Russian post offices in China

Russian Post Offices In China

Russian post offices in China

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The Russian post offices in China were a collection of post offices established by Imperial Russia in various cities of China beginning in 1870.

The first offices were in Beijing, Kalgan, Tientsin, and Urga (in Mongolia), all in areas near to Russian-controlled territory. In November 1886 additional offices opened in Shanghai, Chefoo, Hankow with offices in Port Arthur, and Dairen following soon afterwards. In addition, many Russian Field Post Offices operated throughout Manchuria and civilian mail was frequently accepted there as well. Finally, the Chinese Eastern Railway had Russian post offices operating at most of the major stations, and important cities along the railway such as Harbin had several Russian post offices in the town itself. In addition, Travelling Post Offices operated in trains along the Chinese Eastern Railway.

Initially, the offices used the regular stamps of Russia, but in 1899, they received stamps overprinted with "KITAI" (Russian for China) in Cyrillic alphabet. This overprint was applied to all types of stamps up to 1916, including the varieties on horizontally laid, vertically laid, and wove paper. The overprint was also applied to postal stationery envelopes, postcards, letter cards and newspaper wrappers. The overprint itself was in black, blue, or red, generally being chosen to contrast with the stamp colors. Most of these types are commonly available today (less than one US$); the most problematic is the blue overprint on the 14-kopeck...
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