This post was edited by 29042012 at 2012-12-6 00:46|
A historic Newspaper Article
The Gettysburg Times, Tuesday, August 8, 1972
Russia and China feuding again along their border
By James R. Peipert – Associate Press Writer
Moscow (AP) -
The Soviet Union and China are feuding again over their border in Asia. Publication in Peking of a new Chinese World Atlas opened the latest round in the dispute that has its origins centuries ago, when Czars and emperors ruled the two countries.
„The author of this geographical study,“ the Soviet government newspaper Izvestia said Monday night, „are trying to justify the territorial claims of the Chinese leadership to 1 ½ million square kilometers of age-old Soviet territory.“ This equals 579.000 square miles.
The lengthy article was called „Geography, Maoist Style.“ In 1963 – as Chinese-Soviet relations rapidly disintegrated – China aired a vague claim to the same amount of land in Siberia and the Soviet Far East.
The Chinese argued that the lands had been taken by treaties imposed unfairly on the weak imperial Chinese government in the 19th Century. The Soviet claim is based on physical possession of the area as well as Russian exploration and settlement of the eastern reaches of Siberia in the early 17th Century and their formal annexation in 1649. Russia ceded the territory back to China in 1690 and 1728. But Moscow contends these treaties were „unequal and unfair“, the same charge China raises against the 19th Century Aygun and Peking treaties under which Russia recovered the territory.
„The People's Republic of China is … the only big state whose leadership picks territorial quarrels with its neighbors in the North and South, in the East and West,“ Izvestia said. „Those who put forward absurd demands to the USSE … should recall the way the Soviet people regard such claims.“ This could be a reference to the battle on March 2, 1969, between Soviet and Chinese troops at Damasky Island, in the Ussuri River, which forms the Far Eastern frontier. It was the first of five armed clashes, officially anounced and protested, and hundreds of lesser incidents during the following six minths.
The Soviet side reported 31 dead and 14 injured in the March 2 clash. The Chinese gave no casualty report. Premier Alexei Kosygin flew to Peking in September 1969 and arranged for border negotiations which are still going on, but there has been no indication of any progress toward an agreement. Both governments continue to beef up their frontier military forces. An American expert on China, Prof. Lucian Pye of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said last month the Russians have more than one million sodiers on their side of the border.