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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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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Railroads, Germs, and Gold

Railroads, Germs, and Gold

Chapter:
(p.39) 2 Railroads, Germs, and Gold
Source:
Beyond the Steppe Frontier
Author(s):

Sören Urbansky

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691181684.003.0003

This chapter covers the introduction of more assertive policies to govern the international border at the turn of the twentieth century that were replacing long-pursued laissez-faire practices. It examines the framing of local disputes over territorial boundaries in national terms as well as the reorganization of customs and sanitary borders as part of a general evolution toward a territorial boundary. In particular, the chapter takes a look at how the introduction of railroads not only reorganized space but also cross-border relations and national development. After the construction of the Great Siberian Railroad had begun in 1891, Russia made use of railroad diplomacy to wield imperial influence in China's Northeast—at a time when a number of powers began to compete fiercely over influence in Northeast Asia. Russia's vehicle in this struggle for supremacy, the Chinese Eastern Railroad, was not simply a joint Sino-Russian railroad company that happened to operate on Chinese soil, but a colonial railroad, which in its Russian (and later Soviet) comanagement represented a typical expression of informal imperialism.

Keywords:   railroads, territorial boundaries, Great Siberian Railroad, Chinese Eastern Railroad, Sino-Russian railroad, imperialism, colonial railroads, customs, sanitary borders

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