Soviet railway workers and officials who were seized during the Chinese raids.

Soviet railway workers and officials who were seized during the Chinese raids.


Only a year after the historic Five Year Plan was accepted and implemented in 1928, there was a conflict that had the potential to disrupt everything. This event is known as the Chinese Railway Incident however it was far from an “incident.”

During the time when the Communist governments in Russia were coming to power there was a civil war raging in China between, the Kuomintang (Nationalists) lead by Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Ze Dong. During the reign of Chiang, he felt that his people were rightfully entitled to rule Manchuria. This provided friction between the Communist Russians and the Kuomintang because years earlier after the Bolshevik took power they secured the ownership of the Chinese Eastern Railroad. This interfered with the notion that the Kuomintang had rights over Manchuria.

So you can probably guess what happens next right? Beginning on May 27, 1929 Chinese militants raided several Soviets railway offices and stations. “Some eighty Soviet citizens, officials of the consular service and the railroad, were arrested and documents were seized,” (SMSH) this caused an outrage in Moscow but the protests were not recognized by the Chinese and further raids were carried out into July, which eventually led to their full control over the CER. This triggered the Russians to mobilize planes and tanks that were deployed to Manchuria. This move by the Soviets forced the Chinese to retreat back and returned the CER back to the Soviets.

While this was going on the FYP was being carried out in the main part of Russia. Luckily for the Soviets the deployments and success of their military saved them from further action. However unlikely it would be that the Chinese would start a war with Russia the consequences of such a conflict could have been detrimental to the Five Year Plan.


Freeze, Gregory L., Russia: A History

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