The Legacy of a War
Exactly 120 years after its outbreak, the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 continues to evoke complex feelings among the Chinese people. The defeat brought unprecedented chaos to the nation and accelerated its degradation into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society
The Defeat That Changed China's History

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the outbreak of the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, commonly known in China as the Jiawu War. Time has passed, but the trauma of the conflict is still felt by the Chinese people even today.

Facing crises within and without, China and Japan both chose reform as the road to reviving their respective societies since the 1860s. While Japan's Meiji Restoration's focus was a long-term plan to build Japan into a powerful, modern country, China's equivalent Self-Strengthening Movement existed only to keep the Qing Dynasty alive.

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Major Events of the Jiawu War of 1894-95

July 25, 1894: Japanese warships attack two Chinese vessels near the Korean port of Asan

July 29, 1894: The field armies of the Qing Dynasty and Japan engage on land at Songhwan. The battle ends with a Japanese victory the next day

August 1, 1894: China and Japan officially declare war

September 16, 1894: The Qing army is defeated in Pyongyang and retreats to the Chinese side of the Yalu River

September 17, 1894: The Beiyang Fleet is defeated by the Japanese Grand Fleet in the Battle of the Yalu River

November 21, 1894: The Second Army of Japan conquers Lushun, sometimes known as Port Arthur, in northeast China and commits the Port Arthur Massacre

February 2, 1895: The Japanese army captures the port of Weihai in east China's Shandong Province

February 12, 1895: The Beiyang Fleet surrenders to the Japanese in Weihai

March 30, 1895: Armistice is reached between the Qing Dynasty and Japan

April 17, 1895: The Treaty of Shimonoseki is signed between the two countries. The war ends.

(Compiled by Beijing Review)

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