Is it really preparing for the collapse of Russia: China has set its sights on Siberia and the Far East – Asian Times
A new map of the world has been released in China. On it, the territory of the country, which was once occupied by the Russian Empire, again received the former Chinese names.
It is noteworthy that in the same month, on the first anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a 12-point statement calling on both sides to cease fire and start dialogue to resolve the conflict through political means.
The document does not go beyond the generalized thesis that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be protected in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter. However, it does not contain a clear answer to the question whether Moscow should withdraw its troops from the Donbas now.
China has made a statement about its once lost territories.
China's Ministry of Natural Resources on February 14 released a new version of its world map that sees the return of Chinese names for 8 cities and territories occupied by the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. So, according to Beijing's new directive:
- Vladivostok is again called Khaishenvay, which means “Sea Cucumber Bay”,
- Sakhalin Island – Kuedao,
- Stanovoy Ridge again received the Chinese name “Outer Xing'an Ridge”.
Columnist Wu Hanzong said on February 20 that under unequal treaties since the end of the 19th century, the Chinese people have lost 1.7 million square kilometers of territory to the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.
- those territories that are now called the Russian Far East region,
- some areas of modern Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
According to Wu, the reuse of Chinese names for cities in the Far East reminds the Chinese people of their desire to regain lost territories.
The Russian government has not yet commented on this issue. However, it is debatable whether Moscow can complain about this, since Beijing, having returned to using the old Chinese names of eight cities, did not change the names in English.
How China Lost Territories
The Qing government lost vast territories in the north of the country due to the invasion of the Russians. The Treaty of Nerchinsk, signed in 1689 after a series of conflicts, defined the Sino-Russian border as the Soslovny Range and the Argun River, confirming the sovereignty of Qing China over the region now known as Outer Manchuria.
However, after the defeat in the Opium Wars, Qing China was forced to sign a series of treaties that gave territories and ports to various Western states, as well as Russia and Japan. These documents were called “Unequal Treaties”.
Beginning with the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Beijing in 1860, the Sino-Russian border was changed in favor of Russia along the Amur and Ussuri rivers. As a result, China has lost:
- the region now known as Outer Manchuria, covering an area of more than 1 million square kilometers,
- access to the Sea of Japan.
China's “peace plan”: what is known
- On February 24, China proposed a 12-point “peace plan”. The document was published by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The full text can be viewed at the link.
- Volodymyr Zelensky has already reacted to the “peace plan”. He noted that he partially agrees with China's proposals, but believes that only the state on whose territory the war is taking place can be the subject of initiatives. The President stressed that Ukraine had already proposed a formula for peace.
- The Office of the President believes that China wants to freeze hostilities, not promote peace.