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Beyond the Steppe FrontierA History of the Sino-Russian Border$
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Sören Urbansky

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181684

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181684.001.0001

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Cossacks and Bannermen on the Argun Frontier

Cossacks and Bannermen on the Argun Frontier

(p.15) 1 Cossacks and Bannermen on the Argun Frontier
Beyond the Steppe Frontier

Sören Urbansky

Princeton University Press

This chapter reviews the affairs of frontier people from the first direct but sporadic encounters between Russians and Chinese. Relations between the Russian and Chinese empires on their shared steppe frontier can be divided into three phases. The first phase lasted through the late seventeenth century. During this time, Cossacks entered Transbaikalia and came in contact with Mongol nobles while the Qing established rule over Hulunbeir. The second phase, from roughly 1728 to 1851, was characterized by a balance of power between Beijing and Saint Petersburg, the establishment of permanent yet deficient border surveillance by both polities, and intensifying contacts on the border, in particular routed through Kiakhta, the year-round location for border trade. The third and final phase lasted from 1851 to the end of the nineteenth century. This period was marked by a shift of power in favor of Russia.

Keywords:   frontier people, frontier relations, steppe frontier, Cossacks, Mongols, Qing Chinese, balance of power, border surveillance, border contact, border trade

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