Are China and Japan on the road to better relations? It’s complicated | South China Morning Post
At the turn of the millennium, the relations of the three great nations of East Wars in East Asia-beginning with armed struggle between China and Japan in Domination of Korea and China, both politically in disarray and militarily weak at the time, seemed to offer a way out. Hong Kong · New York · Museum · Texas. The bilateral relationship between China and Japan is already "politically cool, but economically hot," said the University of Hong Kong's Teo. He is proposing a summit of Japanese, Chinese and South Korean leaders In response, the Yomiuri quoted a Japanese government source as saying of the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review and worked.
When the war ended the British realized that they could not restore the status quo ante. They thus put an end to racial segregation, removed the glass ceiling that prevented a Chinese person from becoming a Cadet or Administrative Officer or rising to become the Senior Member of the Legislative or the Executive Council, and looked into the possibility of introducing municipal self-government.
The exploration into limited democratization ended as the second landmark event unfolded—the success of the Chinese Communist Party in taking control of China. This resulted in Hong Kong closing its borders with China on a long-term basis and the local Chinese population settling down in the colony, where it took on a direction of development distinctly different from that of mainland China. The large influx of refugees to Hong Kong in the late s was transformed by a pragmatic colonial administration into a demographic bonus, as all were allowed to work freely and become part of the community.
Those refugees, particularly from Shanghai, who arrived with capital, management knowhow and skills gave some industries, such as textile and shipping, a big boost. With the entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese community unleashed and the colonial administration now devoting most of its resources to support them, Hong Kong became an industrial colony and developed increasingly strong servicing sectors. By the s, local entrepreneurs had become so successful that they took over some of the well-established major British companies that had been pillars of the local economy for a century.
As Hong Kong developed, it looked to the wider world—something originally necessitated by the imposition of trade embargos on China by the United States and the United Nations after the start of the Korean War in —and eventually transformed itself into a global metropolis. The great transformation of postwar Hong Kong happened in the shadow of a dark cloud over its long-term future, which is a legacy from history.
Hong Kong in fact consists of three parts: The first two were ceded by China to Britain in perpetuity, but the New Territories was only leased in for a period of 99 years. As the three parts developed organically they could not be separated. During the Pacific War the nationalist government of China successfully secured an agreement from the British government that the future of the New Territories would be open to negotiation after the defeat of Japan.
When victory came, the British recovered Hong Kong, and the Chinese government was distracted by the challenges posed by the Communist Party. After it won control of mainland China in the Communist government left Hong Kong alone, as it was a highly valuable opening for China to reach out beyond the Communist bloc during the Cold War. In the British raised the issue of the New Territories lease, as the remainder of the lease was getting too short for comfort.
Formal negotiations started inand it took two years for an agreement to be reached. The British government ultimately agreed to hand over the entirety of Hong Kong as a going concern to China, which undertook to maintain the system and way of life there unchanged for fifty years. The formal handover went smoothly inand the colony became a Chinese Special Administrative Region. At first it appeared that Hong Kong enjoyed a high degree of autonomy, as promised by the Chinese government, but the scope for its autonomy was eroded gradually.
By the mids this gave rise to a small but vocal movement that advocates independence. Having defeated Napoleon Bonaparte and emerged as the leading imperial power and economic powerhouse, Britain under Queen Victoria requested and required the Qing or Manchu Empire in China to receive its envoys without performing the kowtow and to trade openly, which the latter refused as it did not consider Britain or any power its equal.
In the Treaty of Nanking Britain forced the Qing Empire to accept British diplomatic representation and cession of Hong Kong Island in perpetuity and thus secured one of the best natural harbors on the China coast to support its trade with China. Hong Kong entered its modern era. A Crown Colony system was put in place, by which the governor served as both the representative of the queen and the chief executive, supported by an appointed Legislative Council constituted by Britons, an Executive Council, and a separate judiciary.
Early colonial Hong Kong suffered from racial segregation and discrimination, as well as corruption and incompetent governance as very few well educated individuals settled there. Nevertheless, stability, order, and opportunities in this British enclave attracted Chinese immigrants who fled abusive governance, disorder caused by massive rebellions, and limited economic opportunities at home. Even as the British expatriate community doubled in size repeatedly, Chinese immigrants constituted over 95 percent of the population and contributed more to growth and government revenue than the expanding British expatriate community.
This continued through the 19th century as both communities preferred to minimize inter-communal exchanges.
The Chinese did not find British racial discrimination particularly objectionable as most of them hardly ever came into contact with a Caucasian, and their homeland, China, was itself under the rule of the alien Manchus until In the postwar period Cadet Officers became Administrative Officers, but they continued to constitute the elite and occupy top offices.
After a haphazard start colonial Hong Kong flourished, but it was overshadowed by Shanghai as the latter developed at a much faster pace in the late 19th and early 20th century. Hong Kong only became a more modern and sophisticated metropolis than Shanghai after the Communists came to power in China in Until then the population of Hong Kong was constituted more by sojourners than settlers, as few Britons settled there on a permanent basis, and the Chinese immigrants moved freely across the border with China.
The most settled population tended to be Eurasians, Macanese Portuguese from neighboring Macaua small number of British subjects from other parts of the Empire, and an unknown percentage of Cantonese who did not seek to retire to their home villages in China. Among the last group, traders, shop owners, and investors were generally more settled than laborers. A distinctive Hong Kong identity in the sense of one that can underpin nationhood did not develop until toward the end of British rule.
But the Chinese community that was settled, and in particular its well-off elements, did develop a sense that they were a special category of Chinese, one that distinguished them from their compatriots in China. British administration, rule of law, municipal services, and individual freedom were there for all to see and enjoy. This made Hong Kong an inspiration for those Chinese interested to learn about alternative political models and ideas to that prevailing in their home country.
In general terms the British authorities turned a blind eye to Chinese intellectuals and activists defying the government of the day in China as long as British laws were not broken.
But the colonial administration did not allow Chinese activists to use Hong Kong to subvert the government of China, from the Qing through the Republican to the Communist period. The Chinese Communist Party CCP notably maintained a major communication and control center there to coordinate activities in southern China before it seized control of China.
What colonial Hong Kong offered Chinese dissidents and progressive intellectuals was ready access to Western ideas and scope to debate them freely, witness a British administration in action, and benefit from the rule of law without traveling to Europe. Hong Kong did not support revolutionary activities directed against the Chinese government, but it provided safety and inspiration to Chinese dissidents pondering what alternative political systems might suit China.
Expansion and the Beginning of the End Hong Kong consists of three parts: Britain acquired Kowloon in perpetuity in after defeating the Qing government a second time. The New Territories, about 90 percent of the total territory, was leased for 99 years in the Convention of Peking Thus, when France seized control of the port of Guangzhouwan now Zhanjiangabout miles from Hong Kong, Britain enlarged the colony to make it defensible against a long-standing European competitor.
However, it was weary of setting off a scramble for territorial cession and thus only leased the New Territories for a limited duration. With Victorian Britain at the zenith of its power, little thought was given to the long-term implications, such as the eventual expiration of the lease. The future of Hong Kong proper and the New Territories became inseparable as the whole territory developed and integrated organically.
By the early 20th century the old boundary had become two sides of a main road the Boundary Street with indistinguishable shops and residential dwellings on both sides. As time went on, with basic infrastructures like the airport and major reservoirs in the leased territory, it became increasingly unrealistic for Britain to hold on to Hong Kong and Kowloon without the New Territories, even though the British Crown held title to the former two in perpetuity.
It was during the course of the Second World War that this became an issue. The pressure Britain faced was considerable, as Hong Kong fell to the Japanese in and was geographically within the China Theater for which the allied commander was Chiang. The outcome of the wartime negotiations was that the Chinese government reserved the right to raise with Britain the lease of the New Territories after the defeat of Japan.
Consequently, a British fleet raced against a Chinese army and restored British sovereignty over Hong Kong when Japan surrendered in August It destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white men and their empires. Much as the brutality of Japanese occupation provoked resentment in colonial Asia, initial Japanese military successes fundamentally changed the relationship between the colonial people of Asia and their Western imperial masters.
The clock could not be turned back. A wind of change blew across colonial Asia at the end of the war. Senior officials restoring British rule to Hong Kong were conscious of the changed environment and tried to deliver a new deal, partly to pre-empt local support for an expected demand from Chiang to end the New Territories lease. Having been imprisoned by the Japanese, the pre-war governor Mark Young, a progressive and reflective official, took the lead to make changes after he resumed office in Young sought to engage the local population in a step-by-step program to introduce representative government.
He drew up a plan to introduce a super municipal council with elective elements to develop a sense of local identity and loyalty to British Hong Kong.
Assuming the governorship in he focused on the changing relationship between Hong Kong and China, where a civil war raged. As the Communists won control of mainland China inHong Kong was swamped with refugees escaping Communist rule.
He did so because he considered Young misguided in thinking his reforms could convert Chinese sojourners into loyal British subjects.
The coming to power of the Communists in China brought about fundamental changes. The population in the s generally hovered between nine hundred thousand and a million, but it increased significantly after Japan invaded China in and pushed the total to over 1.
From this point onward, the Chinese population of Hong Kong became a settled one. It also grew exponentially, rising by a million in each of the following three decades and reaching 7.
This required the government and the population to adjust in ways not attempted before. With its newly acquired territory in the western Pacific, the United States was determined to preserve its own commercial interests in China by protecting Chinese territorial integrity from the other major powers. This provided a basis for the Anglo-German agreement October for preventing further territorial partition, to which Japan and Russia consented.
Thus, partition of China was avoided by mutual restraint among the powers. The final settlement of the disturbance was signed in September The indemnity amounted to million taels to be paid over 39 years. Moreover, the settlement demanded the establishment of permanent guards and the dismantling of forts between Beijing and the sea, a humiliation that made an independent China a mere fiction.
In addition, the southern provinces were actually independent during the crisis. These occurrences meant the collapse of the Qing prestige. Reformist and revolutionist movements at the end of the dynasty Sun Yat-sen Sun Zhongshana commoner with no background of Confucian orthodoxy who was educated in Western-style schools in Hawaii and Hong Kong, went to Tianjin in to meet Li Hongzhang and present a reform program, but he was refused an interview.
That event supposedly provoked his anti-dynastic attitude. Returning to Hong Kong, he and some friends set up a similar society under the leadership of his associate Yang Quyun.
Sun participated in an abortive attempt to capture Guangzhou inafter which he sailed for England and then went to Japan inwhere he found much support. Sun Yat-sen Sun Zhongshan.
Library of Congress, Washington, D. An attempt to reconcile the reformists and the revolutionaries became hopeless by Sun was slighted as a secret-society ruffian, while the reformists were more influential among the Chinese in Japan and the Japanese. The two camps competed in collecting funds from the overseas Chinese, as well as in attracting secret-society members on the mainland.
Hong Kong is at the forefront of China’s influences | East Asia Forum
The reformists strove to unite with the powerful, secret Society of Brothers and Elders Gelaohui in the Yangtze River region. This new body nominated Sun as its leader, a decision that also gave him, for the first time, the leadership of the Revive China Society. After the Boxer disaster, Cixi reluctantly issued a series of reforms, which included abolishing the civil service examination, establishing modern schools, and sending students abroad. But these measures could never repair the damaged imperial prestige; rather, they inspired more anti-Manchu feeling and raised the revolutionary tide.
However, other factors also intensified the revolutionary cause: Nationalists and revolutionists had their most-enthusiastic and most-numerous supporters among the Chinese students in Japan, whose numbers increased rapidly between and The Zongli Yamen sent 13 students to Japan for the first time in ; within a decade the figure had risen to some 8, Many of these students began to organize themselves for propaganda and immediate action for the revolutionary cause. In —04, revolutionary and nationalistic organizations—including the Chinese Educational Association, the Society for Revival of China, and the Restoration Society—appeared in Shanghai.
Dealing with the young intellectuals was a new challenge for Sun Yat-sen, who hitherto had concentrated on mobilizing the uncultured secret-society members.
He also had to work out some theoretical planks, though he was not a first-class political philosopher. The result of his response was the Three Principles of the People Sanmin Zhuyi —nationalism, democracyand socialism—the prototype of which came to take shape by He expounded his philosophy in America and Europe during his travels there in —05, returning to Japan in the summer of His understanding that the support of foreign powers was indispensable for Chinese revolution militated against the anti-imperialist trend of the young intellectuals.
Though his socialism has been evaluated in various ways, it seems certain that it did not reflect the hopes and needs of the commoners. Ideologically, the league soon fell into disharmony: Zhang Binglin Chang Ping-linan influential theorist in the Chinese Classics, came to renounce the Three Principles of the People; others deserted to anarchism, leaving anti-Manchuism as the only common denominator in the league.
Organizationally too, the league became divided: Unable to resist the intensifying demand, the Qing court decided in September to adopt a constitution, and in November it reorganized the traditional six boards into 11 ministries in an attempt to modernize the central government.
It promised to open consultative provincial assemblies in October and proclaimed in August the outline of a constitution and a nine-year period of tutelage before its full implementation. These deaths, followed by that of Zhang Zhidong inalmost emptied the Qing court of prestigious members. The consultative provincial assemblies were convened in October and became the main base of the furious movement for immediate opening of a consultative national assembly, with which the court could not comply.
The gentry and wealthy merchants were the sponsors of constitutionalism; they had been striving to gain the rights held by foreigners. Started first in Hunan, the so-called rights recovery movement spread rapidly and gained noticeable success, reinforced by local officials, students returned from Japan, and the Beijing government. But finally the recovery of the railroad rights ended in a clash between the court and the provincial interests. The retrieval of the Hankou-Guangzhou line from the American China Development Company in tapped a nationwide fever for railway recovery and development.
China, Japan moving from competition to cooperation, leaders say
However, difficulty in raising capital delayed railway construction by the Chinese year after year. In May the court nationalized the Hankou-Guangzhou and Sichuan -Hankou lines and signed a loan contract with the four-power banking consortium. This incensed the Sichuan gentry, merchants, and landlords who had invested in the latter line, and their anti-Beijing remonstrance grew into a province-wide uprising. The court moved some troops into Sichuan from Hubei ; some other troops in Hubei mutinied and suddenly occupied the capital city, Wuchangon October That date became the memorial day of the Chinese Revolution.
Paying for the wars and their indemnities certainly increased the tax burden of the peasantry, but how serious a problem this was has remained an open question among scholars.
The Manchu reforms and preparations for constitutionalism added a further fiscal exaction for the populace, which hardly benefited from these urban-oriented developments. Rural distress, resulting from these policies and from natural disasters, was among the causes of local peasant uprisings in the Yangtze River region in and and of a major rice riot at Changshathe capital of Hunan, in However, popular discontent was limited and not a major factor contributing to the revolution that ended the Qing dynasty and inaugurated the republican era in China.
The Chinese Revolution —12 The Chinese Revolution was triggered not by the United League itself but by the army troops in Hubei who were urged on by the local revolutionary bodies not incorporated in the league.Japan-China Relations: Three Things to Know
The accidental exposure of a mutinous plot forced a number of junior officers to choose between arrest or revolt in Wuhan. The revolt was initially successful because of the determination of lower-level officers and revolutionary troops and the cowardice of the responsible Manchu and Chinese officials. With no nationally known revolutionary leaders on hand, the rebels coerced a colonel, Li Yuanhongto assume military command, although only as a figurehead.
After this initial victory, a number of historical tendencies converged to bring about the downfall of the Qing dynasty. A decade of revolutionary organization and propaganda paid off in a sequence of supportive uprisings in important centres of central and southern China; these occurred in recently formed military academies and in newly created divisions and brigades, in which many cadets and junior officers were revolutionary sympathizers.
Secret-society units also were quickly mobilized for local revolts. The antirevolutionary constitutionalist movement also made an important contribution: Tang Hualong was the first among them. A significant product of the newly emerging nationalism was widespread hostility among Chinese toward the alien dynasty.
Many had absorbed the revolutionary propaganda that blamed a weak and vacillating court for the humiliations China had suffered from foreign powers since Therefore, broad sentiment favoured the end of Manchu rule. After the collapse of the Huai Army in the Sino-Japanese War, the Qing government had endeavoured to build up a new Western-style army, among which the elite corps trained by Yuan Shikai, former governor-general of Zhili, had survived the Boxer uprising and emerged as the strongest force in China.
Yuan had been retired from officialdom at odds with the regent Prince Chun, but, on the outbreak of the revolution inthe court had no choice but to recall him from retirement to take command of his new army. Instead of using force, however, he played a double game: However, this was renounced by Yuan, probably because he hoped to be appointed by the retiring Manchu monarch to organize a new government rather than nominated as chief of state by the National Assembly.
This is a formula of the Chinese dynastic revolution called chanrang, which means the peaceful shift in rule from a decadent dynasty to a more-virtuous one. But events turned against him, and the presidency was given to Sun Yat-sen, who had been appointed provisional president of the republic by the National Assembly.
In February Sun voluntarily resigned his position, and the Qing court proclaimed the decree of abdication, which included a passage—fabricated and inserted by Yuan into this last imperial document—purporting that Yuan was to organize a republican government to negotiate with the revolutionists on unification of northern and southern China. Thus ended the year rule of the Qing dynasty. The early republican period The development of the republic —20 During the first half of the 20th century, the old order in China gradually disintegrated, and turbulent preparations were made for a new society.
Foreign political philosophies undermined the traditional governmental system, nationalism became the strongest activating force, and civil wars and Japanese invasion tore the vast country and retarded its modernization.
Although the revolution ushered in a republic, China had virtually no preparation for democracy. A three-way settlement ended the revolution: This placed at the head of state an autocrat by temperament and training, and the revolutionaries had only a minority position in the new national government. Early power struggles The first years of the republic were marked by a continuing contest between Yuan and the former revolutionaries over where ultimate power should lie.
The contest began with the election of parliament the National Assembly in February Parliament was to produce a permanent constitution. In MarchSong was assassinated; the confession of the assassin and later circumstantial evidence strongly implicated the premier and possibly Yuan himself.
He then dismissed three Nationalist military governors. That summer, revolutionary leaders organized a revolt against Yuan, later known as the Second Revolution, but his military followers quickly suppressed it. Sun Yat-sen, one of the principal revolutionaries, fled to Japan. Yuan then coerced parliament into electing him formally to the presidency, and he was inaugurated on October 10, the second anniversary of the outbreak of the revolution. By then his government had been recognized by most foreign powers.
When parliament promulgated a constitution placing executive authority in a cabinet responsible to the legislature, Yuan revoked the credentials of the KMT members, charging them with involvement in the recent revolt. He dissolved parliament on Jan.
The presidency had become a dictatorship. China was not permitted to interfere. Yuan skillfully directed the negotiations by which China tried to limit its concessions, which centred on greater access to Chinese ports and railroads and even a voice in Chinese political and police affairs.
At the same time, Yuan searched for foreign support. The European powers, locked in war, were in no position to restrain Japan, and the United States was unwilling to intervene. The Chinese public, however, was aroused. Nevertheless, on May 7 Japan gave Yuan a hour ultimatum, forcing him to accept the terms as they stood at that point in the negotiations. Japan gained extensive special privileges and concessions in Manchuria Northeast China and confirmed its gains in Shandong from Germany.
The Hanyeping mining and metallurgical enterprise in the middle Yangtze valley was to become a joint Sino-Japanese company. Additional opposition came from the leaders of the Nationalist and Progressive parties. More significant was a military revolt in Yunnanled by Gen. When he would not, the Yunnan army in early January invaded Sichuan and subsequently Hunan and Guangdong, hoping to bring the southwestern and southern provinces into rebellion and to then induce the lower Yangtze provinces to join them.
The Japanese government covertly provided funds and munitions to Sun and the Yunnan leaders. One by one, military leaders in GuizhouGuangxiand parts of Guangdong declared the independence of their provinces or districts.
By March the rebellion had assumed serious dimensions, and public opinion was running strongly against Yuan. When he called on them for help, they both withheld support.
On March 22—with the tide of battle running against his forces in the southwest, Japanese hostility increasingly open, public opposition in full cry, and his closest subordinates advising peace—Yuan announced the abolition of the new empire.
His opponents, however, demanded that he give up the presidency as well. The revolt continued to spread, with more military leaders declaring the independence of their provinces. The issue became that of succession should Yuan retire. The president, however, became gravely ill and died on June 6. Many were disillusioned with the republican experiment; China was a republic in name, but arbitrary rule based on military power was the political reality.
The country was becoming fractured into competing military satrapies—the beginning of warlordism.
Duan quickly began to gather power into his own hands. Parliament reconvened on August 1; it confirmed Duan as premier but elected Gen.
Feng Guozhang, the leader of another emerging faction of the Beiyang Army, as vice president. The presidential transition and restoration of parliament had by no means answered the underlying question of where the governing power lay.