The Sino-Japanese War, which is also known as "Jiawu War"(in Chinese as it occurred in the Chinese year) occurred primarily over control of Korea. It happened during 1894 and 1895 and about 60000 soldiers were lost from both side.
Korea had traditionally been a tributary state to China. In 1875, Japan was allowed by China to recognise Korea as an independent state. However, China continued to try to assert influence over Korea, and public opinion in Korea split, with conservatives wanting to retain a close relationship with China while reformists wanted Korea to modernize and to have a closer relationship with Japan.
After the assassination of a pro-Japanese reformist in 1894, the Tonghak Peasant Revolution was formed and thus, the Korean government requested from China help in suppressing it.
War between Japan and China was officially declared on August 1, 1894, though some naval fighting had already taken place.The more modern Japanese army defeated the Chinese in a series of battles and by November 21 the Japanese had taken Port Arthur (now known as Lushun).
Although foreign observers had predicted an easy victory for the more massive Chinese forces, as the amount of China's soldier was 10 times the Japanese's, the Japanese had done a more successful job of modernizing, and they were better equipped and prepared. Japanese troops scored quick and overwhelming victories on both land and sea.
Faced with these repeated defeats China signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki in April 1895.In this treaty, China recognized the independence of Korea and ceded Taiwan, the adjoining Pescadores, and the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria.
The defeat of China at the hands of Japan highlighted the failure of the Chinese army to modernize adequately, and resulted in increased calls within China for accelerated modernization and reform. China also agreed to pay a large indemnity and to give Japan trading privileges on Chinese territory. This treaty was later somewhat modified by Russian fears of Japanese expansion. China's defeat encouraged the Western powers to make further demands of the Chinese government. In China itself, the war triggered a reform movement that attempted to renovate the government, resulting in the beginnings of revolutionary activity against the Manchu rulers of China.
By: Rozanna Abdul Razak, 10S25