Soviet-Chinese Conflict of 1929

Soviet-Chinese Conflict of 1929

 

an armed clash on the Chinese Eastern Railway, which was jointly owned by the USSR and China. The conflict was the culmination of the anti-Soviet policy of the Chiang Kai-shek government that was pursued by China after the reactionary coup in 1927. On July 10 and 11, 1929, Chinese militarists, headed by Chang Hsiuo-liang, ruler of Manchuria, violated the Mukden and Peking agreements on the joint administration of the Chinese Eastern Railway and seized the railway with the help of White émigré detachments. All Soviet personnel were dismissed, Soviet trade union and cooperative organizations were broken up, and more than 2,000 Soviet citizens working in China were interned in concentration camps. Chinese troops were concentrated on the Soviet border, from which they fired at border posts and inhabited areas. Repeated attempts by the USSR government to settle the conflict peacefully were unsuccessful. On July 17, 1929, the USSR recalled its representatives from China and advised the Chinese representatives to leave the USSR.

The military venture was inspired by the imperialist powers, who wanted to establish control over the Chinese Eastern Railway. In a note of July 25, 1929, H. L. Stimson, secretary of state of the United States, called on the ambassadors of Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and Germany in China to form an international “neutral commission” for administering the Chinese Eastern Railway. However, this call for open interference in the Soviet-Chinese conflict was not supported. On the night of Aug. 18, 1929, Chinese troops intruded into Soviet territory in several places. Two days later, the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR adopted the resolution On Suspending Relations of the Soviet Union With China. The USSR was compelled to take measures to protect its borders and repel the intruders.

In early October 1929, the forces under Chang Hsiuo-liang included the Mukden Army (approximately 300,000 men), 70,000 White Guardsmen, and the Sungari River fleet (11 warships). Enemy troops in considerable numbers were concentrated along the Transbaikal axis (Manchouli-Hailaerh-Ch’ich’ihaerh), along the Blagoveshchensk axis at the mouth of the Sungari River (Fu-yuan-Fuchin), and along the axis parallel to the coast.

On Aug. 6, 1929, the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR formed the Special Army of the Far East, which was placed under the command of V. K. Bliukher. The army was made up of the Amur Flotilla and the 18th and 19th Rifle Corps, which had been transferred from the Siberian Military District. Although numerically inferior, the Soviet troops were technically superior to the Chinese troops. Enemy troops were routed in the vicinity of Fuyuan (October 11–12) and Fuchin (October 30-November 2) by the Amur Flotilla and the rifle units commanded by Ia. I. Ozolin. The Chinese were defeated in the Mishan region (November 17–18) by Soviet troops under the command of A. Ia. Lapin and in the vicinity of Manchouli and Chalainoerh (November 17–20) by troops under the command of S. S. Vostretsov. On December 1 the Chinese militarists were forced to begin ceasefire negotiations. The protocol signed at Khabarovsk on Dec. 22,1929, restored the state of affairs on the Chinese Eastern Railway and Soviet-Chinese border provided for by the Soviet-Chinese agreement of 1924. The Special Army of the Far East withdrew from Manchuria.

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