The Nation: A Strange Summit Site

When Russian settlers founded an outpost on the Pacific Coast in 1860, they named it "Ruler of the East," partly to taunt the Chinese. The magnificent harbor was the choicest item in a territorial package that Alexander II had wrested from the politically declining and militarily impotent Manchu rulers of China in one-sided frontier adjustments in the mid-19th century.

To this day, the name of the city sounds provocative to Chinese ears, and even though Communists have replaced monarchs in both Moscow and Peking, conflicting claims on Vladivostok and the surrounding Maritime Province have flared up frequently during the Sino-Soviet quarrel....

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