Russian Border Marker Relocated to Horgos

The Relics of Empire: Resource Extraction and the Making of Modern Xinjiang

Russian Border Marker Relocated to Horgos

Evidence of Russian imperialism is on display at the border crossing at Horgos (Huo’erguosi). This tablet is border marker number 18, first installed on the southern bank of the Ili River in the late nineteenth century. According to local histories, the marker, clearly showing the Russian double-headed eagle, was improperly placed by Russian officials following the Tacheng Protocol of 1882. The subsequent border dispute was resolved only in 1994, when 27 kilometers (16.77 miles) of land was returned to the People’s Republic of China. The marker was moved to Horgos in 2002 and is part of a state-led campaign reminding people to “never forget national humiliation.”