1768, Kiakhta Supplement - Russia

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October 18, 1768 (Old Style)

Translated from the Manchu.

By order of the Great Da-Ch'ing Emperor, the following are gathered to settle border issues:

            The Gosai Beise of Chasak, Khouto Rinka;

            The Minister of the Left of the Outer Provinces, Karatsin;

            Watsirai Bato Tousiyetou Khan Condon Dorji, officer of the guard of the Inner Chambers, Adjutant-General and Commander of the Left-Wing of the Khalkas;

            The Sub-Inspector of Mount Khanoola, member of the Chasak, and royal cousin, sixth class;

            Commander Kropotov, envoy of the Ruling Empress of the Oros [Russians]

Who have deliberated and agreed, as follows:

The eleven articles of the [original] treaty remain in force, but it has been found necessary to withdraw the Oros from the area of Mount Bourgoutay, of Bisiktoo, of Kochoo, and other places, putting the border over on the other side of the mountains.  All remains as before concerning the commercial posts of Kiakhta and Tsoni Tsonouik-Haitou, where no entry fees are paid.  Errors slipped into the Latin and Russian copies of the Treaty, and essential points were omitted.  So it is time to correct them.  Further, disputes between the two states should be forgotten, and past deserters left alone.

            The terms of Article X of the old Treaty, concerning the prevention of theft and desertions on the border by both empires’ subjects, now appear too vague.  So Article X is abolished.  A new Article X is now law.  By this new arrangement, each side will watch over its subjects to prevent a recurrence of these cases.  If, at the meetings to be held on the border each year, problems are pointed out, the border area commanders must investigate them quickly and justly.  If they are swayed by private interest and fail in their duties, each side promises to punish them according to law.  And on the hunt for brigands and the punishing of illegal border-crossers, here are the new rules:

Article X

            People who cross the border without checking through the guardhouses, with the purpose of committing brigandage, will be seized and held until they confess what guardhouse they came from and whether they had companions, and this whether they have committed murders or not.  After they have been sternly questioned at the proper guardhouse, the names of the uncaught brigands will be written out, and the list sent to all guardhouses, but especially to  the chief taidzi of Chasak and to the commanders of the Oros.  The heads of the Chasak must come immediately to the spot and examine the case with the commandants of the Oros, and having examined it they will make a prompt report to be sent to the head offices of border affairs.  A man of integrity and reputation will be chosen to go straight to the guardhouse concerned and carry out a second inquiry in collaboration with the chief of the Chasak, with a report to the head office, also.  Subject of the Central Empire who have committed brigandage will be handed over, without distinction, to the court of the Outer Provinces, and put to death.  The subjects of Oros who have done so will be handed over to their Senate to undergo the same fate.  Murderers will be led away and executed on the border, before the public.  The horse, saddle, and weapons and other possessions of a brigand, will be given as a reward to the one who arrested him.  Those who steal the horses or livestock of others, or any of their possessions, will have to pay them back ten times their value—the first time.  If the thief is not caught, the commandants of the guardhouses involved must get together to look into the crime and inspect injuries and dead bodies, in order to report.  The commandant of the guardhouse is to be ordered to arrest the criminals, at the latest, within a month.  If a thief is not yet found after a month, a report must go to the headquarters of border affairs.  The commandants and soldiers who have not done their duty in tracking down stolen horses and goods will themselves be punished and made to pay ten times the value of the stolen things.  If unarmed people are caught crossing the border to carry out secret thefts, the will be punished by the rules of corporal punishment, one hundred strokes.  The thief’s horse and saddle will be given to the arresting person.  Stolen goods go back to their owners.  The thief, the first time, pays five times, and the second time, pays ten times the value of what he’s stolen.  The third time he will be treated as a brigand.  If such thieves are not found, a true report will be drawn up at the guardhouse nearest the crime, and the commandant and soldiers of this house will be ordered to seize the criminal.  They must not take more than a month.  When he is caught, he will publicly receive a hundred strokes and his horse and stolen goods will be given back to the owners.  If the commandant and soldiers don’t find thieves within the determined time, five times the value of the horses and goods stolen will be what they have to pay for not doing their duty.

            When horses and other animals have strayed across the border, they will be brought straight to the nearest guardhouse.  If they aren’t found, a report is drawn up on this, with the animals clearly described.  Horses and beasts which have strayed must be brought back within five days; after this, if the found stock is not returned, or if it has been sold somewhere and we don’t know where, the guardhouse commandants on both sides must hand in a report to the border authorities.  Then the owners will receive, restored to them, twice the value.

            Unarmed people who cross the border without committing thefts or murders, with no passports for their travels, have to be arrested.  Their horses, saddles and other effects will be given to those who arrest.  If they crossed the border to hunt, they will be punished by a hundred strokes in public.  Games, arms, horses and dogs become the reward for those who arrested them.

            If people without weapons are arrested for crossing the border the commandant of the guardhouse must question them strictly.  If they took the wrong road by mistake, they will be released and sent immediately to the equivalent post on the other side.  If people are caught who were living in hiding in the woods and mountains, far away and hard to reach, they will receive, as in law, public beatings of one hundred strokes.  Their horses, saddles and other things will be given in reward to their arresters.

NOTE: All the criminals of the Central Empire condemned to corporal punishment will be whipped.  Criminals of the Empire of the Oros, for their part, will be beaten with a stick.

Here is how this agreement was exchanged:

            Nobles of the Central Empire gave a copy in Manchu and Mongol, under their seals, to the Plenipotentiary of the Oros, and the Plenipotentiary of the Oros gave a copy in Oros, signed and sealed by him, to the Nobles.

            To make this convention known abroad, printed copies will be distributed among border residents on both sides.


            In the Thirty-third year of Abkay Woki-Yoki, the nineteenth Day of the Ninth Month: 18 October 1768.