The Russians and the Japanese both contributed troops to the Eight-Nation Alliance sent in 1900 to quell the Boxer Rebellion and to relieve the international legations besieged in the Chinese capital, Beijing. Russia had already sent 177,000 soldiers to Manchuria, nominally to protect its railways under construction. Though the Qing imperial army and the Boxer rebels united to fight against the invasion, they were quickly overrun and ejected from Manchuria. After the Boxer Rebellion, 100,000 Russian soldiers were stationed in Manchuria. The Russian troops settled in and despite assurances they would vacate the area after the crisis, by 1903 the Russians had not established a timetable for withdrawal and had actually strengthened their position in Manchuria.