- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
365

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA IN THE EAST
365
pean is a match for the Chinese. They poison them
with their pernicious Chinese spirit, khanshin, and they
also give them opium ; they coax their sables and other
valuable furs out of them at a ridiculous price, and
charge heavily for their own goods which they supply
in return ; they contrive to get the natives so deeply
into their debt that they can never be free, but must
always procure them furs. They use their power over
the natives to make them fear the Russians as their
enemies and see in the Chinese their friends and saviours.
The Manses frequently become well-to-do and, as
already mentioned, the Cossacks and peasants have
often been compelled to apply to them for assistance in
time of famine, thus falling into a position of dependence.
Another thing that tends in this direction is the fact
that most of the colonists, at any rate in the southern
Ussuri country, were Little Russians, who are certainly
capable farmers, but are not accustomed to forest
country and have no home industries like the Great
Russians. They therefore had to employ Chinese as
smiths and for other handicrafts, and thus became
dependent on them to this extent. In addition to all
this, it was provided by the treaty of Peking in 1860
that Chinese subjects were not to be punished by the
Russian authorities, even for minor offences, but were
to be handed over to the Chinese authorities. This
gave the Manses a privilege of which they knew how to
avail themselves in dealing with the Russian population,
and the Chinese therefore remained more or less masters
of the country.
To the Amiir district there was also a great immigra
tion of yellow men, chiefly Chinese. In the days before
the Russian domination there were, as stated above,
large settlements of Chinese Manchus on the plains
of the Séya. Besides these permanently established

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