The Sino-Japanese War 1894–95

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Map Code: Ax01999

In the 1860s Korea was a Chinese satellite and rich in coal and iron, resources needed by a modernizing Japan. Although Japan, a growing imperial power, was granted trading concessions, it saw Korea as land that could be exploited for expansion. Many young Koreans wanted closer ties to Japan, and were attracted to its westernized economy. Pro-Japanese riots were crushed by Chinese troops in June 1894. The Japanese retaliated by entering Seoul on 23 July 1894 and seizing the palace. On 1 August, war was declared with China and within six months the Japanese had expelled the Chinese from Korea and crossed the Yalu River. They crushed Chinese resistance and, after taking the port of Wei-hai-wei, advanced into Manchuria; the Chinese sued for peace and ceded the Taiwanese archipelago and the Manchurian peninsula to Japan. By the Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895) the Chinese agreed to recognize the independence of Korea, although in reality it immediately fell under Japanese suzerainty.

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