Sino-Japanese War, Second

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Sino-Japanese War, Second

Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937–45, conflict between Japanese and Chinese forces for control of the Chinese mainland. The war sapped the Nationalist government's strength while allowing the Communists to gain control over large areas through organization of guerrilla units. Thus, it was an important factor in the eventual Communist defeat of the Nationalist forces in 1949. In its early stage, the war was often called the China Incident.

Origins

Following the Manchurian Incident (Sept., 1931), the Japanese Kwantung army occupied Manchuria and established the puppet state of Manchukuo (Feb., 1932). Japan pressed China to recognize the independence of Manchukuo, suppress anti-Japanese activities, and form autonomous regional governments in N China. The Japanese were partially successful in 1933 and 1935 when they forced China to form two demilitarized autonomous zones bordering Manchuria.

Outbreak of War

Growing domestic opposition to the Nationalist government's policy of self-strengthening before counterattacking in N China and Manchuria led to the kidnapping of Chiang Kai-shek at Xi'an in Dec., 1936, by Chang Hsüeh-liang. Chiang was forced to agree to a united anti-Japanese front with the Communists as a condition for his release. The situation was tense, and in 1937 full war commenced. A clash (July, 1937) between soldiers of the Japanese garrison at Beijing and Chinese forces at the Marco Polo Bridge was the pretext for Japanese occupation at Beijing and Tianjin. Chiang Kai-shek refused to negotiate an end to hostilities on Japanese terms and placed crack troops outside the Japanese settlement at Shanghai. After a protracted struggle Shanghai and the national capital, Nanjing, fell to the Japanese. The Chinese broke the Huang He dikes (June, 1938) to slow the enemy advance. In late 1938, Hankou and Guangzhou were taken.

Japanese strategy was aimed at taking the cities, the roads, and the railroads, thereby gaining a net of control. Thus, although the Japanese by 1940 had swept over the eastern coastal area, guerrilla fighting still went on in the conquered regions. The Nationalist government, driven back to a temporary capital at Chongqing, struggled on with little help from outside. Chinese resources were inadequate, and the supplies sent over the Burma Road were far from sufficient. The Chinese cause continued to decline despite vast resistance and bloody fighting. Dubious of China's ability to sustain a protracted war, Wang Ching-wei broke with Chiang Kai-shek and established a collaborationist regime at Nanjing (1940).

World War II

The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war and merged the Sino-Japanese War into World War II as China declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy. American and British loans and supplies, the establishment of military air bases in China, and the aid of an increasing number of U.S. and British advisers helped relieve China as Japan diverted armies elsewhere. Nevertheless, China's military position continued to deteriorate until Apr., 1945. In May the Chinese launched a successful offensive at Zhijiang (Chihkiang) that lasted until Japanese capitulation on Aug. 14. The Japanese troops in China formally surrendered Sept. 9, 1945. By the provisions of the Cairo Declaration, Manchuria, Taiwan, and the Pescadores were restored to China.

Bibliography

See H. Feis, The China Tangle (1953); F. C. Jones, Japan's New Order in East Asia (1954); D. J. Lu, From the Marco Polo Bridge to Pearl Harbor (1961); J. H. Boyle, China and Japan at War, 1937–1945 (1972); L. Li, The Japanese Army in North China (1975); C. A. Bayly and T. Harper, Forgotten Armies: Britain's Asian Empire and the War with Japan (2005) and Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia (2007); E. Hotta, Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy (2013); R. Mitter, Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937–1945 (2013).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sino-Japanese War, Second
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.