Japanese Invasion 1931-7 Timeline by Howard Liu and Isabel Chun
Background information In 1895, Japan fought a war with China and gained control of Formosa (taiwan) and the Pescadores Islands. China also allowed Korea it’s independence In 1904, Japan fought with Russia and got control of the Liaodong peninsula and the Southern Manchurian Railway In 1910, Japanese troops went into Korea and made it a Japanese colony. During WW1, Japan also got Kiaochow, a german-held port and they also presented Yuan with the 21 Demands. Manchuria is three times larger than Japan’s empire (excluding Korea and Formosa) but had a third of the population. Manchuria also had minerals and agricultural products.
1931 - The Manchurian Incident The Great Depression in USA affected Japan’s trade. Japan closed half of it’s factories and many people was laid off of work Young officers in the Japanese army thought that they should take over Manchuria, because they already had an army there Against the Japanese government’s orders, the Kwantung army occupied the whole of Manchuria. Kwantung Army
1931 - The Manchurian Incident, cont. Zhang Xue Liang, the warlord of Manchuria, wanted to fight the Japanese. Chiang Kaishek thought that neither he or Zhang would be able to fight the Japanese Japan renamed Manchuria to Manzhouguo and put Puyi as the emperor, but only as a puppet. Zhang Xue Liang
1933 – 1936 – Japanese occupying more land The Kwantung army continued occupying more land outside of Manchuria. They occupied the provinces of Rehe, Chahaer, Suiyuan and parts of Hebei and Shanxi. The Chinese reacted by boycotting Japanese goods. In Shanghai, japanese cargo was rejected and thrown overboard. Many Chinese people wanted Chiang Kaishek to declare war on Japan but Chiang believed that they should fight the Communists first before they risk a war with Japan. Communists, on the other hand, wanted to fight the Japanese. They thought that all the Chinese should unite and fight them. The communist area was near Manchuria.
1936 – Another Extermination Campaign Chiang organised another extermination campaign because he didn’t want to make a united front and attack the Japanese. The base for the campain was in Xian and Zhang Zueliang was the commander of the army. He was ordered to kill the communists. Zhang’s army was made up of many Manchurians who wanted to fight against the Communists. He made an unofficial agreement with the Communists not to fight each other. Chiang then flew to Xian to persuade Zhang to continue with the campaign.
Dec. 1936- The Xian Incident After Chiang arrived in Xian and tried to change Zhang’s mind, Zhang took him prisoner. Zhang’s troops went to the hotel and took Chiang as a prisoner for 2 weeks. Zhang discussed with the Guomindang, the Communist party and the Russian government and agreed to release him. Chiang, in return for his freedom, agreed to making a United Front and to fight the Japanese.
Jul. 1937 – Japan strikes China The Japanese invaded another province before the United Front became too strong.