In the second half of the nineteenth century, China and Korea were important Russian partners in Northeast Asia. However, Russian views of these countries differed significantly. By that time Russia had a three-hundred-year history of relations with China, and thus the role of China’s image in Russian culture and politics was much greater. Various groups in Russia saw China very differently. For some, it was a symbol of Oriental wisdom, good government, and a proper approach to nature worthy of emulation; for others, it was a stagnant country in decay where the idea of progress could be instilled only with cannons and rifles. Foreign policy recommendations also varied, ranging from the idea of fighting Western powers in alliance with Beijing and securing China’s unity to recommendations of dividing China in concert with Western powers. The approach to Korea was more unified. Korea was seen by most as an underdeveloped but friendly country with a pleasant and hardworking population that had suffered foreign intrigues and oppression. While elements within the Russian establishment had designs on Korean territory, many in Russian society sincerely sympathized with Koreans and wished to help them in the struggle for their country’s independence. The problem of Chinese and Korean immigration also played a role in shaping the Russian perception of both countries, but it did not directly influence Russian views on foreign policy.