How do Chinese manage Vladivostok?

2020-11-13 | Earth Knowledge Bureau Original |

In 1860, Russia passed an unequal treaty and obtained a large new territory in the Far East from the Qing government.

In order to prevent the Chinese forces from counterattack, the Tsarist Russian authorities initially adopted a strict defense strategy for the large cities where the Chinese entered the new territory. Later, it was built as the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet and also the core city of Vladivostok in the Far East., And there are not many Chinese people at all.

As a major achievement of the Russians searching for warm water ports

Vladivostok's position in the Far East is undoubtedly pivotal ▼

But at this time, the central government as far away as St. Petersburg did not have enough capacity to invest resources in the Far East. The only option for local authorities was to hire Chinese people to participate in municipal construction. While a series of military and political facilities were all contracted by Chinese workers, thisThe city’s grassroots commercial activities have basically become the world of hard-working Chinese.

The famous Nikolai Triumphal Arch was also made by Chinese workers▼

Carriage and coolie

The local commercial activity where the Chinese lead the advanced army is the transportation industry, which is largely related to the needs of urban construction.

At the beginning of the construction of Vladivostok, the road system and transportation industry were mainly controlled by the Russians. However, due to the shortage of labor and the high welfare requirements of Russian transportation workers, during the period of large-scale construction of the city, the municipalThe authorities simply did not have enough funds to purchase their services. Some Chinese working on the construction site discovered the huge business opportunities and chose to leave the engineering team, buy a carriage, and become a freight supplier on the construction site.

Chinese workers live well at low prices and don’t want to be named

Russians want to do construction, they must give the Chinese a chance to survive

train station built by Chinese workers▼

Compared with the arrogant Russian workers, these Chinese transport workers have their own unique advantages.

Their living requirements are very low, and the maintenance requirements for horses and vehicles are not high. Basically, they can be used. There are even old cows that the Russians look down on, which lowered a lot of costs. At that time,The brick factories, stone yards, and timber factories around Vladivostok are also run by Chinese people. The transportation team can obtain the lowest purchase prices through language advantages and similar methods of fellow villagers.

They formed a horse team and gathered in a place not far from the warehouse

Strive to receive more jobs▼

Soon the freight business in the streets and alleys of the city was taken over by the Chinese, and the carriages driven by the Russian workers had to retreat to the passenger transport field where they had language advantages.

The large-scale entry of Chinese people into horse-drawn carriages for freight transport also aroused dissatisfaction among the Russians at the beginning. The horse-drawn carriage guilds will pressure the city government to ban the Chinese carriages on the grounds that these dilapidated carriages are unsightly. The Chinese carriagesIt is also often overloaded, causing severe damage to the roads and difficult to repair. However, local commercial firms welcome Chinese people who can bring low-cost goods and petition the authorities to protect the Chinese people’s right to transport.

The encounter of a Chinese carriage and a Russian carriage on the street

The Chinese carriage that the Russians look down on is more marketable

It also supports most of the transportation needs▼

Under the balance, the Fu city authorities had to adopt a compromise policy, opening up a dedicated carriage yard, requiring Chinese carriages to be assembled here, subject to vehicle condition inspections, and to pay rent to the authorities on time. This increased the Chinese peopleThe threshold for participating in the transportation industry also allows the Chinese carriages to continue to provide services. They also know that the normal operation of the city’s land transportation industry is indispensable for these silent Chinese.

Actually, the coachmen were already property owners among the Chinese transport operators in Fu City at that time, and more Chinese were engaged in real proletarian work-porters.

All you need is a basket and a healthy body

Real tool man▼

Carriage transportation is more expensive, and sometimes there may not be a carriage full of goods, so porter coolies came into being. In the eyes of the authorities, these Chinese who volunteered as porters are no longer humans., But a part of urban transportation. They can’t walk on the sidewalk, obstruct the decent Russian pedestrians, and must grab the lane with the carriage on the far right side of the lane and follow the coachman’s traffic rules.

Even treated like this by arrogant Russians

They still survived here by the quality of tenacity▼

In order to increase income, these Chinese porters with excellent endurance will never refuse any possible business opportunities. Among them, those who have taught themselves Russian and are good at playing haha, they lie in ambush at the door of the market to carry goods for the Russian ladies who go out to purchase;Those with strong energy will go to the dock and the moving company to wait, and use a basket to carry goods of no less than their own weight in and out; there are others carrying coffins, dung, and military supplies. As long as there is transportation, there will be Chinese workers..

More often, cargo is loaded and unloaded at the dock

Amateur can also find odd jobs▼

Like all Westerners who saw early Chinese overseas immigrants, the Russians in Fushi also felt that these Chinese must be undead from hell. They were expressionless, "Holding 5 kopeks Russian coins, 1 kopecks.= 0.01 rubles you can carry 8 pouts Russian weight unit, 1 pout = 16.4 kg to the end of the world".

The two countries are at different stages of development, so the citizens naturally have different pursuits

Russians want to expand, be strong, and pursue

The most important thing for the Chinese at this time is to live ▼

But most people choose to give up exploring whether they are alive or not, as long as they are used as a cheap and high-quality transportation tool.

Ulrich and King Crab

In a seaport city like Vladivostok, the importance of ocean transportation is not less important than land transportation. It is an important part of urban public transportation. In such a market, a large number of Chinese have also emergedHuman figure. Russian poet Matveyev wrote in his poem:

The yellow-skinned Chinese draws "Yuli" the Russian name for the Chinese sampan

The blue water in the bay is full of quiet ripples

In front of them is the capital of the Far East

Vladivostok in the smoke


Chinese people shake oars and sing

Singing in Vladivostok-the great sea cucumber city...

In this harbor city, there are also many opportunities on the sea

Russians use it for trade, and Chinese can also use it for business▼

We don’t know if the Chinese shipmen are singing Vladivostok, but it’s certain that the Chinese shipmen have successfully controlled the shipping of Fu City. The many "Ulriches" floating in the Golden Horn can overload the transport of wood during the day.The stoic cargo ship is the banquet hall where the boatmen make dumplings and blow suona at night. The boat people who make ships their homes are not the only ones in Guangdong and Fujian. If necessary, immigrants from the Northeast can also be used.

Seal of the Chinese Shipman▼

With the increasing influence of the Chinese in the maritime industry, some business-minded people gradually emerged and became big shipowners. The largest wooden ship can carry more than 50 tons of cargo, which is like a scene of the Golden Horn. And Russian shipping owners who feel threatened have also joined forces to pressure the municipal government to require legislation to prohibit foreigners from providing maritime services in the coastal waters of Fu City.

Chinese sampan in Golden Horn Bay

Some Chinese people already have primitive capital accumulation here▼

The legislation was finally passed, but the changes to the actual situation were really limited. At that time, there were 615 ships in the Fu City Maritime Association class, half of which were nominally Russian, but the actual controllers of most ships were still Chinese.According to unofficial statistics, there are only 6 real Russian ship owners.

The Chinese sampan and the warships of the Pacific Division 1 docked together

The Chinese have used endurance and wisdom to take root in this "foreign country" land▼

In addition, a large number of small Chinese ships that have not registered at all are providing auxiliary feeder services. Small and medium-sized business owners naturally like these black ships.

The policy of the authority belongs to the policy

Good quality and low price are what businessmen care most ▼

These ships often also produce some side businesses.

For example, some courageous boat people quickly discovered that there are rich deep-sea fishery resources in the offshore of Fu City. Fishing for fish and shrimp is much more profitable than simply doing transportation. So they modified the cargo ship, rented a stall in the market, and sold it.Fresh or cooked aquatic products.

A Russian writer named Berijeninov recalled his experience in Fushi like this:

"On the ground is a large cargo tank with white iron skins. There are all kinds of fish! From flounder to pot-bellied goby, to mackerel and salmon, as well as saw blade fish and cod...Crab, seaSpiders, big and small... some prawns have been boiled red... just with beer, you can eat hundreds without knowing it..."

Make full use of existing environmental resources to create a better life▼

The aquatic product shop is directly transformed into a ready-made fisherman's restaurant. This is very Chinese. What is even more amazing is that even the alcohol suppliers of these fast-food restaurants are Chinese. It was not too big at the time.There are a total of 6 Chinese breweries in Fu City. The raw materials used for brewing are quite Chinese. Rice. Because of its low price and good quality and unique taste, these beers are not only supplied to the Chinese, but later even become favorites of Russian sailors when they come ashore for funWine.

However, these are only the tip of the iceberg of Chinese business activities here.

No one lives without the Chinese

Although Vladivostok’s climatic conditions are relatively mild compared to the core area of ​​Russia, it is after all one of the northernmost cities in the world, and half a year is a cold period. In such a cityFor survival, fresh water, coal, and warm clothing are the most basic necessary materials, and these are all provided by the Chinese without exception.

Large as a railway bridge, as small as daily necessities

The Chinese and their businesses have become the basis for the normal operation of Fu City▼

Although Vladivostok is a relatively warm city surrounded by the ocean, as long as you spread out the map, you will find that there are no big rivers around the city. The nearest big river originated in Suifenhe in ChinaLater in the Soviet Union, the Russian section was renamed the Razdolinaya River, the mouth of the river was also 30 kilometers away from the old town of Fushi, which made it inconvenient to get water.

It is not convenient to get water, it is convenient to block the door▼

The first navy that arrived in the city mainly used spring water and water from small rivers in the urban area. However, in order to build the city, the surrounding forests were severely destroyed, which further brought soil erosion, and these springs and river water soon stopped flowingThe population of Fu City is increasing, but the water source is increasingly moving to the suburbs of the north of the city. It is difficult for ordinary citizens to drink clean water.

More and more people, more and more demand ▼

At this time, it’s the Chinese workers’ turn to roll up their sleeves and come out. They are active between the water source in the north of the city and the water station in the city center. They use the most primitive way to carry 80 barrels in summer and 50 barrels in winter.In the 1930s, a series of water conservancy facilities were built in the Far Eastern Krai under the control of the Soviet Union, and these water delivery workers withdrew from the stage of history.

A pair of poles provides the source of life

Not only for customers but also for porters▼

The same is true for coal, which can be seen in an official statement by the Soviet "Red Flag".

The Soviet regime has strictly controlled commodity prices and set the highest prices for various commodities, including coal. In Vladivostok, the "Red Flag" displayed a list of 50 coal retailers in the city, Asking citizens to report merchants whose selling price is higher than the prescribed price. And these fifty people are all Chinese.

There are also felt shoes, which are indispensable winter equipment in cold Russia. The process of making felt shoes is very complicated. First, the cow hair and wool must be washed and loosened, and then the mixed fluff will be rolled tightly with a wooden stick.The real felt is finally pasted on the sole of the shoe. The whole work requires not only patience and physical strength, but also to tolerate the dusty and dirty working environment. Almost only Chinese workers can tolerate this job.

And in the summer when the felt business is not good, these feltmakers become ice cream vendors, pushing carts to the streets to sell ice cream, making a fortune to change the season.

I sell candied haws in winter and ice cream in summer▼

Businesses like this are very common in Fu City back then. The Chinese have established a huge small trading empire under the noses of the Russians. Although they are not qualified to buy land and houses in the local area, they are good at using leases to trick the rabbit into the Three CavesLayout your own industry like this, and quickly destroy the surrounding shops in other countries.

Create conditions without conditions

Without the superior background of the Russian businessman, but with the spirit of endurance▼

At the beginning of the 20th century, on the side of Svetlana Street in Fushi, in the largest free market in the city, there were almost no white shop owners. All the stalls and shops were Chinese owners. The assets were relatively large.The owner has a storefront with a fat head and big ears, with beard and armours. Obviously, he has not worked for a long time. Most of the people who manage the store are his fellows. The Chinese who are still operating at a small scale have pigtails and are thin and loose.Multi-purpose Chinese clothing, squatting on the side of the road, quietly watching pedestrians, judging who will be the next potential customer.

Paved a Chinese street▼

But in fact, when these people first came to this city, they were absolutely impoverished with nothing. It's just that some people have completed the class transition in just ten years, and these successful big bosses have also become those still in business.The idol of small businessmen-the Chinese always believe that they can become a hero in the times.

Beijing Avenue Marshal Fujin Street is lined with Chinese merchants’ industries▼

However, there is no doubt that in Vladivostok under the rule of the Russians, these heroes can only be economically, and they will never get the corresponding political status.

The following street scene described in the "Vladivostok" is more common: a Chinese coolie who just came to Fu City could not bear hunger and stole the bread from the Russian stall.The master beat him, and then everyone sent him to the police station. The stall owner walked away, and the Russian police "teached" him severely.

After all, this piece of land is already in the pocket of others, and these Chinese people have become terrorist outsiders who are being watched out.

*The content of this article is provided by the author and does not represent the position of the Earth Knowledge Bureau

Cover image: Urri/shutterstock


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