In the light of the recent Crimean referendum deciding on the reunification with Russia, Chinese netizens drew parallels between the current Ukrainian crisis to the loss of former Chinese territory. Both Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union, using the justification of defending Russian interests, sent troops into both Tannu Tuva and Mongolia, where referendums were held to declare independence from China.
Many online criticized the traditionally pro-Russian support in China and ask if Chinese people have forgotten their own history.
Russia’s Two Referendums Cost China 2 million km² of Territory
Looking at Russia instigating a referendum in Crimea, as a “former nationalist”, I feel conflicted. I only know that because of Russia’s past two “referendums”, our China instantly lost 2 million km² of territory.
Russia’s first “conscientious referendum”, location: Tannu Uriankhai
Tannu Uriankhai, with an area of 240,000 km² is located in the northwest corner of Mongolia. During the Qing Dynasty it was undisputedly part of our territory, as Tannu Uriankhai was part of the overall 1909 national census. At the time Tsarist Russia had attempted many times to annex Tannu Uriankhai but failed. Fortunately, the Qing court stationed border troops here. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, Tsarist Russia began to send in large numbers of armed forces and Tannu Uriankhai became under the de facto control of the Tsar. During the era of the Beiyang government, with the start of the October Revolution in Russia, the Republic of China in 1917 decided to forcefully retake the area of Tannu Uriankhai. By 1919, after 2 years of difficult war, it was declared that Tannu Uriankhai had been reclaimed. On 1920 December 21, the president of the Republic of China Xu Shichang issued an executive declaration and appointed Huang Chentu as the consular of Tannu Uriankhai.
But sadly, the sound of cannons in the October Revolution brought Marxism to China, along with the Soviet Red Army. In 1921, the Soviet Red Army under the guise of pursuing White Russian forces, forcefully entered Tannu Uriankhai, while the White Russian army was destroyed, so was our “Tannu Uriankhai”.
In March of 1921, under the intervention and manipulation of the Soviet Red Army, Tannu Uriankhai held a “pseudo-referendum”, the result predictable, and in 1921 August, Tannu Uriankhai declared independence. In December, it changed its name to Tannu Tuva and later in 1926 it changed its name to the “Tuvan People’s Republic”. Although the Soviet Union repeatedly promised it would not make the “Tuvan People’s Republic” their own territory, in 1944 August 17, the “Tuvan People’s Republic” asked the Soviet Union to take control of Tannu Uriankhai, which made it no longer a problem, because it was not Soviet Russia that wanted to take them but “them” voluntarily delivering themselves [to Russia]. The Soviet Union naturally accepted the “request”. On the 13th of October, the “Tuvan People’s Republic” officially became the “Tuvan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic”, and to this day it remain an “inseparable part of Russian territory”, its name now: “The Tyva Republic under the Russian Federation”.
Although at the time we continued to insist that “Tannu Uriankhai is forever China’s sacred territory” (declared by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of China in 1948), sadly it is gone and not returning. Russia, out of “the kindness of their heart” organized a referendum in China, and because of this China lost “Tannu Uriankhai”, and 170,000 km² of territory.
Russia’s second “conscientious referendum”, location: Mongolia
Russia held referendums in Mongolia, on several occasions, and the ultimate result is something I don’t care to go into. Either way, they achieved their “effective referendum”, and we said “goodbye” to Mongolia. Instantly our territory decreased by 1.7 million km². And our map went from being a maple leaf shape to that of a chicken, a chicken that doesn’t know how to lay eggs.
As time passed, it became history, and once the wound healed, the pain was forgotten, like after being raped so much that the “rapist” becomes the husband. Looking at Russia’s referendum in Crimea, and then look at the world map, I can only clench my teeth, only blame myself for being a “former nationalist”.
Comments from KDNet:
The Russia that has never done any good; if it’s not destroyed, then there is no justice in the world.
The consistent practice of brutish barbaric Russia has been to steal the land of other countries. If we go by Russia’s logic, then China could at anytime refuse to acknowledge that the land from Outer Khingan Range to Sakhalin Island belongs to Russia.
Of course they are stolen land.
Relying on referendums to join a country and relying on referendums to pick who becomes the leader is historical progress! The natural order of social development!
The former Soviet Union is the embodiment of evil, and when compared to Hitler’s Germany, it was far worse. And today’s Russia is just a smaller Soviet Union, its evil nature unchanged.
Looking at history, [Russia] had a history of swallowing up other country’s territory. The devil Stalin had even more ambition than the Tsar. Before and after WWII they invaded many different countries’ territory, such as the Karjala area of Finland, Ulansuhai Nur and Heixiazi Island of China, and the Kuril Islands of Japan.
The 50 cent party who support the Crimea referendum are shameless, they could never understand the principle of “do not do to others what you would not have them do to you”.
From Sina Weibo:
@作家崔成浩: Crimea holds a referendum to split from Ukraine, and unbelievably there are people amongst you all cheering it on. Did you know? In 1945 October, the Soviet Union also encouraged a referendum in Mongolia, with only 500,000 people participating, but was able to cut away 15% of China’s territory.
Comments from Sina Weibo:
In this, Russia really has crossed the line, supporting regions in other countries to hold referendums is wrong, and if the UN approves, then Tibet, Xingjiang, and Inner-Mongolia would all hold referendums for independence.
Those Chinese who support the Crimea referendum all didn’t do well in history.
The current Ukrainian government is an illegal government that came to power through a coup. The Crimean people should not let an illegal government decide their fate,, so a referendum is the best choice.
The corruption and incompetence of both the Ukrainian and the Republic of China governments are the main reasons for these tragedies.
History always repeats, back then the Soviet Union also sent troops to Mongolia and chased away the Nationalist government while supporting a puppet state to hold a referendum. Yet, today there are still many SB who are cheering for the Crimean referendum. The ass kissing is pissing me off!
Open the door, here to check your water meter…
Those who support the Crimean referendum, please continue supporting when Taiwan holds a referendum [for independence] in the future.
The Republic of China has never recognized the independence of Mongolia!
If we were to hold a referendum now, how many more people would want to leave China?