China’s Dark History with Japan

November 4, 2014

Poor relations with Japan started as far back as 1840, when Japan joined the British, French and Americans during the Opium Wars to gain concessions to sell opium to the Chinese.

In 1843, under the agreement of the Nanjing Treaty, Shanghai became one of five treaty ports to be turned into a colonial city that would be under control of foreign countries—Great Britain, France, America and Japan.

Until 1871, most Japanese had never had much contact with the Chinese. Then, getting to know the Chinese led to a Japanese opinion that the Chinese were ethnically inferior since they were different from the Japanese and most Japanese haven’t changed their minds to this day.

In 1884, Japanese and Chinese troops faced off in Korea, which ended in a lopsided stalemate in Japan’s favor.

In 1894, Japan and China fought their first war over Korea. Like Tibet, Korea had been a tributary state of China for centuries.

China was defeated in 1895 losing Korea as a tributary and a large portion of Eastern Manchuria.

Then in 1870, Japan annexed the islands of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which had also been a tributary to China.

A Ryukyuan envoy even begged England for help, but the British ruled that the islands should belong to Japan instead of China.

On July 7, 1937, Japan launched a war to conquer China. Over the next 8 years, Japan would occupy most of China.

In fact, Japan has never apologized for The Rape of Nanking and other atrocities during World War II that resulted in millions of Chinese deaths. The Chinese estimate that they lost about 15-20 million in World War II and most of those deaths were civilians. An additional 2.2 million deaths were Chinese troops.

“The Chinese have resented the Japanese ever since Japan conquered and occupied China in the 1930s and 40s. The Japanese prime minister’s yearly visits to a Tokyo shrine for war veterans has always played in China as a reminder of Japan’s wartime brutality and continued lack of remorse.” U.S. News & World Report

Long memoires and hard feelings still smolder and sometimes ignite into flames. Since China has risen from the ashes, Japan should walk softly around the mighty reborn dragon.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.


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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth – Part 2/3

February 20, 2011

With military bases in the Philippines, South Korea, Japan and Okinawa, it was easy for America to replace France in Vietnam, which led to the Second War in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from 1955 to 1975.

That was when Mao’s China said that Vietnam and China were “as close as the lips and the teeth”.  Mao asked, “What happens to the teeth when the lips are gone?”

What the French and Americans did in Vietnam was not the only reason China wants to keep a buffer between itself and countries such as England, France, Japan and the United States.

Great Britain conquered Burma after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in 1824 to 1886. Singapore was added in 1819. Then the British acquired Melaka in 1824 then expanded into the Malay Peninsula between 1874 and 1914.

Thailand was the only Southeast Asian state to remain independent during the colonial period yet Thailand, which was known as Siam paid tribute to China 48 times mostly after 1780.

The next war between China and Japan took place in 1894 to 1895. China lost and ceded Taiwan, the adjoining Pescadores, and the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria to Japan.

China’s defeat encouraged the Western powers to make further demands of the Chinese government, which triggered a reform movement and the beginning of revolutionary activity against the Manchu rulers of China.

While China was helpless, Japan occupied Korea and held it as a colony from 1900 – 1945.

In 1903, a British military expedition invaded Tibet interfering in Tibetan affairs to gain a base in one of the buffer states surrounding India. The British were unsuccessful and left in 1904.

However, in 1913, soon after the Qing Dynasty collapsed, the British convinced Tibet to declare freedom from being one of China’s tributaries after being occupied and loosely governed by China since the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century.

In 1900, the Boxer Rebellion led to another foreign invasion by the eight-nation alliance of Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Germany, Austria-Hungry and Italy.

During that invasion, China’s Imperial army lost 20,000 troops and about 19,000 civilians while the foreign invaders lost 2,500 soldiers.

Return to The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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