Asia Pacific 1920: Creation of the Far Eastern Republic

By early 1920, the Soviets had effectively won the Russian Civil War. However, as opposing regimes collapsed across the Russian Far East, communist partisans came into conflict with the Japanese garrisons spread across the region. In response, the Soviets declared an independent Far Eastern Republic to serve as a buffer between them and Japan.


Treaty Ports

Treaty ports were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country’s laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.

Treaty ports are not shown in the maps after the 1911 Chinese Revolution in order to give a clearer picture of the chaos in China itself and as by that point their numbers had stabilized. After the revolution, some of the smaller ports were phased out while the others became less important as the situation in China meant that only the concessions could provide foreigners with security. Most, however, still continued on into the 1940s when the Japanese entry into World War II and foreign agreements with China brought them to an end.

See this map for treaty ports in 1907, when the system was at its peak.

Yangtze River

By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.

Main Events

22 Nov 1919 China revokes Mongolia’s autonomy

China revokes Mongolia’s autonomyin wikipedia

4 Jan 1920 Kolchak resigns as Soviet supported Political Centre seizes power in Irkutsk

Kolchak resigns as Soviet supported Political Centre seizes power in Irkutskin wikipedia

12 Mar 1920 Nikolayevsk Incident

Japanese troops in Nikolayevsk, Russian Far East, failed in a surprise attack against communist partisans, leading to a general massacre of the Japanese in the wikipedia

4–5 Apr 1920 Japanese offensive in Russian Far East

Japanese retaliate for Nikolayevsk Incident by assaulting Russian partisan positions in the Far East and installing a new government in Vladivostokin wikipedia

6 Apr 1920 Far Eastern Republic

A Constituent Assembly in Verkhneudinsk, far eastern Russia, proclaimed the establishment of the Far Eastern Republic. The new republic was supported and recognized by Soviet Russia as a convenient buffer state between itself and the Japanese forces in occupation of wikipedia