The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews


Chiang Kai-shek (1887—1975) Chinese statesman and general, President of China 1928–31

Mao Zedong (1893—1976) Chinese statesman

Self-Strengthening Movement

See all related overviews in Oxford Reference »


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • History


Show Summary Details


Sino-Japanese War

Quick Reference


War fought between China and Japan. After Korea was opened to Japanese trade in 1876, it rapidly became an arena for rivalry between the expanding Japanese state and neighbouring China, of which Korea had been a vassal state since the 17th century. A rebellion in 1894 provided a pretext for both sides to send troops to Korea, but the Chinese were rapidly overwhelmed by superior Japanese troops, organization, and equipment. After the Beiyang fleet, one of the most important projects of the Self-Strengthening Movement, was defeated at the battle of the Yellow Sea and Port Arthur (now Lüshun) captured, the Chinese found their capital Beijing menaced by advancing Japanese forces. They were forced to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki, granting Korean independence and making a series of commercial and territorial concessions which opened the way for a Japanese confrontation with Russia, the other expansionist power in north-east Asia.

Subjects: History

Reference entries

View all reference entries »