Outer Manchuria
Приаму́рье (Russian)
外满洲 (Chinese)
Russian Manchuria
Outer Manchuria, north and east of the China-Russia border, shown in light red.
Outer Manchuria, north and east of the China-Russia border, shown in light red.
Country Russia (since 1860)[1]
Federal subjects Jewish Autonomous Oblast
 Khabarovsk Krai
 Primorsky Krai
 Amur Oblast
 Zabaykalsky Krai
Named forManchuria
 • Total910,000 km2 (350,000 sq mi)
Map showing the original border (in pink) between Manchuria and Russia according to the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk, and subsequent losses of territory to Russia in the 1858 Treaty of Aigun (beige) and 1860 Treaty of Peking (red)

Outer Manchuria,[3][4][1][2][5] sometimes called Russian Manchuria, refers to a region in Northeast Asia that is now part of the Russian Far East[1] but historically formed part of Manchuria (until the mid-19th century). While Manchuria now more normatively refers to Northeast China, it originally included areas consisting of Priamurye between the left bank of Amur River and the Stanovoy Range to the north, and Primorskaya which covered the area in the right bank of both Ussuri River and the lower Amur River to the Pacific Coast. The region was ruled by a series of Chinese dynasties and the Mongol Empire, but control of the area was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Qing China during the Amur Annexation in the 1858 Treaty of Aigun and 1860 Treaty of Peking,[6] with the terms "Outer Manchuria" and "Russian Manchuria" arising after the Russian annexation. The same general area became known as Green Ukraine after a large number of settlers from Ukraine came to the region.

History of the term

"Manchuria" was coined in the 19th century to refer to the northeastern part of the Qing Empire, the traditional homeland of the Manchu people. After the 1858 and 1860 cessions, the ceded areas were known as "Outer Manchuria" or "Russian Manchuria".[1][7][8][9][10][11][better source needed] (Russian: Приаму́рье, romanizedPriamurye;[note 1] simplified Chinese: 外满洲; traditional Chinese: 外滿洲; pinyin: Wài Mǎnzhōu or simplified Chinese: 外东北; traditional Chinese: 外東北; pinyin: Wài Dōngběi; lit. 'outer northeast').

Outer Manchuria comprises the modern-day Russian areas of Primorsky Krai, southern Khabarovsk Krai, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, the Amur Oblast and the island of Sakhalin.[9][12]: 338 (map) 

The northern part of the area was disputed by Qing China and the Russian Empire, in the midst of the Russia's Far East expansion, between 1643 and 1689. The Treaty of Nerchinsk signed in 1689 after a series of conflicts, defined the Sino–Russian border as the Stanovoy Mountains and the Argun River. When the Qing sent officials to erect boundary markers, the markers were set up far to the south of the agreed limits, ignoring some 23,000 square miles of territory.[12]: 38 

In 1809, the Japanese government sent explorer Mamiya Rinzō to Sakhalin and the region of the Amur to determine the extent of Russian influence and penetration.[12]: 334 

To preserve the Manchu character of Manchuria, the Qing dynasty discouraged Han Chinese settlement in Manchuria; nevertheless, there was significant Han Chinese migration into areas south of the Amur and west of the Ussuri.[12]: 332  By the mid-19th century, there were very few subjects of the Qing Empire living in the areas north of the Amur and east of the Ussuri,[12]: 333  and Qing authority in the area was seen as tenuous by the Russians.[12]: 336  In 1854, the Tartar-general of Heilungkiang memorialized that the only way to stop Russian expansion into the region was to bring Han Chinese settlers to the unpopulated areas.[12]: 339  In 1856, Russian military entered the area north of the Amur on pretext of defending the area from France and the UK,[12]: 341  Russian settlers founded new towns and cut down forests in the region,[12]: 341  and the Russian government created a new maritime province, Primorskaya Oblast, including Sakhalin, the mouth of the Amur, and Kamchatka with its capital at Nikolayevsk-on-Amur.[12]: 341  After losing the Opium Wars, Qing China was forced to sign a series of treaties that gave away territories and ports to various Western powers as well as to Russia and Japan; these were collectively known by the Chinese side[13] as the Unequal Treaties. Starting with the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and, in the wake of the Second Opium War, the Treaty of Peking in 1860, the Sino–Russian border was realigned in Russia's favour along the Amur and Ussuri rivers. As a result, China lost the region[12]: 348  that came to be known as Outer Manchuria or Russian Manchuria (an area of 350,000 square miles (910,000 km2)[2]) and access to the Sea of Japan. In the wake of these events, the Qing government changed course and encouraged Han Chinese migration to Manchuria (Chuang Guandong).[1][12]: 348 

Modern opinions

In 2016, Victor L. Larin (Виктор Лаврентьевич Ларин), the director of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East in Vladivostok, said that the fact that Russia had built Vladivostok “is a historical fact that cannot be rewritten,” and that the notion that Vladivostok was ever a Chinese town is a “myth” based on a misreading of evidence that a few Chinese sometimes came to the area to fish and collect sea cucumbers.[14]

Despite the potential for territorial claims (in theory) coextensive with the Qing dynasty, Chinese leaders as of 2014 had not suggested that Mongolia and part of Outer or Russian Manchuria would be a legitimate objective.[10] In April 2023, US diplomat John Bolton speculated that China (PRC) is "undoubtedly eyeing this vast territory, which potentially contains incalculable mineral wealth," (referring to Asian Russia generally) further noting that "[s]ignificant portions of this region were under Chinese sovereignty until the 1860 Treaty of Peking".[5]

Place names

Today, there are reminders of the ancient Manchu domination in English-language toponyms: for example, the Sikhote-Alin, the great coastal range; the Khanka Lake; the Amur and Ussuri rivers; the Greater Khingan, Lesser Khingan and other small mountain ranges; and the Shantar Islands. Evenks, a non-Manchu Tungusic people,[1] who speak a closely related Tungusic language, make up a significant part of the indigenous population.

In 1973, the Soviet Union renamed several locations in the region that bore names of Chinese origin. Names affected included Partizansk for Suchan (Sucheng); Dalnegorsk for Tetyukhe; Rudnaya Pristan for Teyukhe‐Pristan; Dalnerechensk for Iman; Sibirtsevo for Mankovka; Gurskoye for Khungari; Cherenshany for Sinan cha; Rudny for Lifudzin; and Uglekamensk for Severny Suchan.[13][15]

On February 14, 2023, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People's Republic of China relabelled eight cities and areas inside Russia in the region with Chinese names.[16][17] The eight names are Boli for Khabarovsk, Hailanpao for Blagoveshchensk, Haishenwai (Haishenwei) for Vladivostok, Kuye for Sakhalin, Miaojie for Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, Nibuchu for Nerchinsk, Outer Khingan (Outer Xing'an[18]) for Stanovoy Range, and Shuangchengzi for Ussuriysk.[19]

See also


  1. ^ Now Priamurye usually refers to a narrower region of Amur Oblast and parts of Khabarovsk Krai.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Schneider, Julia C. (2017). "The New Setting: Political Thinking after 1912". Nation and Ethnicity: Chinese Discourses on History,. p. 277. ISBN 978-90-04-33011-5. ISSN 1574-4493. OCLC 974211957. "In the mid-19th century, the Qing government gave over (so-called) Outer Manchuria, where mostly non-Manchu Tungusic people dwelled, to the Russian Empire by the Treaty of Aigun (Aigun tiaoyue, 1858) and the (First) Convention of Peking (Beijing tiaoyue, 1860)....The Convention of Peking, one of several unequal treaties, moreover assigned the parts in the East of the Ussuri River (Wusulijiang) to Russia. Outer Manchuria, also called Russian Manchuria was never claimed to be part of a Chinese nation-state. Today it belongs to the Russian Federation, is no longer referred to as Outer Manchuria, and is considered to be part of Siberia. Consequently, the name Manchuria refers only to Inner Manchuria today. In the following, I will refer to Inner Manchuria as Manchuria."
  2. ^ a b c Kissinger, Henry (2011). "From Preeminence to Decline". On China. New York: Penguin Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-59420-271-1. LCCN 2011009265. OCLC 1025648355. "For these services Moscow exacted a staggering territorial price: a broad swath of territory in so-called Outer Manchuria along the Pacific coast, including the port city now called Vladivostok.¹⁴ In a stroke, Russia had gained a major new naval base, a foothold in the Sea of Japan, and 350,000 square miles of territory once considered Chinese."
  3. ^ Shurtleff, William (2022). History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Manchuria (1833-2022). Soyinfo Center. p. 6. ISBN 9781948436670.
  4. ^ Shi, David (2023). Spirit Voices: The Mysteries and Magic of North Asian Shamanism. Red Wheel Weiser. p. 140. ISBN 9781633412835.
  5. ^ a b Bolton, John (April 12, 2023). "A New American Grand Strategy to Counter Russia and China". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. OCLC 781541372. Archived from the original on 29 April 2023."New Russian leaders may or may not look to the West rather than Beijing, and might be so weak that the Russian Federation’s fragmentation, especially east of the Urals, isn’t inconceivable. Beijing is undoubtedly eyeing this vast territory, which potentially contains incalculable mineral wealth. Significant portions of this region were under Chinese sovereignty until the 1860 Treaty of Peking transferred “outer Manchuria,” including extensive Pacific coast lands, to Moscow."
  6. ^ O'Hanlon, Michael E. (2015). "Conflicts Real, Latent, and Imaginable". The Future of Land Warfare. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-081572689-0. OCLC 930512519.
  7. ^ "SAGHALIN, or SAKHALIN". The Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. XXI (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1886. p. 147.
  8. ^ "Manchuria". The New International Encyclopaedia. Vol. XII. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. 1906. p. 782. "MANCHURIA, man-cho͞oʹre-a (the land of the Manchus). The northeastern part of the Chinese Empire, situated east of Mongolia and the Argun River (which formerly traversed Manchurian territory), south of the Amur River (which separates it from Siberia), and west of the Usuri, which separates it from Primorsk (Maritime Province) or Russian Manchuria (a Chinese possession until 1860)."
  9. ^ a b "Amoor, Territory of". A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer or Geographical Dictionary of the World (New Revised ed.). Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company. 1898. p. 489. OCLC 83607338. "Amoor, Territory of, a name applied to Russian Manchooria, or the region of Southeastern Siberia acquired from the Chinese and Japanese by the Russians since 1858. It is bounded on the N. by Siberia proper, on the E. by the Seas of Okhotsk and Japan, the coast being Russian as far S. as the river Toomen, which divides it from Corea (the island of Saghalin being now included) ; on the W. by Chinese Manchooria, the rivers Oosooree, Argoon, Soongaree, and Amoor forming (for the most part) the boundary; and on the N.W. by the government of Transbaikalia. Its area, 905,462 square miles, is over four times that of France. It is divided into the provinces of Amoor and Primorsk."
  10. ^ a b Steinberg, James; Michael E. O'Hanlon (2014). "The Determinants of Chinese Strategy". Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the Twenty-First Century. Princeton University Press. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-0-691-15951-5. LCCN 2013035849. OCLC 861542585.
  11. ^ Callahan, William A. (2010). China: The Pessoptimist Nation. Oxford University Press. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-19-960439-5. OCLC 754167885.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Fletcher, Joseph (1978). "Sino-Russian Relations, 1800-62: The loss of north-east Manchuria". In Fairbank, John K (ed.). The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 10. Cambridge University Press. pp. 38, 332–351.
  13. ^ a b "China Assails New Siberia Names". The New York Times. March 8, 1973. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on June 22, 2023.
  14. ^ Higgins, Andrew (July 23, 2016). "Vladivostok Lures Chinese Tourists (Many Think It's Theirs)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on July 27, 2016.
  15. ^ "NCNA Condemns New Soviet Place Names in Far East". Daily Report: People's Republic of China. Foreign Broadcast Information Service. I (45): A 1. 7 March 1973. ISSN 0892-0141. OCLC 1113433.
  16. ^ Pao, Jeff (February 25, 2023). "China's ironic reticence on land grab in Ukraine". Asia Times. Archived from the original on February 25, 2023.
  17. ^ Jan van der Made (March 21, 2023). "Territorial dispute between China and Russia risks clouding friendly future". Radio France Internationale. Archived from the original on March 21, 2023.
  18. ^ Nahaylo, Bohdan (February 26, 2023). "OPINION: China Challenges Russia by Restoring Chinese Names of Cities on Their Border". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on February 26, 2023.
  19. ^ "公开地图内容表示规范". Ministry of Natural Resources of the People's Republic of China (in Simplified Chinese). 2023. p. 7. Archived from the original on February 16, 2023.