“… and they have directed the activities of these secret organizations to espionage and sabotage”. Chinese sworn brotherhoods and secret societies during the period of The Great Terror
In the second half of the XIX century, by the terms of the Aigun and the Peking treaties the Russian Empire acquired new territories of Amur and Ussuri regions. Soon after the Russian administration faced the fact that the Chinese living in this region and migrant workers did not consider themselves to be dependent on the Russian government and were administered by their own organizations. The shadowy activities of Chinese societies and organizations, as well as sworn brotherhoods were a cause of concern for Russian administrators and explorers. After the October revolution the situation did not change. The Soviet administration regarded Chinese secret societies and brotherhoods as obstacles to the integration of the Chinese workers into Soviet society. By the time of the "Great Purge" these institutions had been considered as "reactionary". The NKVD used this image of Chinese societies and brotherhoods to justify the need for an operation against the Chinese diaspora.