China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































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We come now to the most memorable event in the modern history of China
since the Taeping Rebellion; to wit - Page 660
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We Come Now To The Most Memorable Event In The Modern History Of China Since The Taeping Rebellion; To Wit, The War With Japan.

In order to comprehend, however, the causes of this contest between the two chief races of the Far East, it is necessary to review the development of the Corean question which gave rise to it.

There seems to be no doubt that Japan derived its first civilizing settlers, and most of its arts and industries, from the Corean peninsula. It is certain that, for centuries, the intercourse between the two countries was very close, and that more than one attempt was made by Japanese rulers to subjugate Corea. The latest and most strenuous endeavor to that end was made near the end of the sixteenth century, and, although it resulted in a temporary occupation of the peninsula, the Japanese troops were eventually withdrawn, and Corea resumed its former status of a kingdom tributary to the Celestial Empire. Thenceforth, for almost three centuries, Corea and Tonquin bore, in theory, precisely the same relation to the Middle Kingdom. In each instance, the practical question was whether China was strong enough to make good her nominal rights. The outcome of her resistance to French aggression in Tonquin had shown that there, at least, she had no such power. But, in the subsequent ten years, efforts had been made to organize an efficient army and navy, and the belief was entertained at Pekin that China was at all events strong enough to uphold her claims in Corea, which was, geographically and strategically, of far more importance to the Middle Kingdom than was Tonquin.

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