The threat of newly modernized Japan concerned China in wake of the First Sino- Japanese War from 1894-1895. Japan recognized the economic potential and strategic importance of Korea, and its attachment to China as a vassal state. With Korea’s close hundred-mile proximity to Japan, Japan’s victory in the war stripped China of its control in Korea and granted them Taiwan as a colony. Japan’s victory caused a concern for China. As Suzanne Pepper describes the catastrophe of defeat in the Sino- Japanese War for China, “China’s defeat not by a Western power but by a neighbor traditionally regarded as inferior was widely interpreted as an indication of China’s failure of Self-Strengthening efforts”(Pepper, 1996, p. 57).
The terms of the Treaty Of Shimonoseki (made in 1895) were disastrous for China and revealed that China’s once acclaimed revolutionary efforts of Self-Strengthening were lackluster in their progressive agenda. Spence agrees with that the defeat in the Sino- Japanese war clearly a turning point for the Chinese. He says that ,” China had to recognize the full and complete independence and autonomy of Korea, which, under the circumstances effectively made Korea a Japanese protectorate”(Spence, 1991, p .223). He concludes that the “Qing court seemed paralyzed. It was a dark conclusion to the brightest hopes of the Self- Strengthening “(Spence, 1991, p. 224). Furthermore, Japan continued to strengthen its movement over the decade. After Japanese declaration of war on Russia ( over fearful concerns of the control of Korea) in 1894-1895 demonstrated their dedicated to their modernization campaign. The Russo- Japanese War prompted concern from Western nations around the wolrd to respect Japan. Japan’s victory over Russia m...
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...ely had its shortcomings. Traditional Institutions were desensitized to the social events going on internally and internationally with China and they failed to adjust. Accordingly, the Confucian Examination System and Chinese Academies remained put in place, as Hayhoe would suggest, “ these institutions lose their legitimacy and viability”. China’s look to the Twentieth Century was a pessimistic hope for recovery. The crisis of the Middle Kingdom endured a century of warfare both foreign and domestic. Though it was militarily incredibly weak and politically susceptible, China had endured the Opium Wars, Taiping Rebellion, Sino-Japanese War, Era of Self- Strengthening, and the Boxer Rebellion. Overwhelmed by disappointment and defeat at the hands of Western powers, China’s journey into the Twentieth Century was concentrated on a rebuilding a strong Chinese nation.
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