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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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Invisible Enemies across the Frozen River

Invisible Enemies across the Frozen River

(p.217) 7 Invisible Enemies across the Frozen River
Beyond the Steppe Frontier

Sören Urbansky

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that the rift between Beijing and Moscow had a lasting influence on the situation along the border, with direct and indirect consequences for those living in the area. The two communist regimes, armed to the teeth, confronted one another on the border with even more weaponry and soldiers than had been assembled during the Japanese–Soviet arms race in the 1930s. Propaganda campaigns resuscitated old motifs of infiltration, sabotage, espionage, and disinformation, imbuing the border with new legitimacy as a space of enmity. The conflict was, of course, not just about winning or losing the hearts and minds of the people. Though no major war broke out, the war scare affected the security, economy, and demography in the border regions of Hulunbeir and Transbaikalia, and its concomitant outpouring of nationalism altered how the local populace in the divided Argun borderland perceived the border and its adjoining states.

Keywords:   communist regimes, propaganda campaigns, war scare, Hulunbeir, Transbaikalia, Argun borderland, nationalism

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