國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum (New window) Image: The Lost Frontier – Treaty Maps that Changed Qing's Northwestern Boundaries
  ::: Site Map 中文 English 日本語
Title: Demarcating and Signposting

The North Section

After the Protocol of Chuguchak (Tacheng), three more sub-treaties for demarcating the borders were signed between the Qing court and Russia: the Boundary Protocol of Khobdo, the Boundary Protocol of Uliassutai, and the Boundary Protocol of Tarbagatai. Along the Uliassutai sub-section, eight border signposts extended from the northmost Shabing dabakha to Bogosuk dabakha; Khobdo: twenty posts, from Bogosuk dabakha to Manitu Gatulkhang; and Tarbagatai: nine, from Manitu Gatulkhang to Khabar-asu. Qing lost both tracts of lands south and north of Lake Zaysan, as well as the territory to the north of the Tarbagatai Range. Two more sub-treaties signed during the Guangxu reign, the Protocol of Sary-Ulan-Chibar and the Protocol of Chuguchak, 1883, brought more losses. Altogether, the territories in the valleys of Khalyutu River, Lake Marka-kul, and the Kara-kaba River were all gone, with an extra thrown in in favor of Russia: a lease on the Barluk Mountains, southwest of Tacheng.

The Sino-Russian Signposting the Uliassutai Borders (Map)(New window)

The Sino-Russian Signposting the Uliassutai Borders (Map)

Tongzhi reign (1862-1875)

This map was included in the status report submitted to the Qing court by Rongchuan, the Grand Minister Consultant of Uliassutai, after he signed the Boundary Protocol of Uliassutai with the Russian delegation (Babkov and Nikolai Muromtsov) on September 4th, 1869. A yellow tag affixed at the right of the map reads "The Imperial Envoy Signposting at Uliassutai, Rongchuan, Grand Minister Consultant and General of Ili. " At the upper left is the official seal impression. To the west on the map, the very first signpost is at Bogosuk dabakha of the Sailugem Range, then along the red borderline until reaching the eighth one at Shabing dabakha. Another yellow tag affixed at the upper center reads "The Great Qing's Complete Map of the New Official Borders of Uliassutai. "

The Sino-Russian Signposting the Khobdo Borders (Map)(New window)

The Sino-Russian Signposting the Khobdo Borders (Map)

1869

This is the official map which was made after Kuichang, the Grand Minister Consultant of Khobdo had jointly installed the signposts at the Khobdo segment of the borders with the Russians. The treaties were exchanged on August 13th, 1869 by Kuichang and Babkov. Kuichang's official seal impression is also on the map.

All the mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, and Qing kaluns under the Khobdo jurisdiction are clearly marked. Altan-nor (today's Ozero Teletskoye) is in the north; to its right lies the Tannu Uriankhai nomadic herding ground; to the south, the Altai Uriankhai nomadic herding ground. From Bogosuk dabakha, east and south to Durbet dabakha, then southwest to Bi Bartai dabakha, further south to Lake Zaysan, finally along the lake to Manitu Gatulkhang, a red line with signposts demarcates the Sino-Russian border at the Khobdo segment. There are altogether twenty signposts, the first one at Bogosuk dabakha, and last one at Manitu Gatulkhang, all labeled with tags in Chinese.

The Sino-Russian Demarcation and Signposts of Southwest of Tarbagatai Borders (Map)(New window)

The Sino-Russian Demarcation and Signposts of
Southwest of Tarbagatai Borders (Map)

Guangxu Reign(1875-1909)

In October of 1883, Shengtai (1838-1892), the Grand Minister Consultant of Ili, representing the Qing court, signed the Protocol of Chuguchak,1883 with Aleksei Fride of Russia. The borderline extends from Khara daban (daban means mountain pass) to Khabar-asu for about 1,100 km, with twenty one signposts installed. The present map is probably a replicate copy attached in Shengtai's status report to the court, rather than the signed original. The red line marks the Sino-Russian border in the southwest segment of the Tarbagatai boundary. At the end of the line (south in the map) is Khara daban. From here, the line goes east first then turns north to Khabar-asu in the Tarbagatai Range. All twenty one signposts are clearly indicated and labeled, along with locations of the nearby ranges, rivers, lakes, cities and towns, and military stations. The lands around Lake Alakol and the downstream valley of the Omin River that used to belong to Qing were all given to Russia.


The Middle Section

The Ili border was situated between the Koitas Mountains in the north and Narin Khalga in the south. And as stipulated in the Protocol of Chuguchak, the boundary started from the Koitas Mountains, following the Turgen River (the Borokhutszir River), along Qing kalun's at Borokhutszir, Kuitung, Tsitsikhan, Khorgos, to Ili Birai Tsikin, then crossed the Ili River going southwest to Narin Khalga. As a result, the Turgen River became the then border river in the Ili section. The subsequent surveying of the borders was impeded by local Muslim insurrections, so Russians took advantage of the moment and moved in upon Ili again. After negotiations reopened, a revised version was signed in 1881 and the border was scheduled to be surveyed. Next year the Protocol of Gulimtu once more moved the border river eastwards, this time to the Khorgos River. Years later, when the Beiyang government of the Republic signed the Protocol regarding the Khorgos River, even the shoals that had so far belonged to the Chinese side were given over to Russia. The treaties and maps of the present exhibition reveal how this part of the borders had receded through each stage of the ever-diminishing strength of the nation, from the High Qing's border Lake Balkash, all the way retreating eastwards to the Turgen River, then again to the Khorgos River. It was such a pity that even the shoals in the River had to be parted with.

Sino-Russian Demarcation after the Restoration of Eight Ili Towns (Map)(New window)

Sino-Russian Demarcation after the Restoration of Eight Ili Towns (Map)

Guangxu Reign(1875-1909)

Not all places (kaluns, rivers, ranges) included in the text are clearly indicated on the map. The so-called "Eight Ili Towns" center around Ili (Huiyuan), as marked on the map; to the east there are Huining, Xichun, and Ningyuan; to the west, Guangren, Zhande, Gongchen, Taleqi, and Suiding. The red line ("purple" according to the text) is the borderline agreed upon between Chonghou and Russia. However, in comparison with the official version as delineated in the Second Sino-Russian Demarcation of the Northwest Border (map), the present copy seems to be somewhat imprecise in positioning the borderline, mountain ranges, and rivers. For example, a red tag which reads "from the south of Ili to Aksu" is placed at where appears to have been mistakenly marked as Gedeng Mountain, whereas the latter is actually located on the east side of the Daratu River, and south to the Sartau Mountains.

During the reign of Emperor Tongzhi, several major cities (Ili, Urumchi, etc) fell into the hands of a Muslim insurrection in Xinjiang. The Russian troops took the opportunity and moved in on Ili in 1871. General Zuo Zongtang (1813-1885) put down the rebellion in 1876 but Ili was still occupied by Russia. In 1879, Chonghou, Imperial Commissioner to Russia, signed the Treaty of Livadia with Russia's Foreign Minister, who promised to return Ili. However, the Qing court refused to ratify the treaty on the account that Chonghou had receded too much sovereignty to Russia through humiliating terms and conditions. Imprecise as it is, the map still provides important information of pertinence to the study of Sino-Russian border changes and the overall situations in Xinjiang at the Ili segment after Chonghou's treaty with Russia.

The Sino-Russian Demarcation of the Ili Borders (Map)(New window)

The Sino-Russian Demarcation of the Ili Borders (Map)

Guangxu Reign(1875-1909)

Following on the Treaty of St.Petersburg, Changshun, Grand Minister Assistant Administrator of Hami, represented the Qing court to conduct a joint survey of the borders with Russia officials at the Ili segment and signed the Protocol of Gulimtu. This map is probably the same one attached to the status report submitted by Changshun. The borderline is delineated in red, extending from Narin Khalga in the south to Khara daban in the northeast, with signposts. To the west of the red line, a vague blue line is probably the demarcation previously set in the Protocol of Chuguchak of 1864. After the Protocol of Gulimtu, Qing lost the lands west to the Khorgos River and the Sumbe River. The Khorgos River accordingly was thus changed from a domestic river to a border river.

The Illustrated Xinjiang (Map)(New window)

The Illustrated Xinjiang (Map)

Qing dynasty
paper, color
Printed in late-Qing this colored booklet of the illustrated Xinjiang includes nineteen sets of maps with accompanying texts, each for the following localities: Xinjiang, Northern Xinjiang, Balikun, Gucheng, Urumchi, Kurkara Us, Tarbagatai, Southern Xinjiang, Kashgar, Yengisar, Yarkand, Kotan, Aksu, Wushi, Kucha, Karashar, Turfan, Hami, and Ili. To the left of the map on each page are marked the respective distances between the Xinjiang cities. The present map is oriented with south up and north down. The mountains are represented in green elevations (unlabeled); rivers, delineated in gray green double lines, without waving patterns. The roads are drawn in brownish yellow, dotted lines; city sites, of yellow background, in double-lined gray frames, their names either inside the frame or outside on the edge. The text provides the locations and distances between military posts.

The South Section

According to the first Treaty of Livadia, the south boundary of Xinjiang was to be demarcated along the line from Suiok Pass to Martabar Mountain. The Qing court refused to ratify the treaty and appointed the Ambassador to Britain and France, Zeng Ji-ze,to negotiate with Russia. The two sides agreed that the bordering areas should be resurveyed and signposted. When the task was completed in the eighth year of Guangxu, the Protocol of Kashgar was signed, and the Protocol of Novyi Margelan two years later. Compared to the borders defined in the Protocol of Chuguchak, signed in the third year of Tongzhi, the Kashgar treaty maps disclose a further eastward cession by the Qing court in the southern part of Xinjiang.

The Sino-Russian Demarcation of the Kashgar Borders (Map)(New window)

The Sino-Russian Demarcation of the Kashgar Borders (Map)

June 15, 1884
After the Protocol of Kashgar of 1882 (the Northeastern section), Shakedulinzhabu, the Grand Minister Superintendent of Balikun, representing the Qing court, met with the Russian delegation Viktor Miedinskii for a joint survey of the borders from Bedel daban to Uz-bel. Both parties then signed the Boundary Protocol of Novyi Margelan in June, 1884, for the Northwestern section. As stipulated, the treaty was written in both Manchu and Russian, each with a copy of the map which was noted again in both languages for the place names at the borders. Then the signatures were duly signed and seal-impressed. The present map is the officially signed original. Signposts, rivers, mountain ranges, place names are marked along the borderline and labeled in Manchu and Russian, Additional white tags in Chinese are affixed to the map supposedly added for the convenience of the Qing officials, but some tags have come off. Below the map in Manchu and Russian are additional texts, “The Imperial Border Envoy, Miedinski, Adjutant General, May 22nd (Russian calendar), 1884, at Novyi Margelan (today’s Fergana). ” Next to the Manchu text, is the Russian seal impressed in wax. The map was probably made by the Russians.

The Supplementary Sino-Russian Demarcation of the Kashgar Borders (Map), is the Chinese original of the same map. To both the left and right are impressed with Shakedulinzhabu's official seals. The notes originally in Manchu and Russian are both translated into Chinese.
The Sino-Russian South Section Borders: Kashgar (Map)(New window)

The Sino-Russian South Section Borders: Kashgar (Map)

Guangxu Reign(1875-1909)

The map was attached to the Status Reports on the Restoration of Ili and Demarcation Matters, submitted by Jinshun, General of Ili. The joint survey with Russian officials started in June, 1883, led by Shakedulinzhabu, the Grand Minister Superintendent of Balikun, and completed in August of the same year. In June of 1884, the Protocol of Novyi Margelan was signed for the Northwestern section. This is probably a redrawn copy by Jinshun for the court's reference, based on the official map made by Russia post-survey (i.e. the Sino-Russian Demarcation of the Kashgar Borders).

The map is of fine quality. The red borderline extends from Bedel daban in the northeast, southwest to Uz-Bel and Khanigal Mountain. As indicated on the map (in red), there are twenty three signposts altogether along this part of the borders. However, the text of the treaty stipulated twenty seven. The discrepancy between the two is something worthy of further investigation. The nearby ranges, rivers, military stations, cities and towns, the Qing kaluns are all clearly marked.