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Tong Lam

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Tiananmen Uprising (1989) The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese, were popular demonstrations crushed by China’s army on 4 June 1989, when China’s leaders ordered the army to force the protesters out of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. On their way to the Square, soldiers killed protesters in unknown numbers, and the crackdown became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or the June 4 Massacre. However, secret cables from the United States embassy in Beijing, ―partly confirm the Chinese government’s account of the early hours of June 4, 1989, which has always insisted that soldiers did not massacre demonstrators inside Tiananmen Square. Instead, the cables show that Chinese soldiers opened fire on protesters outside the center of Beijing, as they fought their way towards the square from the west of the city.‖ In the aftermath of the seven-week protests, the Chinese government strengthened its police and internal security forces, and put leadership unity and political consensus ahead of modernization. Economic and political reforms were delayed or halted. In the late 1970s, the Chinese leadership of DengXiaoping abandoned Maoist-style planned collectivist economics, and embraced market-oriented reforms. Due to the rapid pace ofchange, bythelate 1980s, grievances over inflation, limited career prospects for students, and corruption of the party elite were growing rapidly. Communist governments were also losing legitimacy around the world, particularly in Eastern Europe. In April 1989, triggered by the death of deposed Communist Party General Secretary, Hu Yaobang, a liberal reformer, mass gatherings and protests took place in and around Tiananmen Square. At its height, some half a million protesters assembled there. The demonstrations, consisting of local working residents as well as students, called for government accountability, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the restoration of workers’ control over industry. The movement lasted for about seven weeks. The government initially attempted to appease the protesters through concessions, but a student-led hunger strike galvanized support for the demonstrators around the country. Ultimately, Deng Xiaoping and other party elders resolved to use force to suppress the movement. Party authorities declared martial law on 20 May. Military convoys entered Beijing on the evening of 3–4 June. Under strict orders to clear the Square by dawn, the People's Liberation Army pushed through makeshift blockades set up by demonstrators in western Beijing on their way to Tiananmen Square. The PLA used live fire to clear their path of protesters. The exact number of civilian deaths is not known, and the majority of estimates range from several hundred to thousands. Internationally, the Chinese government was widely condemned for the use of force against the protesters. Western governments imposed economic sanctions and arms embargoes. Following 4 June, the government conducted widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, expelled foreign journalists and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the domestic press. Officials deemed sympathetic to the protests were demoted or purged. The aftermath of the protests strengthened the power of orthodox Communist hardliners, and delayed further market reforms until Deng Xiaoping's 1992 southern tour. To this day, the government of the People’s Republic of China continues to suppress public mention or discussion about the protests. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 th May 4 Movement (1919) The May Fourth Movement (五四運動) was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government’s weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem. These demonstrations sparked national protests and marked the upsurge of Chinese nationalism, a shift towards political mobilization and away from cultural activities, and a move towards populist base rather than intellectual elites. The broader use of the term ―May Fourth Movement‖ often refers to the period during 1915-1921 more often called the New Culture Movement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_4th_Movement The 8-year War of Resistance against Japan The Second Sino-Japanese War (July 7, 1937 – September 2, 1945), called so after the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95, was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1941.Chinafought JapanwithsomeeconomichelpfromGermany,theSoviet Union(1937–1940)andtheUnitedStates. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the war merged into the greater conflict of World War II as a major front of what is broadly known as the Pacific War. The Second Sino-Japanese War was the largest Asian war in the 20th century. Although the two countries had fought intermittently since 1931, total war started in earnest in 1937 and ended only with the surrender of Japan in 1945. The war was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy aiming to dominate China politically and militarily and to secure its vast raw material reserves and other economic resources, particularlyfood and labor.Before 1937, ChinaandJapan fought insmall,localized engagements, so-called ―incidents‖. In 1931, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria by Japan's Kwantung Army followed the Mukden Incident. The last of these incidents was the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, marking the beginning of total war between the two countries. Initially the Japanese scored major victories in Shanghai, and by the end of 1937 captured the Chinese capital of Nanking. After failing to stop the Japanese in Wuhan, the Chinese central government moved to Chongqing in the Chinese interior. By 1939 the war had reached stalemate after Chinese victories in Changsha and Guangxi. The Japanese were also unable to defeat the Chinese communists’ forces in Shaanxi, which performed harassment and sabotage operations against the Japanese. On the 7th of December 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following day (December 8) the United States declared war on Japan. Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Sino-Japanese_War Manchurian Incident (1931) The Manchurian Incident was a staged event engineered by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading the northern part of China, known as Manchuria, in 1931. On September 18, 1931, a small quantity of dynamite was detonated by Lt. Kawamoto Suemori close to a railroad owned by Japan’s South near Mukden (now Shenyang). Although the explosion was so weak that it failed to destroy the lines and a train passed minutes later, the Imperial Japanese Army, accusing Chinese dissidents of the act, responded with a full invasion that led to the occupation of Manchuria, in which Japan established its puppet state of Manchukuo six months later. The ruse was soon exposed to the international community, leading Japan to diplomatic isolation and its March 1933 withdrawal from the League of Nations. The actual event is known as the ―Liutiaohu Incident‖ (柳條湖事變), and the event including its aftermath is known in Japan as the ―Manchurian Incident‖ ( 滿洲事變) and in China as the ―September 18 Incident‖ (九一八事變). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchurian_Incident Japan’s empire building in 1880s-1890s Revolution of 1911 The Xinhai Revolution, orthe Hsin-hai Revolution, also known as the Revolution of 1911orthe Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China/s last imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, and established the Republic of China. The revolution was named Xinhai (Hsin-hai) because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai stem-branch in thes exagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar. The revolution consisted of many revolts and uprisings. The turning point was the Wuchang Uprising on October 10, 1911, that was a result of the mishandling of the Railway Protection Movement. The revolution ended with the abdication of the Last Emperor, Puyi on February 12, 1912, that marked the end of over 2,000 years of imperial rule and the beginning of China's republican era. The revolution arose mainly in response to the decline of the Qing state, which had proven ineffective in its efforts to modernize China and confront new challenges presented by foreign powers, and was exacerbated by ethnic resentment against the ruling Manchu minority. Many underground anti-Qing groups, with the support of Chinese revolutionaries in exile, tried to overthrow the Qing. The brief civil war that ensued was ended through a political compromise between Yuan Shikai, the late Qing military strongman, and Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Tongmenghui (United League). After the Qing court transferred power to the newly founded republic, a provisional coalition government was created along with the National Assembly. However, political power of the new national government in Beijing was soonthereafter monopolized byYuanandledto decades of political division and warlordism, includingseveral attempts at imperial restoration. Today, both the Republic of China in Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China on the mainland consider them to be successors to the Xinhai Revolution and continue to pay homage to the ideals of the revolution including nationalism, republicanism, modernization of China and national unity. October 10 is commemorated in Taiwan as Double Ten Day, the National Day of the Republic of China. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_of_1911 Charter Oath (1868) The Charter Oath (五箇条の御誓文, more literally, the Oath in Five Articles) was promulgated at the enthronement of Emperor Meiji of Japan on 7 April 1868. The Oath outlined the main aims and the course of action to be followed duringEmperor Meiji's reign, settingthe legal stage forJapan's modernization.Thisalsoset up a processof urbanization as people of all classes were free to move jobs so people went to the city for better work. It remained influential, if less for governing than inspiring, throughout the Meiji era and into the twentieth century, and can be considered the first constitution of modern Japan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_Oath American Occupation of Japan (1945-1952) At the end of World War II, Japan was occupied by the Allied Powers, led by the United States with a contribution from the British Commonwealth. This foreign presence marked the first time in its history that the island nation had been occupied by a foreign power. The occupation transformed Japan into a democracy modeled somewhat after the American New Deal. The San Francisco PeaceTreaty signed onSeptember 8, 1951 marked theend of the Alliedoccupation,and after it came into force on April 28, 1952, Japan was once again an independent country, save for the Ryukyu Islands. Dower explains the factors that promoted the success of the American occupation: Discipline, moral legitimacy, well-defined and well-articulated objectives, a clear chain of command, tolerance and flexibility in policy formulation and implementation, confidence in the ability of the state to act
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