To the 400th Anniversary of Relationship between Russia and China. I. Petlin's Mission to China (1618–1619)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: IFES RAS
Address: Russian Federation
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 5(2)

May 2019 marked 400 years of relations between Russia and China, the largest powers belonging to different world civilizations. They passed the way from complete ignorance and misunderstanding of each other through conflicts, including armed clashes, to the realization of the fact that the right way to achieve good — neighborly relations is a peaceful dialogue based on mutual understanding and mutual concessions. The first step in this direction was taken by Russia by sending a mission of I. Petlin in 1618–1619 to China, where the Russian guests were received benevolently at the diplomatic level.

KeywordsRussian State, Russia, Ivan Petlin’s mission, Moscow, Tomsk, Peking, middle State, China, Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov (Russian Czar), Ivan the Terrible, Xuan Ye (Kangxi), J. Mereck
Publication date05.12.2019
Number of characters42014
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2. . Myasnikov V.S. Features of the formation of contractual relations between Russia and China // Russian-Chinese legal acts (1689–1916). M., 2004.S. 9.

3. . The new history of China. M., 1972.P. 64.

4. . For more details see: Ipatova A.S. The policy of “closed doors” of Qingov: the policy of “self-defense” or “suicide of the state” (to pose the question in the modern historiography of the PRC) // World History and the East. M., 1989. S. 242–251.

5. . In official Qing documents, reference is often made to a historical precedent expressed by the hieroglyph “li”. “In the practice of Qing diplomacy,” researcher Yu Jie explains, “the word“ custom ”or“ habit ”(whether) refers to a particular historical precedent, which has been established in the official dynastic historiography and thereby has legitimacy for one or another diplomatic or military operations ”(Yu Jie. Place of the 1728 Kyakhta Treaty in the formation of Russian Sinology // Problems of the Far East. 2007. No. 4. P. 100). We add from ourselves that the concept of “habit” had a broader interpretation.

6. . The Minsk Native Chinese Dynasty (1368–1644) was founded as a result of the overthrow of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1280–1368), ceased to exist during the peasant war under the leadership of Li Zicheng and the subsequent conquest of the country by the Manchus who proclaimed their dynasty - Qing.

7. . For a detailed analysis of the closed door policy, see: Hu Siyyun. Qing Chao de Bushan Zhangze Menmeizhui: [Closed-door policy and Qing obscurantism] // Jilin Shida Shuebao. 1979. No. 2; Yapian zhanzheng shi lunwen zhuanji: [Collection of articles on the history of the Opium War]. Specialist. release. S. 99–124]; Ipatova A.S. About some new directions and trends in the historical science of the PRC (80s of the 20th century - beginning of the 21st century) // The image of China in modern Russia: some problems of Chinese history and modern politics of the PRC in the studies of Russian and foreign scientists. M., 2007. S. 260–274.

8. . Russian-Chinese relations in the XVII century. Materials and documents. T. 1: 1608-1683. M., 1969. Doc. No. 26.P. 90.

9. . Thus, the famous scientist and statesman who led the fight against the smuggling of opium in Guangdong in 1840, Lin Zesuy, in his first “Appeal to the British Queen Victoria” in 1839 wrote: “Of all the goods that China sends to other countries, there is not one that would not be useful ... And without such goods as, for example, tea and rhubarb, foreigners can not do a day. "How will they live if we suddenly stint on our goods, stop helping them in misfortune?” And further: “Foreigners are not able to turn yarn into silk if they do not receive silk cocoons from us. What can they rely on if China is suddenly stingy and deprives them of these benefits ... The goods imported into China by foreigners are nothing more than trinkets that we can do without. And since we don’t really need them, it’s not a big deal for us to close customs and stop importing them. ” (Selected works of progressive Chinese thinkers of the new time (1840–1898). M., 1961. S. 55–56).

10. In this case, the warning about the unilateral termination of foreign trade was dictated by a fair demand that foreigners refuse opium smuggling. But at the same time, this document is an excellent illustration of the subjective China-centric conception of the role of China in the system of world trade relations and the special significance of its products for foreign states.

11. . For details see: Moroz I.T. The Chinese Embassy of Tulishen to the Kalmyk Khan Ayuk on the Volga (1712-1715) // Eastern Archive. No. 2 (20). 2009. S. 28–39; Her. The First Chinese Embassy in St. Petersburg (1732) // Ibid. No. 2 (22). 2010. S. 19–26.

12. . From 1644 to 1912, the Manchu Qing Dynasty ruled in China. Overthrown during the Xinhai Revolution of 1911–1913.

13. . Myasnikov V.S. Features of formation ... S. 8.

14. . Bantysh-Kamensky N.N. Diplomatic meeting of affairs between the Russian and Chinese states from 1619 to 1792. Kazan, 1882.S. 5.

15. . Myasnikov V.S. Features of formation ... S. 9.

16. . Only at the end of the XVIII century. The first official diplomatic mission of the British government visited China - the mission of the former governor of Madras and Bengal, Lord J. Macartney (1792–1794). On behalf of his government, he presented the following requirements to the Qing court: to open a diplomatic mission of England in China and establish diplomatic relations between them; in addition to Guangzhou (Canton) open several more ports for English trade; liquidate the trade monopoly of Kohong (gunhan) and allow the British Chans freedom of settlement in China. Qing rejected all these demands. Admission to the British ambassador was given as ambassador of the vassal state. From Tianjin to Beijing, the embassy was transported in boats and carts with the words "Embassy with a tribute from the English king." The Qing emperor did not accept J. Macartney, he was only allowed to attend the celebrations on the occasion of the emperor’s birthday.

17. . The Nerchinsk Treaty (1693), the Kyakhta Treaty (1728), an Additional Article to the Kyakhta Treaty on the Regime of Russian-Chinese Borders (1768) and the International Act on the Procedure of Russian-Chinese Trade through Kyakhta (1792).

18. . Kolai, Gelao, Golai - a member of the Imperial Chancellery (Neige).

19. . Aliha Amban is the head of the order.

20. . Russian-Chinese relations ... T. 1. D. 183. P. 445.

21. . Bantysh-Kamensky N.N. Decree. Op. S. 93.

22. . Adoratsky N. Orthodox mission in China for 200 years of its existence. The experience of church historical research on archival materials. Vol. 1. The history of the Beijing spiritual mission in the first period of its activity (1685-1745). Kazan, 1887.S. 81.

23. . Bantysh-Kamensky N.N. Decree. Op. S. 93.

24. . In the same place. S. 6.

25. . Details about these negotiations, about the Russian expeditions to the Kalmyks to the Mongols, and about the decision made by the Moscow government to send missions to China, see: Russian-Chinese relations ... T. 1. D. No. 1–23. S. 39–71 .; Demidova N.F. Myasnikov V.S. The first Russian diplomats in China ("Painting" by I. Petlin and the article list by F. I. Baykov). M., 1966. S. 11–83.

26. . Details of trade in the city of Tobolsk see: Vilkov, O.N. Chinese goods on the Tobolsk market in the 17th century // History of the USSR. 1958. No. 1. S. 105–124; His own. Craft and commerce in Western Siberia in the 17th century. M., 1967.

27. . When the term of this treaty expired under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in 1650 and the British wished to renew it, the Russian government refused categorically.

28. . Russian-Chinese relations ... T. 1. D. 26. S. 90.

29. . In the same place. T. 1. D. 28.P. 92.

30. . In the same place. T. 1. D. 28.P. 92; D. 26.P. 83.

31. . Myasnikov V.S. Qing Empire and the Russian state in the XVII century. S. 64.

32. . Russian-Chinese relations ... T. 1. D. 29. S. 95.

33. . In the same place. D. 26.P. 83.

34. . Wally - a distorted transcription of Wanli - the motto of the reign (1573–1620) of the Minsk emperor Zhu Yijun (1563–1620). For more details about him and his family see: Liu I. Ming, Qing Huangshi (imperial families of the Ming dynasties, Qing). Beijing, 1997. S. 149–158.

35. . Russian-Chinese relations ... T. 1. D. 24. S. 71–72.

36. . The translation was made in Tobolsk on April 15, 1675 by a Chinese resident there on behalf of the envoy N. Spafariy, who was on his way to China with a diplomatic mission. Under the text of the registry sheet: "And as the sheet is written, and that 56 years old, which is to fix around 1619." Here, the translator made a mistake for one year, since I. Petlin was in Beijing from September 1 to 4, 1618, then this sheet was compiled.

37. . Demidova N.F., Myasnikov V.S. Decree. Op. S. 49, 53.

38. . For more details see: Myasnikov V.S. New documents on a trip to China by Ivan Petlin // Soviet Sinology. 1958. No. 1. P. 146–152. (publication and entry article); same // Quadrature of the Chinese circle. Fav. articles. Prince 1. M., 2006.S. 241–247.

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