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N 45° 31′ 22′′, E 133° 21′ 35′′
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The Soviet Red Army searching for entrances to the Japanese built fortress at Hutou in 1945. Between 1934 and 1939, more than 200,000 Chinese laborers were forced to work on a secret fortress at Hutou for the Japanese Kwantung Army, with many later slaughtered to keep the site secret. The 16 kilometer-long and 30-kilometer-wide fortress zone is the largest in Asia, with many kilometers of tunnels and trenches linking a myriad of subterranean bases and hundreds of armored gun turrets and concrete bunkers.

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An aerial view of the 0.74-square-kilometer Zhenbao/Damansky Island on the Ussuri River. After years of tensions, severe Sino-Soviet border clashes broke out here in March 1969. The border demarcation was only agreed shortly before the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the island became Chinese territory.

1858: China and Russia signed the Treaty of Aigun in 1858, which reversed the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk by granting the entire left bank of the Amur River to Russia.


1860: The Sino-Russian Treaty of the Convention of Peking confirmed the Treaties of Aigun and further defined the eastern boundary between the possessions of China and Russia. In that treaty, China recognized Russia as master of lands on the left bank of the Amur River, as well as of those between the Ussuri River and the Pacific Ocean, allowing Russia to construct Vladivostok, a major Pacific port city.


1891: The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway was inaugurated in 1891 in Vladivostok. On the Ussuri Line of the railway, which connects Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, Lesozavodsk Station was established near the confluence and on the right banks of the Sungacha and Ussuri Rivers.


1909: Nema Ting (subprefecture) of Mishan Prefecture was established by the Qing court. It was renamed Hulin the following year, given that the settlement was located on the right bank of the Qihulin River, a tributary of the Ussuri River.


1913: Hulin subprefecture was re-established as Hulin County in 1913.


1924: Settlement started to form around the Lesozavodsk Station of the Trans-Siberian Railway in connection with a sawmill.


1932: Japan invaded northeast China in 1931 and established the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932.


1934: Work on the Linhu Railway started, which was initiated by the Manchukuo National Railway to connect Hulin and Mishan with Linkou on the Tumen–Jiamusi Railway to better transport coal and timber from Manchuria to Japan. The Linhu Railway was completed and opened to traffic in 1937.


1939: The Japanese army completed an extensive fortificated zone at Hutou, a strategic location 70-kilometer downstream from the confluence of the Sungacha and Ussuri Rivers that could overlook the Trans-Siberian Railway. In the same year, the 5th Combined Arms Red Banner Army in the Eastern Military District was formed, and a machine gun artillery division was established at Lesozavodsk.


1941: A railway bridge crossing the Ussuri River along the Trans-Siberian Railway was relocated 15 kilometers away from the Sino-Soviet border to avoid the attack range of artillery at Hutou Fortress.


1945: Not believing a radio message that Japan had surrendered, the defenders of Hutou Fortress fought the Soviets for 11 days after the end of WWII in August 1945.


1946: Upon its withdrawal from China in the late 1946, the Soviet Red Army demolished the Mishan–Hutou section of the Linhu Railway, as well as the barracks, fortifications, and communication facilities built by the Japanese within 100 kilometers of the Sino-Soviet border.


1955: The Bureau of Reclamation of the Railway Corps of the People’s Liberation Army began to build farms in Mishan and Hulin. The Mishan–Hutou Railway was repaired as a special line for the No. 858 Farm the following year.


1969: Located 130-kilometer downstream from the confluence of the Sungacha and Ussuri Rivers, Zhenbao or Damansky Island on the Ussuri River was one of the major battlefields of the 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict. China retained de facto control over the island after the conflict.


1988: The Hulin Port was established along the China-Russia border, 58-kilometer southeast of Hulin Town.


1991: The Soviet-China border agreement in the eastern sector was signed in May 1991. The agreement recognized 167 Russian islands and 153 Chinese islands, including Zhenbao/Damansky Island, on the Ussuri River.


1992: The Hulin Port was temporarily opened, and a pontoon bridge made of iron plates was built for transport of commodities.


1993: The Hulin Port was officially opened in May 1993. The Songacha River Bridge, designed and built by Russia, was completed. It was the longest road bridge across the Sino-Russian border.


2004: A tarmac road connecting Hulin Town and Hulin Port was opened to traffic in 2004. The checkpoint building of Markovo Port was completed in the same year.


2015: China and Russia reached an agreement to build a 57.1-kilometer cross-border railway connecting Hulin Station on the Midong Railway (formerly Linhu Railway) in China and Lesozavodsk Station on the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia. The proposed railway will better connect the land-locked northeastern regions of China to Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean.


2020: The Markovo Port was upgraded. The port is temporarily closed and expected to reopen in 2022.

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