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Either of two conflicts between China and Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries. The first (1894–95), over Korea, marked the emergence of Japan as a world power and demonstrated the weakness of China. Though Korea had long been China's most important client state, Japan became interested in it for its natural resources and its strategic location. After Japan opened Korea to foreign trade in 1875, tensions between radical, pro-Japanese Koreans, who favoured modernization, and conservative Korean government officials, who were supported by China, brought China and Japan into conflict. Foreign observers predicted an easy victory for the more massive Chinese forces, but Japan scored overwhelming victories on both land and sea. In the Treaty of Shimonoseki, China recognized the independence of Korea and ceded Taiwan, the Pescadores, and the Liaodong Peninsula (the last of which Japan was later forced to return) to Japan. The second conflict (1937–45) denotes the period of China's resistance to Japan's aggression in Chinese territory after Japan had established itself in Manchuria; it ended with Japan's defeat in World War II. See alsoManchukuo; Marco Polo Bridge Incident; Nanjing Massacre; Tonghak Uprising.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Sino-Japanese War, visit Britannica.com.
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