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An Analysis of the Early Diplomatic Policies of Soviet Russia and China on the Chinese Eastern Railway, 1917-1925 Open Access


Other title
Diplomatic Policy
Soviet Russia
Chinese Eastern Railway
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Cheng, Yiwei
Supervisor and department
Coleman, Heather (History and Classics)
Dunch, Ryan (History and Classics)
Examining committee member and department
Samson, Jane (History and Classics)
Coleman, Heather (History and Classics)
Claypool, Lisa (Art and Design)
Dunch, Ryan (History and Classics)
Department of History and Classics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
This thesis explores the evolution of Soviet diplomatic policies with respect to the disputed ownership of the Chinese Eastern Railway, and the responses of the three Chinese political authorities in Beijing, Guangzhou and Fengtian from 1917 to 1925. It restructures the analysis of available sources through horizontal analysis and comparison, in order to unveil a “parallel diplomacy” on the Soviet part, and the roles the three Chinese authorities played in this grand diplomatic game. From the Revolution in 1917 until the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925, Moscow’s contacts with all three authorities were initiated almost simultaneously with three different purposes, political legitimacy, justification of ideology, and practical leverage respectively. In response, the Beijing government took a relatively active approach toward reclaiming the ownership of the Railway, whereas Sun in Guangzhou was somewhat passive in dealing with Soviet claims. Fengtian warlord Zhang Zuolin’s approaches were quite ambiguous, as he had to balance the Japanese force in Manchuria as well. In general, the thesis reveals a balance between propaganda and national interests in Soviet diplomatic policy-making, and evaluates the effectiveness of Chinese politicians’ responses to Soviet Russia.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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