereignty of the Qing dynasty. At that time, Vladivostok was called Haishenwei or the Bay of Sea Slugs.

  • During the First Opium War that occurred between September 1839 and August 1842, fought between Britain and the Qing Dynasty, the former began exploring and mapping this stretch of the coast.

  • 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.

  • 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 neighboring states in the region.

  • The southeastern part of Russia, that borders North Korea and China, has historically been a bone of contention between Russia and China, in part because of China’s claims that this region once formed ‘Outer Manchuria’.

  • Some researchers believe that the term ‘Outer Manchuria’ was coined by China in an attempt to lend credence to their territorial claims over this region.

  • This area of the Primorsky Krai, along with the Golden Horn Bay, with its administrative capital as Vladivostok, became an important seaport 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.

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