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Manchuria (Manchu: Манҗу Гурун, Manju Gurun; Russian: Маньчжурия, Manchzhuriya), officially known as the Republic of Manchuria (Манҗу Ирген Гурун, Manju Irgen Gurun; Республика Маньчжурия, Respublika Manchzhuriya), is a sovereign state that's located in Northeastern Asia. The nation is bordered by the Russian Federation in the north, Korea in the south, China in the southwest, and Mongolia in the west.
The modern territories of Manchuria had been incorporated into several Chinese dynasties since the 3rd Century BC. The native Manchu people would seize control over China proper in the 17th Century AD and establish the Early Qing Dynasty.
The 1850s would see the gradual weakening of the ruling Qing and the rise of various European powers. The territories of Outer Manchuria were annexed by the neighboring Russian Empire in 1858 and continued Russian encroachment would continue throughout the late 19th Century. Beginning in 1896, the Russians were leased territory for the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway (CER) and reducing the travel period for the Trans-Siberian Railway. Many of the modern cities in Manchuria began as railway hubs of the CER.
Beginning in the 20th Century, the Russian Empire began to consolidate and expand their influence over Manchuria. This included the resettling of Russian subjects into the area and the enlargement of the Chinese Eastern Railway to the warm water port of Dalny on the Yellow Sea. Such a move was favored by Saint Petersburg as a means to loosen their dependency on the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas (which could easily be blockaded during wartime) and assure easy transportation to Russia's growing overseas colonies (especially those of Russian America).
Russian encroachment into Manchuria and Korea would eventually lead to conflict with Japan. On February 8, 1904, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the Russian Pacific Fleet stationed in Port Arthur, starting the Russo-Japanese War. Despite Japan's regional advantage, the Russian Empire would fully utilize their American colonies to resupply and rearm their troops in Asia. Fearing a total Russian victory and the collapse of Japan, the United States brokered a peace deal between the two. As a consequence, Russia had one full control over Manchuria.
Russian expansion and resettling would continue until the Russian Revolution and Civil War in 1917. The anti-communist White Movement would consolidate control over Manchuria and gained the backing of both the Allies and Japan. A short-lived Manchurian state was proclaimed in 1918 as a reaction to Japanese territorial ambitions on the area. Following the victory of Soviet Russia in the civil war and the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922, the communists would focus more of their efforts on Manchuria. Kharbin fell to Soviet forces in 1923 and the territory was incorporated into the USSR. Most of the White Movement would flee to Alaska and Eritrea.
Beginning in the Summer of 1941, the Republic of China launched an invasion of Manchuria (taking place along side the German invasion in Europe). Throughout the majority of World War II, the Soviet Union's main focus was on the Eastern Front, essentially leaving much of Manchuria under Chinese control until Germany's surrender in 1945. All of Manchuria was liberated by the end of the year. Manchuria became of national importance for the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. The city of Dalny (the only Soviet warm-water port on the Pacific) served as the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet.
Manchuria gained independence in late 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite this, Manchuria has retained very close relations with Russia and most of the former Soviet republics. The port city of Dalny has been leased to Russia since the 1990s (which continue operate their Pacific Fleet in the port). Manchuria's strategic location between East Asia and Eurasia have benefited the new nation's economy and foreign policy.
The Republic of Manchuria is a unitary state comprised of 10 oblasts (Manchu: анто, anto; Russian: области, oblasti), one autonomous republic, and two cities of national importance. All of Manchuria's administrative divisions are subdivided into raions (районы, rayony).
- Chernoruchensk Oblast (Chernorechensk)
- Kharbin Oblast (Chzhukhe)
- Krasnomorsk (Krasnomorsk)
- Lidachzhao Oblast (Lidachzhao)
- Maotszedun Oblast (Maotszedun)
- Mukden Oblast (Mukden)
- North Khingan Oblast (Khailaar)
- South Khingan Oblast (Korchin)
- Tsitsikar Oblast (Tsitsikar)
- Tszyamusy Oblast (Tszyamusy)
- Autonomous Republics
- Cities of National Importance
The Manchu people currently make up the majority of the nation's population, while Russians currently make up over a third. Since gaining independence, the Russian population has decreased as they've migrated out of the nation (mostly resettling in Alaska and Russia). An autonomous republic for Koreans currently exists along the border with Korea. The two official languages of Manchuria are Manchu and Russian. The majority of Manchurians are adherent to the Eastern Orthodox Church. In smaller numbers, the nation also includes Buddhists, Shamanists, and Taoists.
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