- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
356

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVI. Russia in the east. The yellow question

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THROUGH SIBERIA
1860, the Russian Empire on the Pacific was extended
on the south as far as the frontier of Korea ; and the
Rivers Ussuri and Amiir became the frontier towards
China. Thus these great and important tracts were
acquired without a single shot being fired. It was in
similar peaceful fashion that by the agreement with
China of 1896, Russia obtained the right to build the
Eastern Chinese railway through Manchuria ; the
Russians then established themselves there, even forcing
Japan to give up Southern Manchuria, which she had
tåken from China in the war of 1894 ; and by the treaty
with China of 1898 Russia acquired the Kwan-tung
peninsula with Port Arthur and Dalniy. But from
there she was expelled in less peaceful fashion by the
Japanese War.
If we glance at a map of the world and see the
thin thread of railway line which is Russia’s only
communication with her eastern provinces on the
Pacific, and remember that since the destruction of
her fleet in the East all reinforcements in case of trouble
have to be carried along this thin thread against the
advancing hosts from the east and south—then we
shall easily understand the urgent necessity of getting
these eastern provinces settled as quickly as possible
and peopled by a powerful national Russian com
munity, which would itself be strong enough to resist,
at any rate for a time, an invasion of the Russian
frontiers, and would be capable of supporting the
armed forces necessary for such operations. It is
therefore natural that Russia’s efforts, first to improve
the communications with these eastern provinces, and
then to increase their colonization, have been redoubled
and are increasing year by year.
But the difficulties are great. In the first place
there are the great distances. Between Petersburg,
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