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October 31 Notes - International Relations of East Asia

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HIST 103
Glen Peterson

International Relations of East Asia 1900 to 1937  China entered into a period of internal disintegration – lasted until communist revolution in 1949  For more than 20 centuries, China has been held together by dynastic system o Last imperial dynasty overthrown in 1911  Established U.S. style republic  First republic in Asia  Weak and fragile  New institutions  Within 5 years, fell apart  China was then taken over by a series of regional and military rulers / warlords  For about a decade between 1916 – 1927, no effective central gov’t at all in China  1920s – China – “sick man of Asia”, like tottering Ottoman Empire, collapsing  Foreign powers that built up economic and political interest in China tried to look for ways to preserve their interest / strengthen them o 2 fold strategy  1. Pursue “wait-and-see” policy  Buy time and wait for supreme military figure to come along, who was strong enough to reunite the whole country  In the meantime, maybe not so bad for China to be weak and divided o Less capable to stand up to foreign oppression  2. Work out various sorts of deals and arrangements with one another  Guarantee and respect mutual interest in China  “Diplomacy of imperialism” (1895 - 1920) o Open, sometimes secret agreements amongst the powers  Leases on Chinese territory – lease out land for 99 years to foreign power  Granting of railroad and mineral rights, can build railroads / open mines in certain parts of country  Shipping monopolies th o Began in last 5 years of 19 century  By 1910 – China had been divided into “spheres of influence”  British: central China  French: southwestern China  Japanese: northeastern China (by Manchuria)  “Spheres of influence” were held until WWI, and began to fall apart after – as a result of 3 different kinds of pressures o 1. Renewed Japanese expansionism in China  Seized opportunity provided by WWI to expand role in China  European powers became preoccupied with war in Europe  Japan occupied German territories in China – Germany had leased a part of northern China: Shandong o Said they were on side of Allies  21 secret demands to Chinese gov’t o Chinese leader leaked demands o Western powers found out, forced Japan to back down o Announced that China is up for grabs o 2. Diplomatic stance adopted by new Soviet Union  Unilaterally giving up all former Czarist privileges from China  Will treat China as sovereign, equal country o Didn’t mean it, pursuing negotiation to cement Soviet privileges in China  Sent shockwaves to European powers  Sent message: why shouldn’t British, French, Japanese give up privileges in China too?  Threatened foreign privilege in China o 3. Rising self-assertiveness of China itself  Chinese nationalism on the rise by 1910  2 major goals:  1. Domestic goal: transform Chinese culture and society, to make it more modern, open to the world  2. Bring end to foreign domination of China and unite country politically o Get rid of warlords  Goals forcefully expressed for first time on May 4 , 1919 th  Beginning of May 4 movement  Several thousand Chinese
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