Treaty of Nerchinsk

Treaty of Nerchinsk

The Treaty of Nerchinsk (Russian: Нерчинский договор, Chinese: 尼布楚 條約, Pinyin: Níbùchǔ tiáoyuē) was the first treaty between Russia and the Qing Empire. It was signed in Nerchinsk on August 27, 1689 as a result of the Russian-Manchu border conflicts over the region of Priamurye. The signatories were Songgotu on behalf of the Qing Emperor and Fedor Golovin on behalf of the Russian tsars Peter I and Ivan V.

According to this treaty, Russia gave up its hopes of gaining access to the Sea of Japan, but established trade relations with the Qing Dynasty of China. The Russian outpost of Albazin, which had been a source of conflict between China and Russia, was to be abandoned and destroyed. The border between Russia and China was traced along the Stanovoy Ridge and the Argun River.

Jean-François Gerbillon and Thomas Pereira, two Jesuits present at the negotiations, translated the treaty into three languages (Russian, Manchu, and Latin), but these versions differed considerably. The treaty had no official Chinese text. In 1727, a new treaty was concluded, Treaty of Kiakhta, which opened Kiakhta for caravan trade and further clarified the border between the two empires.

The conditions of the two treaties were substantially revised to Russia's benefit by the Aigun Treaty of 1858 and the Beijing Treaty of 1860, which established the Russo-Chinese border roughly corresponding to that of today.

Further reading

  • Vincent Chen. Sino Russian Relations in the Seventeenth Century. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966).
  • V. S. Frank. "The Territorial Terms of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Nerchinsk, 1689". The Pacific Historical Review (August 1947): 265-170.
  • Mark Mancall. Russia and China. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971).
  • Perdue, Peter C. China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.
  • Sebes, Joseph, and Thomas Pereira. The Jesuits and the Sino-Russian Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689): The Diary of Thomas Pereira. Bibliotheca Instituti Historici S.I.; V. 18. Rome: Institutum Historicum S.I., 1962.


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