Chinese Migrants between Two People's Commissariats: the History of the Re-registration of the Chinese Population of the Eastern Regions of the USSR in 1936-1937.

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Researcher, Department of China
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow, Rozhdestvenka 12
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 3

The article is devoted to the little known history of the re-registration of the Chinese population of the Soviet Far East and Eastern Siberia. The purpose of this large-scale campaign was to solve problems with the issuance of Chinese national passports and residence permits to Chinese migrants. The need for the campaign arose both from the "traditional" problem of Chinese migrants in the USSR — the lack of necessary documents, and alsofrom a number of new factors that emerged in 1932-1934.The question of the need for this re-registration was raised by the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs in the spring of 1934. After agreeing with the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) and Chinese diplomats, re-registration was carried out from the beginning of September 1936 to the end of April 1937. It was carried out by the consulates of the Republic of China under control of Soviet authorities.


Despite the long preparation, this attempt was not successful. On the one hand, a negative role was played by the NKVD. The activities of this People's Commissariat in many cases contradicted the tasks of re-registration.Often, representatives of the NKVD directly violated the instructions.On the other hand, largely due to the obstacles that the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs was putting up, the necessary information was not provided to Chinese migrants, many of whom did not understand the meaning of re-registration. But above all, such result of the campaign was due to the general changes in the political situation in the USSR, which occurred from the time the question of re-registration was raised in 1934 to the time of its staring in September 1936 and, moreover, to the end of re-registration at the end of April 1937.

KeywordsUSSR, re-registration of Chinese, Chinese migrants, People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, NKVD, Soviet-Chinese relations  
Publication date21.06.2022
Number of characters49763
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