Sino-Japanese War Essay, Research Paper
“In reality the Sino-Japanese war (1894) had little significance for both the participants and other nations.”
How far do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Contrary to the above statement, the Sino-Japanese War had important ramifications in Asia and internationally. Firstly, the outcome of the war had great significance in both China and Japan, it s participants. It also resulted in reverberations around the international community concerning the new power allocations in Asia that would have to be dealt with in future.
For Japan (the aggressor nation) the Sino-Japanese War resulted in territorial gains in China, recognition of Korea s independence, 200 million taels indemnity from China, ports and negotiations about a commercial treaty. These procurements were achieved by the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki.
The territory that was gained was Taiwan, the Pescadores Islands and the Kwantung Peninsula. The Kwantung Peninsula was later to be advisedly given back to China at the price of 50 million taels under pressure from a triple power intervention of Russia, France and Germany. This formation occurred mainly due to Russia. They were worried about Japan getting a foothold into Asian mainland and also because they had their eyes on some ice-free ports there. France joined because of a dual alliance with Russia and Germany just wanted to keep the pressure out of Europe. From the territorial issue alone, the Sino-Japanese war had inadvertent significance for Germany and France and more direct significance for Russia.
Taiwan was very reluctant to be to Japan handed (after modernising fairly successfully) and tried to instigate their own independence. This attempt was suppressed and Taiwan was finally ceded to Japan. The significance for Taiwan was that apart from becoming Japanese, which in reality only lasted for half a century and was relatively short-term, the effects of the Sino-Japanese war left their marks on Taiwan s culture. The attempt of Japanization within Taiwan affected their unique beliefs and also left a feeling of long-term resentment embedded in the Taiwanese towards the Japanese.
The short-term international effects of this treaty were that Britain re-assessed their support of China, for it was proving to be slow and weak in comparison to Japan s obvious power and swift modernisations. The fact that Britain had to review their pro-Chinese attitude showed that Japan had replaced China in Asia as the domineering power. This held great significance internationally for the countries with interests in Asia had to consider a new factor into any future aggression. This was later shown in the Russo-Japanese War.
When the “triple power” intervened and claimed back the Kwantung Peninsula from Japan (using subtle threat, 1895), the Russians actually reclaimed this same territory three years later in order to build the Chinese Eastern Railway. Of course this did not help with the Japanese view towards Russia and they were in fact deeply resentful. After growing resentment and failing negotiations between Russia and Japan over the allocations of power in Korea, the hostilities finally heightened on February, 1904 after Russians troops started to be transported into Korea. The resulting war lasted less than a year and Japan was seen as the victor. The Treaty of Portsmouth ( September 5, 1905) conceded that Japan had primary interest in Korea, restored (almost) China s sovereignty and administration in Manchuria and gave Japan the lease on the Kwantung Peninsula and the Russian-built South Manchurian railway. Despite this, resentment towards Russia was not diminished due to the failure of the payment of indemnity to Japan.
The overall result of this war in the world political view is that Japan, having defeated the biggest (though not strongest) Western power and was therefore considered to be a new world power.
Hence the Sino-Japanese war which led to the Russo-Japanese war had both short -term and long- term results for Japan – one of the main points being that it persuaded other foreign powers to release their extraterritorial rights.
For China the results were not as global as Japan s yet the war had some significance internally. After the Chinese defeat, it was established that the Manchu s were incapable of handling the sudden change of the times. Many people felt that it was time for a revolution in order to replace the Manchu dynasty with a Chinese republic. Therefore it can be said that the Sino-Japanese war either brought to a head or brought about a distinct political turbulence in China.
In conclusion, the significance of the Sino-Japanese can be seen in some ways today. Japan is still seen as a world power both militarily and economically. The long-term effects for Japan were enormous as it can be said it was a totally new beginning for Japan. Many of the territorial gains have changed and most of the small details in the treaties cannot be seen today. But overall, the war did have an effect nationally and internationally as Asia was finally being seen as a potential force to be dealt with.