Political map of Russia & the former Soviet Union 20 November 1929 (1929 Sino-Soviet Conflict): By 1929, Chiang Kaishek's (Chiang Kai-shek) Nationalists (Kuomintang) were rapidly reunifying China (Northern Expedition). With Chiang's backing, the Manchurian warlord (Zhang Xueliang) seized the part-Soviet administered Chinese Eastern Railway (Chinese Eastern Railway). The Soviets responded with a two-pronged invasion, swiftly forcing the Manchurians to come to terms (Sino-Soviet conflict (1929)) and demonstrating China's continued weakness.