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Outer Manchuria is in light red on this map. Some also consider the island of Sakhalin to be part of Outer Manchuria.
This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

Outer Manchuria (Chinese: 外滿洲), known in China as Outer Northeast [China] (Chinese: 外東北), and Priamurye (Cyrillic: Приаму́рье) in Russia, is the territory ceded by China to Russia in the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Peking in 1860. See Amur Annexation. The northern part of the area was also in dispute between 1643 and 1689 (see Russian-Manchu border conflicts). The area comprises the present-day Russian areas of Primorsky Krai, southern Khabarovsk Krai, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast and Amur Oblast. Another interpretation also adds the island of Sakhalin.

In contrast to Outer Manchuria, the part of Manchuria that is still part of China is referred to as "Inner Manchuria".

According to the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689, the Sino-Russian border was the Stanovoy Mountains and the Argun River, establishing Outer Manchuria as a part of Qing Dynasty China. After losing the Opium War, a series of treaties were forced upon the Qing Dynasty gave away land and ports to the European powers, these were known as the Unequal Treaties. Starting with the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Peking in 1860, the Sino-Russian border was realigned on the Amur and Ussuri rivers, in Russia's favour. As a result, China lost Outer Manchuria, as well as access to the Sea of Japan.


Place names

Today there still exist certain reminders of the ancient Manchu domination in English-language toponyms: for example the Sikhote-Alin, the great coastal range; the Khanka Lake; Amur and Ussuri Rivers; Yam Alin; Miao-Shan Alin; Il-Kuri Alin; the Greater Khingan, Lesser Khingan and others small ranges and the Shantar coastal archipelago.


History of Manchuria
Not based on timeline
Early tribes
Yan (state)
Han Dynasty | Xiongnu
Donghu | Wiman Joseon
Wuhuan | Sushen | Buyeo | Okjeo
Cao Wei
Jin Dynasty (265-420)
Former Yan
Former Qin
Later Yan
Northern Yan
Mohe | Shiwei
Khitan | Kumo Xi
Northern Wei
Tang Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
Jin Dynasty (1115-1234)
Yuan Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
Far Eastern Republic
Republic of China
Soviet Union
People's Republic of China (Northeast China)
Russia (Russian Far East)
Northeast of the Qing Empire on a French map from 1734

Different ancient nations lived in this area. The original inhabitants apparently were the Mohe and other Tungus tribes. Others were the ancient tribes of Goguryeo and Balhae, whose territories extended from the Korean peninsula to inner and outer Manchuria.

According to the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689, the Sino-Russian border was the Argun River and the Stanovoy Mountains until the Pacific coast. This latter was defined differently in the three versions of the Treaty, viz. Latin, Russian and Manchu. The eastern end of the boundary was generally held to be the Uda river, so leaving Outer Manchuria to China. However, Outer Manchuria was ceded by the Qing Dynasty to Russia in the Treaty of Aigun of 1858 and the Treaty of Peking of 1860. A small region to the north of the Amur known as the Sixty-Four Villages, east of the Heilongjiang river, was kept by China according to the Treaty of Aigun, but invaded and annexed by Russia in 1900. From 1860 to 1920 Outer Manchuria was part of the Russian Empire. From 1918 to 1925 Outer Manchuria was occupied by the Japanese and briefly united with Inner Manchuria under Japanese domination. This temporary control included East Transbaikalia (the Ulan Ude-Chita sector). Some sources indicated that Japanese units patrolled to the eastern slopes of the Urals and to Central Asia. North Sakhalin was finally returned during 1925.

During the 1930s and World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army, Kwantung Army and other members of the Strike North Group (Japanese supporters of conquest of lands in Siberia) outlined the "Ohtsu" or "B" Operation, a plan to invade the Soviet Far East. The plan implied the occupation of Khabarovsk and the Primorsky Krai, the Okhotsk Sea coast, Kamchatka Peninsula, Ulan Ude (East Baikal area), and Outer Mongolia. The concept was of occupation, or a defensive buffer against the USSR.

The Battle of Lake Khasan ("Changkufeng incident"), the Battle of Halhin Gol ("Nomonhan incident"), and some smaller Japanese land, sea and air incursions were part of an ambitious large-scale strategy. Ultimately, when the Japanese Army evaluated its outcomes against the Red Army and its Mongol allies, these plans were dropped. The Japanese Navy's strategy to strike south prevailed, leading ultimately to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As Soviet Manchuria, Outer Manchuria formed part of the Far Eastern provinces of the USSR and was used as the launch-pad for the Soviet assault on Japanese occupied Inner Manchuria in 1945. During the Chinese Civil War Chinese communist forces began the war with large amounts of Inner Manchuria already in their hands; in 1949 the victorious communists established the People's Republic of China.

In 1959 tension arose between Chinese Inner Manchuria and Russian Outer Manchuria over the interpretation of the treaties of Aigun and Peking. This was as much an attempt to undo European colonialism as an ideological split between Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev. In 1969, tensions led to considerable loss of human lives in an open military conflict for control of the Damansky Island.

In 2004, Russia agreed to transfer Yinlong Island as well as one half of Heixiazi Island (zh:黑瞎子岛) to China, ending a long-standing border dispute between Russia and China. Both islands are found at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, and were until then administered by Russia and claimed by China. The event was meant to foster feelings of reconciliation and cooperation between the two countries by their leaders, but it has also sparked different degrees of discontents on both sides. Russians, especially Cossack farmers of Khabarovsk who would lose their plowlands on the islands, were unhappy about the apparent loss of territory. The transfer has been ratified by both the Chinese National People's Congress and the Russian State Duma, but has yet to be carried out to date.


Outer Manchuria is regarded by some Manchu, and for that matter Han Chinese, as territory that was unfairly taken away. However, outstanding boundary issues between China and Russia have been officially settled and relations are cordial. Article 6 of the 2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship provides that the contracting parties, the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, have no territorial claims. One concern of Russia are large numbers of Chinese immigrants pouring into relatively empty Outer Manchuria from crowded Inner Manchuria.

As the Republic of China now based in Taiwan has never recognized the People's Republic of China or its border treaties with other countries, some Chinese maps published in Taiwan still consider the entire Heixiazi Island and the Sixty-Four Villages East of the Heilongjiang River to be Chinese territories, although these maps do show Outer Manchuria, sometimes called "lost territories in the Northeast (China)" (東北失地), to be Russian territory.

See also

External links



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