Chinese Changchun Railway


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Chinese Ch’angch’un Railway

 

(until 1945, the Chinese Eastern Railway; after 1953, the Harbin Railway), major rail line in northeast China, from the Manchurian frontier station (Manchouli) through Harbin to Suifenho and from Harbin to Dairen (Dalny), with the following branch lines: Liaoyang-Pench’i, Suchiat’un-Fushun, Tashihch’iao-Yingk’ou, Ch’in-chou-Ch’entsut’ung, and Choushuitsu-Lüshun (Port Arthur).

The railway was built by Russia between 1897 and 1903 under the Sino-Russian Treaty of 1896; it was named the Chinese Eastern Railway. After the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 the southern section of the railway, from K’uangch’engtsu (Ch’angch’un) to Port Arthur, went to Japan by the Treaty of Portsmouth of 1905. This section was called the South Manchurian Railway. In 1918, Japan sent troops into the zone belonging to the Chinese Eastern Railway and in 1920 tried to take possession of it. At the Washington Conference of 1921–22, there was a sharp conflict among the participating powers over ownership of the railway. Under a Sino-Soviet agreement on May 31, 1924, the Chinese Eastern Railway was recognized as a purely commercial enterprise, jointly administered by the USSR and China. In 1929, Chinese militarists made an attack on the railway and on the Soviet borders but were repulsed by Red Army units. In 1931, after the occupation of northeast China (Manchuria) by Japan, the area near the railway became the scene of persistent anti-Soviet provocations by the Japanese imperialists. In 1935 the USSR was obliged to sell the Chinese Eastern Railway to the Manchukuo authorities for the small sum of 140 million yen.

After the liberation of northeast China by the Red Army and the defeat of Japan in World War II the South Manchurian Railway and the Chinese Eastern Railway came under joint administration by the USSR and China, through the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Aug. 14, 1945. The line was renamed the Chinese Ch’angch’un Railway. The Soviet Union helped rebuild and restore it to service. After the formation of the People’s Republic of China, and in accordance with a new Sino-Soviet agreement on the railway on Feb. 14, 1950, the Soviet government transferred to the People’s Republic of China, without compensation, all its rights in the joint administration of the railway, with all properties appertaining to it (the transfer was formalized by the protocol of Dec. 31, 1952).

A. M. MALUKHIN

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