Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Ron Wagner

China is using Chinese Names of Cities on their Border with Russia.

Recommended Posts


OPINION: China Challenges Russia by Restoring Chinese Names of Cities on Their Border

While proclaiming its support for Russia, is China capitalizing on Moscow’s weakness to stab it in the back?

February 26, 2023, 1:41 pm | Comments (5)
China Challenges Russia by Restoring Chinese Names of Cities on Their Border

John Tallis's 1851 map shows much of the territory lost by the Qing Dynasty to the Russian Empire. Image: Wikipedia


Something very telling appears to be happening behind the scenes in Chinese-Russian relations. Clearly, they are not all that they seem and the implications for Russia should give grounds for concern.

“China’s Ministry of Natural Resources has just issued new regulations on map content, which require the addition of old Chinese names to the current Russian-pronounced geographical names of eight places along the Russian-Chinese border,” Radio France International in Chinese reported on Feb. 23.   

The eight Russian place names, comprise six cities, including Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, one island and one mountain.

This led Akio Yaban, head of the Taipei branch of the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, to quip, “Are you going to recover the lost land?”, RFI added.

The Asia Times noted on Feb. 25 that it is ironic that while releasing a peace plan this week “which conspicuously fails to say clearly whether Moscow should with draw its troops” from Ukraine’s Donbas region and Crimea,” China “this very month, made a politically sensitive change in its official word view – a change that affects Russia.”


It elaborates that “Under Beijing’s new directive, Vladivostok once again is called Haishenwai (meaning Sea Cucumber Bay) while Sakhalin Island is called Kuyedao. The Stanovoy Range is back to being called the Outer Xing’an Range in Chinese.”

“China lost large expanses of land in its northern region due to the invasion of Russian,” Asia Times explains, and now Beijing has directed a return to the use of Chinese names for them. It also notes that despite Beijing seemingly wanting to strengthen its ties with Russia, it has permitted Chinese columnists to publish articles from time to time about the vast territories lost to foreign powers, thereby in effect reminding “Chinese people of their wish to recover the lost territory.”

According to RFI, on Feb.22, Japan’s “Sankei Shimbun” Taipei branch chief Akio Yaita wrote bluntly in his Facebook post: “It is a common tactic of China to take advantage when others are in difficulty, gaining some small advantage thereby. If Russia really collapses this time, just possibly Xi Jinping will with a wave of his hand order ‘recover our lost territories immediately’. It is the so-called tactic ‘of taking advantage of someone else’s weakness to kill them.’”

Who Can Pay for Putin’s War? Step Forward Vladimir

Who Can Pay for Putin’s War? Step Forward Vladimir

The West invariably plays by the rules while our enemies break them. It’s time to bend them, a little.


Ukraine presents a great challenge for Europe – and a great opportunity
02:58 / 10:54
Copy video url
Play / Pause
Mute / Unmute
Report a problem
Vidverto Player
RFI also noted that Wang Yi, the Chinese Politburo member in charge of foreign affairs, was in Moscow this week saying that ‘the friendship between Russia and China is as solid as a rock’. The Franco-Chinese service commented: “But as anyone who has studied history knows, the history of Russian-Chinese relations is a book of deceitful deceptions.”

We await Moscow’s reaction and to see how things develop.

Bohdan Nahaylo
Bohdan Nahaylo
Bohdan Nahaylo, Chief Editor of Kyiv Post, is a British-Ukrainian journalist and veteran Ukraine watcher based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He was formerly a senior United Nations official and policy adviser, and director of Radio Liberty’s Ukrainian Service.

Comments (5)

I am a Chinese reader and I have to point out the background news is incorrect.

For any Chinese map, geographical name in border area which was annexed by Russian Empire has to be presented by both two names: a primary formal name, which is a Russian name written by transliterated Chinese; and its historical Chinese name, but in brackets only.

Even before such practice became legal requirement since Y2003, it was implemented long time ago. I remember I've seen the same remark when I was a little child, and my parents tried to teach me before a map 30 years ago.

The practice reflects historical facts that a prevailing population of Mandarin and Manchurian had inhabited in that vast area and maintained trade and exchange with China Proper before Russian's expansion to its farthest coast. Though they were involuntarily driven out and replaced by Slavic migrants, people in China still got more used to its traditional Chinese name despite that People's Republic of China officially conceded Soviet Union's occupation inherited from Romanov Dynasty.

But as you may feel, Such unique feature indeed imbues some trace of grievance lamenting lost of ancient land.
So, It does not direct a "new regulations on map content" of using Chinese name, but simply re-iterate the requirement that already exists for decades. In the backdrop of Russia's humiliated failure in Ukraine, the news media noticed the news and tried to associate it with Russia's diminishing influence.


@Budu, thanks a lot for clarification.

Anyways, the timing of this announcement (I cannot find the original source BTW) seems very awkward. There won't be any point in reiterating it if that's already in place.

And if China is really preparing to claim these lands, this would be a reasonable first step to prepare internal and external audience. We'll see if there is anything that follows this step in coming months.

I think, China has potential to use the moment of russia's weakness, and waits until russia will be defenseless, devoid of allies and preferably in the state of civil war. There are numerous examples for similar invasions in world history.


Serves me right for reading this franc-anglo-zionazi propaganda.


@Avery, Yes go read pravda instead. They always tell the truth LOL.


China's 1st goal is Lake Baikal, for fresh water supply. After that the Ural mountains for arable land becoming available with global warming.
And it all starts with reclaiming East Manchuria after Putlin has bled out Russia's future in the boggy fields of Ukraine.

Joshua Smith

Russia invaded Ukraine because of its natural resources of oil, gas, and minerals. It is the greed of Putin as he knows if these resources are ever developed, it would be the end for the Russian economy. How pathetic he and his henchmen are.


The next step is that China will want its historic territories back as well, just like RuZZia


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0