The purpose of this paper is to understand the meaning of the new line of contact between Russia and Ch’ing created by the Spathari delegation by examining the its preparation process and the travel route and analyzing it in the change of the Russia-Mongolia relations.
The two tasks of the Spathari delegation were first to establish regular diplomatic and trade relations with Q’ing and then to find a more convenient transportation route for diplomatic envoys and trade caravans to and from China.
The mission to establish stable diplomatic relations failed due to internal circumstances in the Qing Dynasty. However, Spathari was the first official ambassador of the Russian tsar to have an audience with the Qing emperor.
To this end, both sides of Russia and Q’ing made concessions, namely that Q’ing government gave special treatment to the Russian tsar's official documents, and Spathari performed a kowtow instead. In this way, the Russian ambassador could have an audience with the Qing emperor. The fact that ambassador plenipotentiary of the Russian tsar, meets the emperor through official procedures means a direct meeting between the two countries. This marks the formation of the first direct line of contact between Russia and Ching diplomatically.
The mission to explore traffic routes to China was successful in that the Spathari delegation created a new travel route between the two countries that did not pass through Mongolia. Previously, when Russia passed through Mongolian territory and went to and from China under the guidance of the Mongols, the Russians had no choice but to recognize China through the Mongols and to move according to Mongols’ intentions. But now, if necessary, the possibility of reaching Beijing directly without the permission of Mongolia has been opened, regardless of the situation in Mongolia. Geographically, it can be evaluated that Russia and China have established a direct line of contact.