The Sino-Russian Crisis revolves around the rights to the Northern Chinese Eastern Railway (CER) and sovereignty to the land. The Koumintang government argued that Soviets were unfairly using the railroads to support the demolition of the Chinese government and not respecting the declarations of former agreements (Sino-Russian Crisis, n.d.). The Soviets, on the other hand, use power to sway the crisis in their favor and argue that the Chinese are held under former agreements.
The Kuomintang government sought to gain more power by becoming a more influential player in Manchuria. This, of course, made Soviets very nervous as they held a very powerful presence in Manchuria from the Chinese Eastern Railroad (CER) and believed their sovereignty to the railroad was held tightly in signed treaties. One of these treaties was “the secret Russian-Chinese treaty alliance on May 22, 1896, which was directed against Japan, China approved construction of a railroad (the CER) from the Russian border across Manchuria to Vladivostok” (Pike, 2011). The inability to agree on sovereign rights would lead to an explosion of violence between the two groups.
The raids began on May 27, 1929 when the Chinese began to attack several areas on the railways. The raids were mostly fueled by the discovery of the transportation of communist propaganda that was being used to attempt an overthrow of the Chinese government. Many soviets were arrested in the raids and sensitive documents were confiscated. In some of the confiscated documents there were “concrete evidence that a well-planned plot was under way to overthrow the Chinese National Government by violent means and conduct a nation-wide campaign of Communist propaganda” (Sino-Russian Crisis, n.d.). This discovery served as more fuel to the fire. The violent raids continued and by July China had gained control over the CER to the Soviets dislike. In response, the Red Army invaded northern Manchuria and had reinstated control over the area by November. Several strongly worded letters were written back and forth between the two noting grievances and making conflicting demands. These notes can be found here:
Finally, “the Kellogg-Briand Treaty permitted the peaceful settlement of a dispute in the Sino-Soviet conflict over the Manchurian railway line, since both China and the Soviet Union were signatories of the Pact of Paris of 1928” (Pike, 2011). The conflict was settled in December, 1929 when the railroad was declared a shared industry between the two. Then “In 1933 the Soviet government initiated discussions with the Japanese for the sale of the no-longer profitable CER to the puppet state of Manchukuo,” (Siegelbaum, n.d.) which was officially signed in 1935.
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Pike, J. (2011, 5 8). GlobalSecurity.Org. Retrieved 2 24, 2017, from Sino-Soviet War-1929: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/sino-soviet.htm
Siegelbaum, L. (n.d.). Seventeen Moments in Soviet History . Retrieved 2 24, 2017, from Chinese Railway Incident : http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1929-2/chinese-railway-incident/
Sino-Russian Crisis. (n.d.). Retrieved 2 24, 2017, from 17 Moments : http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1929-2/chinese-railway-incident/chinese-railway-incident-texts/sino-russian-crisis/