Welcome to Shots Across the Amur, a resource of Chinese documents about the 1917 Russian revolutions and Civil War. The title of this blog refers to one of the most immediate, tangible signs of the revolutions along the Sino-Russian frontier: Chinese officials in Heihe, just across the Amur River from Blagoveshchensk, could see and hear disorder breaking out in both March and November 1917. It speaks to the closeness of the Sino-Russian border and the long history of engagement between both countries.
A rich collection of Chinese-language sources on the 1917-1921 period exists in the volumes of Zhong-E guanxi shiliao (中俄關系史料), published by Academia Sinica in Taipei. They have also been digitised and can be viewed online on the Academia Sinica database (see here for more details). Hence, these materials have been readily accessible for a long time – indeed, they have been used by many scholars working on Sino-Russian relations – but a systematic study and translation has yet to be undertaken in English. I hope that this blog can shed light on some of these documents, demonstrate the potential of this collection and encourage more researchers to use them.
This blog is a one-woman show, so I ask for your kind understanding for any omissions and mistakes contained herein. New documents should appear once or twice a week, going in chronological order. As it is certainly an evolving work, all comments and suggestions for improvement are very much appreciated!