Sun Yat-sen and the Soviets

In 1919 the Soviets, under Vladimir Lenin, dispatched Lev Karakhan to China to meet with Sun. Karakhan took the unprecedented step of freely and willingly relinquishing all Russian territorial concessions in China.

Russia’s anti-imperialist moves¬†got the attention of Sun and the Chinese people, who finally felt they had found an ally in their struggle against Western predation. Lenin’s implication that colonialism in Asia was actually part of Marx’s grand narrative for the global communist revolution offered China a new sense of belonging in world affairs.

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