Episode 19: How Much of China did Japan Occupy in WW2
July 10, 2020 In the late 19th century, as China declined in the face of internal struggles and foreign intrusion, Japan was on the rise. As the world moved on to the 20th century, China’s loss of influence over Korea and the stunning victory of Japan in the Sino-Japanese War confirmed that China was no longer the premier power in the Pacific. With this victory, Japan, the former tributary state to the Chinese Empire, followed the example set by the Western powers and claimed territory from China. They forced China to sign another humiliating unequal treaty (Treaty of Shimonoseki 1895), which ceded Taiwan, the Penghu islands, and the Liaodong Peninsula to the Japanese Empire. This was the beginning, but far from the end of Japanese conquest in China. This conquest would eventually become one of the most destructive conflicts in world history, engulfing China in a storm of chaos and destruction and causing the deaths of millions and the loss of much of China’s territory.