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N 47° 55′ 54′′, E 132° 41′ 34′′
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A Soviet monitor of the Amur Military Flotilla in 1929. The Sino-Soviet riverine conflict of 1929 was fought between the Soviet Amur Military Flotilla and the Chinese Sungari flotilla near Lahasusu (Tongjiang) around the estuary of the Sungari River. After successfully landing close to Lahasusu, Soviet troops defeated the local garrison and opened the city’s grain stores to the population to win their favor.

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A freight train crossing the Amur River from Russia to China on the Tongjiang-Nizhneleninskoye Railway Bridge. Costing $355 million U.S. dollars and measuring 2,215 meters in length, the bridge was completed in 2019 and opened in 2022. The bridge connects Nizhneleninskoye on Russia’s Far Eastern Railway and Hayudao on the Tongjiang Local Railway, cutting 10 hours off the journey time between Harbin, the provincial capital of China’s Heilongjiang province, and Moscow.

1631: The Three River Plain, characterized by the confluence of three major rivers (Amur/Heilong River, Ussuri/Wusuli River, and Sungari/Songhua River) formed the historic range of Nanai residence, a semi-nomadic group that based their livelihood on fishing. Nanais surrendered to the Manchu in 1631.


1689: The Treaty of Nerchinsk, signed by Qing and Russia in 1689, dealt with border delineation and reciprocal rights of trade and travel. It recognized Chinese sovereignty over both sides of the Amur River.


1858: Distracted by the Taiping Civil War and the Second Opium War, China 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.


1882: The garrisoned city of Lahasusu (now Tongjiang) was established by the Qing court at the confluence and on the right banks of the Sungari and Amur Rivers in 1882 as a base for their campaign against the Russian influence in the region. Lahasusu means “old home” in Nanai language.


1898: In view of the increasing Japanese influence in the region, Tsar Nicholas II negotiated an agreement with the Qing court to construct the Chinese Eastern Railway (CER), a branch of the Trans-Siberian Railway through Manchuria. Russia occupied Lahasusu from 1898 to 1900 in the name of storing materials transported through the Sungari for the construction of the CER.


1901: Qing China and the Eight-Nation Alliance signed the multinational Boxer Protocol after China’s defeat in the intervention to put down the Boxer Rebellion, bringing native customs collections near treaty ports under foreign-managed inspectorate.


1910: In the years that followed the signing of the Boxer Protocol, three customs were established in the Heilongjiang region. The Lahasusu customs was established in spring 1910 and under the British control.


1913: Lahasusu became the seat of Linjiang County, established by the Republic government. Linjiang was renamed Tongjiang (literally means “joining rivers,” which refers to its location at the confluence of the Sungari and Amur Rivers).


1928: Concerned about the historical connection between the left and right banks of the Amur River, Stalin ordered the establishment of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (JAO) in 1928, immediately opposite Tongjiang, as an effort to strengthen Soviet’s Far Eastern border region. JAO is the only autonomous oblast in Russia and one of the two official Jewish jurisdictions in the world, the other being Israel.


1929: During the 1929 Sino–Soviet conflict that fought over the administration of the Northern CER, the Soviet army attacked Lahasusu from the Sungari River. Lahasusu customs was temporarily closed.


1932: Japan took control of Lahasusu customs after its invasion of northeast China in 1931 and the establishment of the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932.


1945: The Soviet Red Army took military control of Tongjiang after the outbreak of the Soviet–Japanese War.


1958: The Tongjiang Port was established and witnessed a booming Sino-Soviet trade across the Amur River.


1966: The Tongjiang Port was closed due to the Cultural Revolution and worsening relations between China and the Soviet Union.


1984: The Jiejinkou Nanai Ethnic Village was established on the right bank of the Amur River, 38-kilometer downstream from Tongjiang Town and opposite the Russian settlement of Nizhneleninskoye in the JAO.


1986: Tongjiang County was upgraded to the city status. The Tongjiang Port was reopened and composed of two operation areas. The western operation area was on the right bank of the Sungari River, 3.5 kilometers upstream from Tongjiang Town. The eastern operation area was on the right bank of the Amur River at the Hayudao Island of Jiejinkou.


1994: The Tongjiang Port was designated as an international passenger and goods transport port.


2003: The construction of the Xiangyangchuan–Hayudao Railway started. The railway connects Tongjiang with settlements on the right bank of the middle and lower reaches of the Sungari River.


2007: The entire Xiangyangchuan–Hayudao Railway was completed. In view of growing cargo transportation demands, the JAO government proposed to build a railway bridge connecting Hayudao in Tongjiang and Nizhneleninskoye in 2007, and a bilateral agreement between China and Russia was reached in 2008.


2014: The construction of the Tongjiang-Nizhneleninskoye Railway Bridge, the first cross-border railway bridge between China and Russia, started in 2014. The Chinese and Russian portions of the bridge were completed in 2018 and 2019, respectively.


2019: The Tongjiang-Nizhneleninskoye Railway Bridge was completed, but the opening has been postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

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