CHINA AND RUSSIA: The ""Great Game by O. Edmund Clubb

CHINA AND RUSSIA: The ""Great Game

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a textbookish recitation of diplomatic confrontations, military interventions, trade treaties and political accords, Clubb traces the origins of the Sino-Soviet dispute back to Galdan, the Dzungarian Khan who in 1677 tried to play China against Russia to unify Mongolia. Strung on this theme of big-power politics, the book proceeds through the Kiaklita Agreement of 1727, to the era of Russian expansion in Siberia and Western penetration into Southeast Asia, to 19th-century border politics, the Chinese Eastern Railway, and 20th century wars and revolutions. The impact of Bolshevik victory radically altered Chinese-Russian relations, but Clubb, author of Twentieth Century China (1964), chooses to concentrate on the confusion caused by White refugees streaming into Singkiang rather than analyzing broader Soviet policy motives, especially as reflected in the 1923-27 Moscow-Kuomintang collaboration. Although during the pre-World War II period, external developments were largely shaping Sino-Soviet relations and events on the border, Clubb's descriptions are largely limited to local affairs, though he details the Stalinist purges of the '30's. In the postwar period Clubb takes an increasingly colored view of China as the more aggressive and dangerous power, bent on securing its former borders -- if not more. Unless China succeeds in pitting the USSR against the US or the poor nations against both, Clubb foresees a Sino-Soviet modus vivendi. Factually replete but analytically anemic, students and scholars will use the book as a reference source.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1971
Publisher: Columbia Univ. Press