China Only Yesterday, 1850-1950: A Century of Change

By Emily Hahn | Go to book overview

Chapter Twenty-one

The leaders of the militarist party that dominated the island empire were committed to expansion. Their lack of control over Manchuria had long exasperated them, particularly after Chang Hsueh- liang's new railways began to take revenue away from the main South Manchurian line, and the Young Marshal evaded their attempts to discuss the matter. That summer a fight took place between a few Chinese and Korean farmers in Manchuria; exaggerated reports of the affair resulted in an anti-Chinese riot in Korea in which many Chinese were killed. In August a Japanese army captain, Nakamura, was traveling in Manchuria mysteriously disguised as a teacher, on a Chinese passport. He was carrying, if the Chinese were to be believed, heroin with which he intended to buy information. He was assassinated, and the two countries were still arguing about the incident on the decisive date of September 18, but the explosive spark was a row over a length of railway track near Mukden. The Japanese later claimed that Chinese soldiers were ripping it up and their men tried to prevent it. Whatever the truth might be, the fight gave them the chance they had long wanted; Japanese troops now moved in on the pretext that their nationals must be protected. They arrived with such efficiency that the Young Marshal, ill in bed at the time, was slow to round up his troops and resist. Though after they got started his men fought well, Japan had control of the country before the middle of February. Throughout the hostilities the Japanese maintained the fiction that Manchuria was seeking independence and they were helping her. Each time a region was occupied, they set up a so-called independence committee of puppets, and on March 1 they proclaimed the new state of "Manchukuo," which is Chinese for "Manchuland." As a finishing touch Japan presented to Manchuria as their chief executive none other

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China Only Yesterday, 1850-1950: A Century of Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 4
  • Acknowledgements 7
  • Chapter One 11
  • Chapter Two 28
  • Chapter Three 41
  • Chapter Four 55
  • Chapter Five 71
  • Chapter Six 88
  • Chapter Seven 107
  • Chapter Eight 125
  • Chapter Nine 146
  • Chapter Ten 162
  • Chapter Eleven 183
  • Chapter Twelve 199
  • Chapter Thirteen 217
  • Chapter Fourteen 237
  • Chapter Fifteen 253
  • Chapter Sixteen 278
  • Chapter Seventeen 295
  • Chapter Eighteen 314
  • Chapter Nineteen 332
  • Chapter Twenty 353
  • Chapter Twenty-One 368
  • Chapter Twenty-Two 383
  • Glossary 403
  • Bibliography 407
  • Index 411
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