chapter  4
10 Pages

The Sale of the Chinese Eastern Railway

THE Chinese Eastern Railway has bred trouble ever since it was conceived in 1896. It led to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, it continued for over thirty years to create international suspicion, it caused the “near” war between China and the Soviet in 1929, and now once more it forms a bone of contention in the Far East. How does it happen that a railway with only 1,067 miles of single track, and annual gross receipts normally of only about 40,000,000 roubles, at the pre-war rate of exchange, should be able to stir up so much trouble? Why should Russia’s proposed sale of half interest in it to Japan attract attention the world over?