Sino-Japanese War, First

Sino-Japanese War, First, 1894–95, conflict between China and Japan for control of Korea in the late 19th cent. The Li-Ito Convention of 1885 provided for mutual troop withdrawals and advance notification of any new troop movements into Korea. Accordingly, when a Korean revolt erupted in 1894, both countries sent troops. However, after the insurrection had been suppressed, Japan refused to withdraw its troops and induced the Korean court to abrogate its agreement with China. The fighting that ensued between Chinese and Japanese forces ended with an easy victory for the more modern Japanese army.

The Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895) declared Korea independent and provided for the cession of Taiwan, the Pescadores, and the Liaodong peninsula by China to Japan. China also had to pay a large indemnity. Within a week of the treaty signing, however, the diplomatic intervention of Russia, France, and Germany forced Japan to return the Liaodong peninsula to China. Under a subsidiary commercial treaty (1896), China yielded to Japanese nationals the right to open factories and engage in manufacturing in the trade ports. This right was automatically extended to the Western maritime powers under the most-favored-nation clause.

See T. Takeuchi, War and Diplomacy in the Japanese Empire (1935, repr. 1966); F. H. Conroy, The Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1868–1910 (1960).

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