This agreement allowed Russia to return the lands lost under the Nerchinsky Treaty of 1689. In 1860, the Aigun Treaty was supplemented by the Beijing Treaty. According to it, the borders were drawn along the Chinese bank of the Amur, Ussuri, and also the Kazakevichev channel. Thus, the designated rivers became fully belong to Russia. In Chinese historiography, both treaties are regarded as inequitable, unfair.
This was an extremely important geopolitical treaty. We are used to the fact that the Amur Region is a Russian land, but the question of whose it will be, was decided at that time. Governor-General Nikolai Muravyov assumed even more serious significance of this waterway: “Whoever owns the mouth of the Amur, will own Siberia, at least, before Baikal.” In many ways, these words were fair, Amur is the only river in this region that flows from west to east, being a natural route connecting Siberia with the Pacific Ocean.
Of stories Russian-Chinese relations
The history of the first relations between Russia and China begins from the 13th century, if not to take into account the Scythian-Sarmatian period of the history of Russia. The Russians, by virtue of their high fighting qualities, were enlisted in the Guards of the Yuan Empire and cultivated the land as military settlers. After the foundation of Tobolsk, 1587, the year of his voivode, sent people to the Far East. Russian Cossacks and peasants mastered Transbaikalia and the Amur Territory. Several fortifications were built along the Amur River, the largest of which were the Albazinsky jail on the left bank of the Amur and Nerchinsk on the Shilka River. De facto, these territories did not belong to anyone, neither the Chinese government, nor the Manchu clans mastered them, did not inhabit them. Therefore, the Russian government and the Russian people rightfully considered these lands their own, and wanted to define legally legal borders with the government of China.
The first attempts to penetrate into China were undertaken in 1608 — Tsar Vasily Shuisky signed a decree sending the embassy to the Chinese state, and in 1616 — the government of Mikhail Romanov sent another embassy. However, these attempts were not successful. In 1618 — 1619 Tobolsk voivod Prince I. S. Kurakin sent a mission to China under the command of Ivan Petlin, he mastered several languages, and A. Madova. The mission reached Beijing and held talks with representatives of the government of the Ming dynasty. Petlin received an official letter from the Chinese emperor addressed to the Russian tsar with the permission of the Russians to send embassies and trade in China.
In 1656, the Embassy of Fyodor Baikov arrived in Beijing. It was unsuccessful. The Qing officials wanted to conduct a ceremony, which would mean the recognition by the Russian state of the supremacy of the Qing Empire. According to the Chinese system of worldview, which was adopted by the Manchus, who founded the Qing Dynasty, all the countries around the Middle Empire (Celestial) - barbarians and vassals. Bakov did not yield, nor was he afraid of the death penalty. Not having achieved their goal, the Qing authorities sent a Russian envoy.
When the clashes between Russians and Manchus on the Amur began, the Ching authorities chose to solve the problem militarily. Chinese troops attempted to capture Albazin. In 1676, the embassy of Nicholas Spafari (Milescu-Spataru) arrived in Beijing. This mission also did not achieve diplomatic success. The Chinese authorities continued to insist on the departure of the Russians from the Amur region and the extradition of the leaders of the local tribes who had accepted Russian citizenship.
In 1682, the Albazin province was established, headed by voivod Alexei Tolbuzin, which included the Amur region on both banks from the confluence of the Shilka and Arguni rivers. In 1685, the Qing army laid siege to Albazino. The garrison, after the hostilities and negotiations, was forced to retreat to Nerchinsk. After the departure of the Chinese troops, the fortress was restored. In 1686, the Qing army again laid siege to the fortress. The Russian garrison withstood all enemy attacks. But the lack of food that led to scurvy, illness and cold caused huge losses in both the Russian garrison and the Qing army. The Albazinsky prison was finally abandoned by the Russians only after the signing of the Nerchinsky agreement in 1689.
At the beginning of 1686, a Russian plenipotentiary embassy headed by Fyodor Golovin was sent to Amur for negotiations with the Ching government. Negotiations were held in Nerchinsk, which was also besieged by Chinese troops. It should be noted that the “enlightened West” put its hand to ousting Russia from the Amur Region. On a par with the Manchus, the Ching embassy included missionaries-Jesuits - the Portuguese Tomash Pereira and the Frenchman Gerbillon for direct negotiations with the Russian side. August 27 (September 6) an agreement was signed in Nerchinsk. According to it, Russia ceded land on the right bank of Argun to Chinsky China, the territory between the Uda River and the Great Khingan remained unlimited. Albazin was destroyed, but the Zen authorities promised not to colonize the “Albazin lands”. Argun burg was moved to the left bank of the Argun river. In general, this agreement has left many unresolved issues. Geographical reference points were unclear, the treaty texts in Russian, Manchurian and Latin languages were nonidentical, and they did not demarcate the border. All these circumstances, including military pressure from the Qing Empire in the period when negotiations were underway in Nerchinsk, gave reason for Russia to demand a review of the agreement and a more precise definition of the border in the Amur region.
In 1724, the Chinese expressed a desire to begin negotiations to discuss controversial issues. In 1726, the embassy of Savva Raguzinsky-Vladislavich arrived in Beijing. The Qing authorities filed claims on the territories inhabited by Russian citizens, which had never been part of China. Long negotiations did not give positive results. 20 August 1727 was signed the Burinsky Treaty (in the border area on the river Bure). It was based on the principle - “every state owns what it has”. October 21 1727 signed the Treaty of Kyakhta, he confirmed the terms of the Nerchinsky and Burinsky agreements. The Russian state had the opportunity to trade in the Chinese capital, sending three merchant caravans each year. Free trade was allowed in Kyakhta and Tsuruhaytu. This agreement led to a significant increase in the volume of trade between the two powers. Provided for diplomatic correspondence between the two states. The settlement of local border disputes was entrusted to border officials of Russia and China. In addition, the Russian Spiritual Mission in Beijing was legally framed. This agreement was the legal basis of relations between the Russian state and the Qing Empire until the middle of the XIX century.
In the middle of the XIX century, China experienced a decline. A significant part of the population was put on opium, turned into drug addicts. The Chinese were demoralized. Celestial became the object of attack from the great colonial powers - Britain and France. In 1840 — 1842 England defeated China in the First Opium War. In 1850 — 1864 there was a civil war in China — the Taiping rebellion. In 1856, the Second Opium War began, where Britain, France and the USA were opponents of the Qing Empire. This created foreign policy prerequisites for the revision of the Treaty of Nerchinsk.
Internal political prerequisites have also been formed for changing the border in the Amur region. In 1847, Nicholas I appointed Nikolay Muravyov to the position of acting governor-general of Eastern Siberia. With his support, Gennady Nevelsky reached the mouth of the Amur River in 1849 and opened the strait between the mainland and Sakhalin Island. In 1850, he, contrary to the official prescription - “not to touch the mouth of the Amur”, founded the Nicholas post (the future Nikolaevsk-on-Amur) at the mouth of the Amur. Nevelsky raised the flag of the empire there and announced the sovereignty of the Russian state over these lands. Part of the Russian political elite was opposed by the “party of patriots”. Foreign Minister Carl Nesselrode feared dissatisfaction with Western Europe, especially England, and the break in relations with China, which could have negative economic consequences. Nesselrode believed that it was necessary to resolve the issue radically - to recognize the Amur basin beyond China, to abandon it forever. The Special Committee considered the act of Nevelskoy to be audacious, and proposed that he be demoted to sailors. But the emperor, after the report of Muravyov, supported the initiative of Nevelsky, calling his act “well-done, noble and patriotic”.
Muravyov developed vigorous activity to strengthen Russian positions in the Far East. By his order, the Peter and Paul port was reinforced with several additional batteries. The governor persistently sought to create new fortifications, batteries, and organize a powerful flotilla in the Pacific, the establishment and formation of the Transbaikal Cossack army, the urgent occupation by the Russian forces of the mouth of the Amur River. Muravyov insisted on the active policy of Russia in the Far East. During the years 1851-1853. exploration of the Amur basin, the island of Sakhalin, Russian settlements were founded. The governor made the start of the formation of the Transbaikal Cossack army. Muravyov was ahead of time and suggested immediately starting the construction of the Siberian Railway, which would connect European Russia and the Far East. Unfortunately, this project was postponed due to the high cost.
At the beginning of 1854, the emperor gave Muraviev the right to conduct all relations with the Chinese authorities on the delimitation of Far Eastern lands and allowed him to use Amur to transport troops. The governor was able to convince the sovereign of the danger of losing the mouth of the Amur and Kamchatka, if he was slow in strengthening the military fortification of this eastern edge of the empire. At the mouth of the great river several more military posts were set up. And the left bank of the river was strengthened by five Cossack settlements. Strengthening of Russian positions in the region was very helpful. During the Crimean War, which was actually the forerunner of the First World War, the “world community” tried to dislodge Russia from the Far East. In 1855-1856 even more significant rallies of Russian troops passed across the Amur. The Chinese could see how to the mouth of the river passed 104 large vessel, 4 steamer, 50 small vessels, more than 8 thousand people, guns, ammunition, horses and cattle. The left bank of the Amur actually became Russian.
The Qing authorities watched Muravyev’s activities with caution. But they were afraid to enter into conflict with Russia, the balance of forces in the region did not change in favor of the Middle Kingdom. 9 September 1855, the first preliminary meeting with the authorized representative of the Qing Empire took place. The Russian Empire represented by Governor-General Muravyova proposed her draft of a new treaty on borders. The mouth of the Amur remained behind Russia, as well as the left bank of the river. The Chinese authorities did not respond to this offer.
For talks with the Chinese empire in 1857, Yevfimy Putyatin arrived, who in February 1855 signed the Simodsk treatise between Russia and Japan. However, all his attempts to engage the Chinese government in negotiations ended in nothing. Putyatin was not only not allowed into the Chinese capital, but also to the border cities of Aygun and Kyakhta, where Vice Admiral Putiatin was waiting for the official representatives of China. No one came to the talks.
Ants at this time all their attention focused on the development of the left bank of the Amur River, which was inhabited by Russian peasants. Prepared by the governor and a plan of military action with China, in case Beijing will persist and unleash a war. In late April, Governor-General Muravyov departed down the Amur. In Aigun, Chinese representatives announced the imminent arrival of their commander-in-chief for negotiations. 10 May negotiations began. Ants insisted on the need to transfer land on the Amur of Russia, which led to the expansion of transport opportunities. He convinced the Chinese side that Russia even helps to ensure the security of the borders of China - by closing the entrance to the Amur from other powers.
On May 12, due to Muraviev's illness, he was replaced in the negotiations by Perovsky. The Chinese delayed the negotiations. Then, on the instructions of Muravyev, Perovsky pressured them. China has received serious accusations that could be used as an excuse to start a war. Beijing was accused of military pressure at the conclusion of the Treaty of Nerchinsk; in collecting taxes from residents of unlimited territories; in ignoring the official envoy of Russia Putyatin, who was sent at the command of the sovereign, and this action led to the rupture of relations between states; in the attack on the Russian trading station. It scared the Chinese, the war with Russia, in the conditions of conflict with Britain and France, and the civil war, could lead to the fall of the power of the Manchus. The Chinese envoys were not slow to sign a new agreement on borders. This happened on 16 (28) on May 1858 of the year, six days after the start of negotiations.
It was a historic victory for Russia. In Irkutsk, which was the capital of Eastern Siberia, in honor of this agreement, a triumphal gate (the Amur Gate) was installed to meet with Governor-General Nikolai Muravyev. The inscription on the triumphal gates read: "The road to the Great Ocean." 1 (13) June 1858 of the Year in Tianjin was signed by Ye. V. Putiatin and the authorized representative of the Chinese side Hua Shan. The treaty expanded Russian political and trade rights in the Qing Empire, providing for defining a part of the border between the two powers that was not established until that time. In 1860, the Beijing Treaty was concluded. The border was held on the Chinese bank of the Amur and Ussuri, these rivers became completely Russian.
Khrushchev and Gorbachev deprived the Russian people of some of the fruits of this victory. In 1964, Soviet diplomacy agreed on the possibility of drawing the border between Russia and China along the main fairway of the border rivers. At the negotiations 1987 — 1991. Moscow abandoned the legal framework for the establishment of borders in accordance with the Beijing Treaty of 1860, which included a map with the border along the Chinese coast. Russian diplomacy disarmed itself, which ultimately led to the cession of a number of territories to the Russian Federation and the deterioration of the state’s defense capability in this direction. We should not forget about the economic projects of China, which also undermine Russia's position in the region.
Application. The Aigun Treaty between Russia and China on Borders and Mutual Trade. Ayhun [Aygun], 16 / 28 May 1858
Of the great Russian state, the commander of 47 over all the provinces of Eastern Siberia, e.i. Sovereign Emperor Alexander Nikolayevich gen.-ad., gen.-leith. Nikolai Muravyov, and the great Dytsin state, Gen.-ad., court grandee, Amur commander-in-chief, Prince Y-Shan, by common agreement, for the sake of the greater eternal mutual friendship of the two states, for the benefit of their subjects, decided:
The left bank of the Amur River, starting from the Argun River to the mouth of the sea. Amur, let it be the possession of the Russian state, and the right bank, counting downstream to r. Usuri, possession of the state of Dicti; from the river Usuri, further to the sea, there are places and lands, pending the definition of the border between the two states, as now they will be in the common possession of the Dytsin and Russian states. Only the vessels of the Dytsin and Russian states can sail along the Amuru, Sungari and Usuri rivers; All other foreign countries should not sail on sim rivers. Located on the left bank of the river. Cupid from p. Zei to the south, to the village of Kormoldzin, the Manchu residents of 48 left forever in their former places of residence, under the jurisdiction of the Manchu government, so that the Russian inhabitants would not do insults and oppressions.
For the mutual friendship of the subjects of the two states, mutual trade is allowed for the citizens of both states living along the rivers Usuri, Amur and Sungari, and the commanders should patronize the people of the two states on both banks.
That the governor-general Muraviev, authorized by the Russian state, and Amish commander-in-chief, I-Shan, authorized by the Leadzin state, were agreed, yes, to be executable exactly and indestructible for all time; for which the Russian state, the governor-general Muravyov, who wrote in the Russian and Manchurian languages, passed on the daqing state to the commander-in-chief, I-Shan, and the daikin state, the commander-in-chief, I-Shan, wrote on the Manchurian and Mongolian languages, and gave the Russian state to the governor-general, Muraviev. Everything here is written to publish to the people of the two states.
Aihun City, May 16 of the day 1858 of the year.
(On the authentic signed :)
The most gracious sovereign of my emperor and autocrat of all Russia, gen.-ad., gene.-governor of Eastern Siberia, gene.-leith. and various orders of cavalier Nikolai Muravev.
Services e.i.v., sovereign and autocrat of all Russia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Art. Peter Perovsky.
Assistant divisional chief Dzyraminga.
Governor-General of Eastern Siberia, interpreter with the governor’s secretary Yakov Shishmarev.
Company commander Ayzhinday.
Klyuchnikov, Yu.V., Sabanin, A. International Politics of Modern Time in Treaties, Notes and Declarations. CH 1. C. 176-177.
Quote from the publication: Collection of treaties of Russia with other states. 1856-1917. M., State. publishing house of political literature, 1952.