If China decided to occupy Vladivostok, how would the US respond to a Russian appeal to have its borders respected?

Tu-du-du-du . Breaking news at at 6:00 – Everyone Dies™ tonight.

Newscaster: Breaking news – this is just in . About 2 hours ago – Chinese troops were reported … what seems like trying… to occupy.. Vladivostok, main city in the Russia’s Far East region – Primorie.

We are also getting reports that Russian border troops are responding in kind.


Russia just declared total mobilization .


Chinese troops seems to be crossing the border all over Far East region.

[ commotion in the background]

Newscaster [ looking grey like ash]: We just received notification from Pentagon! Multiple ICBM launches detected from Russia towards China. It was nice knowing you ladies and gentlemen

I’m exaggerating a bit – but that’s pretty much how this scenario would fold out, if Chinese leadership would go mad or turn stupid overnight. They are neither.

But as far as Russia appealing to USA? Why? Russia would just counter attack. They’ve done it before, and won.

It’s known as Sino-Soviet border conflict in 1969

Russians didn’t need American approval then, and they won’t need it now, to defend their own borders. At most USA would try to appeal to Russia to refrain from using nuclear weapons, because if they do – Everyone Dies™.


If you enjoy short tidbits of historical trivia – subscribe to my blog right here on Quora called History Bits . I try to add a story or two every week.

Why not see what happened the last time China invaded part of Russia’s Far East (back when Russia was the RSFSR), when both countries had nuclear weapons?

In March 1969, PLA troops ambushed and killed 58 Soviet border guards on Zhenbao/Damanskiy Island on the Ussuri River. The Soviet armored counter-attack failed. The Nixon Administration warned Soviet premier Aleksei Kosygin that the US was contemplating a nuclear war against the USSR if it were to attack China during the border dispute, given “closely related” Sino-American relations.

Keep in mind that the Sino-Russian frontier was poorly demarcated even after the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk and 1858 Treaty of Aigun. The border dispute leading to the PRC’s invasion was completely resolved only in 2004, per a bilateral agreement. It would be absurd for today’s China to ignore the 2004 Complementary Agreement and occupy a relatively poor Russian port city in the ice-prone Sea of Japan.

Sino-Soviet border conflict – Wikipedia

USSR planned nuclear attack on China in 1969

A Forgotten Fact: In 1969, Russia and China Almost Went to War (And It Could Have Gone Nuclear)

How the Soviet Union and China Almost Started World War III

China–Russia border – Wikipedia


The US would sit back and watch the two sides bleed each other out and then support the one that’s losing, to ensure they wear each other out as much as possible. Both Russia and China are geopolitical rivals of the US. Such a conflict would be a dream come true for them.

Russia would not use nuclear weapons against China, since it is also a heavily bunkered nuclear state, and since most of their nuclear weapons are underground, nobody really knows about their true capabilities. Nobody wants to be retaliated against with a nuclear attack. It is better to give away Vladivostok than lose most of your country. Even if China took Siberia both sides would probably still keep it conventional, except maybe for tactical nukes.

Chinese industrial production is now much greater than Russian industrial production. Even though their armaments may not be as top tech, they are comparable in many ways and they can definitely make up any deficiencies simply with sheer numbers.

It is 2017 now, not 1969. China is different, and Russia is relatively weaker than the USSR was in 1969 at the peak of its power. While Russia still has a technological edge in many areas, the question is, would it be able to field its advanced armaments in sufficient numbers? Because once the Chinese turn all of their manufacturing capacity towards their war effort, they can produce an armada of vehicles in a relatively short amount of time.

So, questions such as these are valid. In geopolitics there is no such thing as friends. In Russia, we have a saying, “Russia only has two allies, its army and its fleet.” And then there is that cliche, “if you want peace then prepare for war”. Russian leadership should not be naive and think that just because we are friends now that any show of weakness would not be noticed by our ambitious Asian neighbour. Lake Baikal alone would be a great prize, with fresh water becoming more and more scarce in this polluted and overpopulated world..

Anyway, Russia would have to be losing such a conflict very badly in order for the US to interfere in any way. US would only have its own interests in mind. They wouldn’t want China occupying all of Siberia and become an unbeatable superpower, having the biggest manufacturing capacity and the most resources in the world. On the other side too, if Russia happened to use some high-tech weaponry to defeat the Chinese, the US would probably side with China because they wouldn’t want Russia to capture Chinese manufacturing capacities.

90It would mean all out war.

Russians have an amazing power to resist Invaders. It resisted Nepolean brilliantly and Russian invasion paved way for end of Nepolean. Hitler lost the world war 2. In Today’s Russia is weak compared to it’s peak but it is still world no. 2 military power.

Bulk of Russian nuclear missiles are based in Far-East District pointing towards China. Even if Valdivistok falls to Chinese, Russians would launch heavy counterattack. It may take sometime for Russia to reinforce it’s Garrison in Far East but Chinese forces will find it difficult to withstand Russians pressure. In mist likely senario, Chinese will have 2:1 or 3:1 superiority but Russians will have advantage in Armor & firepower. Russia armour & Airforce is still Superior to that of Chinese. And we must not forget, Russians have 7000 nuclear bomb compared to 300 Chinese nuclear warheads.

Any war must not be looked in isolation. India, Japan and America would also come in the picture. If China succeeds in capturing Russian Far East then, then China can do same with India & Japan. It would alter the balance of power in Asia. American superiority will be challenged and America can’t stay out of war. America will encourage India & Japan to open front against China. The day Russia losses the war, America would cease to be no. 1 power in the world.