2009年11月6日 星期五

清日甲午戰爭 (1894-5)

How did Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands (漁翁島, i.e., 澎湖), both of which Chinese territories since the early 1600s, end up becoming ceded to Japan? In an era of the Sleeping Lion exposed to be a Paper Tiger, the inept Qing Court lost many wars to foreign powers and was forced to sign humiliating treaties. In mid-1894, Japan invaded Korea, then a client state of China. The map above [source: here] shows the Japanese Army [red arrows], based in Hiroshima, landed in Pusan and advanced through Seoul and Pyongyang to reach Liaodong Peninsula where the battle of 旅順 (Port Arthur) took place - among many other skirmishes that one of the defenders of Danshui (in the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf) 章高元總兵 had also participated. The Japanese finally crossed the 膠州Bay and attacked 威海衛 (Port Edward) in Shantung Peninsula in Feb, 1895.

This painting (right) depicts the battle of 旅順, a major harbor city coveted also by Russia, Germany, and France. These three nations had objected to and ultimately denied the Japanese demand for the Liaotung Peninsula in the Shimonoseki Peace Treaty (detailed below). 旅順, however, eventually became a battle ground in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5.

The Japanese Navy [blue arrows in the map above], in coordination with the Army, had launched from Nagasaki and sailed steadily north along the west coast of Korea. In July, 1894, it dueled with the Qing Navy in the 豐島 Sea. And in the Battle of the Yellow Sea (Sep, 1894) had annihilated the Qing 北洋Beiyang Fleet. In this diagram on the left, the Japanese battleships are shown in black. Togo Heihachiro commanded the 浪速Naniwa. He had come to observe the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf in 1884.

The commander-in-chief of the Qing Fleet, the British-trained Admiral 丁汝昌Ting Lu-Chang was on board his flagship, the Battleship 定遠TingYuan. Both Ting and the ship were wounded. Unfortunately, Adm Ting did not designate a second-in-command and the chain of command was lost. With the fleet now in poor formation, the ships became easy targets for the faster and more powerful Japanese fleet. All together, 5 Qing warships were sunk. After the loss at the Battle of the Yellow Sea, the Qing fleet regrouped to defend 威海衛. This mission had also failed. And on Feb 11, 1895, Adm Ting committed suicide refusing to yield to the Japanese. The Qing Court did not honor his death citing dereliction of duty. It actually disallowed a proper burial for Adm Ting until 1910 when he was somehow exonerated for losing both the battle and the fleet.

As a footnote, the 定遠, built in Germany and commissioned in 1883 but delivered only after the Sino-French War, was a steel-hulked warship (see picture below). At 7,220 tons with 22 guns (4 of them Krupps at 305-mm), it was one of the most formidable battleships of the Qing Navy. It evoked a sense of doom among the Japanese during an 1886 port call to Japan. It, as other warships in the Qing fleet, had fallen into disrepair owing to the misappropriation of funds by the Qing Royal Court. By 1894, it was no longer an adequately armed warship. 定遠's sister ship, the 鎮遠ZhenYuan was captured near 威海衛 by the Japanese and conscripted into 17 years of service before being scrapped and sold in 1912. Some remaining parts were returned to China in 1947.
To end the war, a peace treaty must be agreed upon by both sides. On March 23, 1895, Japan attacked the Pescadores Islands [with Togo Heihachiro playing a crucial role] to put pressure on the negotiation. The meetings took place in a restaurant 春帆楼 in下関, also known as 馬關, in 山口Yamaguchi Prefecture. And the first part of the treaty reads as follows:


大日本帝国全権 伊藤博文首相、陸奥宗光外相
大清帝国全権  李鴻章
明治28(1895)年4月17日 調印
明治28(1895)年4月20日 批准


Essentially, the Shimonoseki Treaty下関条約 [or 馬關條約 in Chinese] stipulates:

1. 清朝の朝鮮に対する「宗主権」放棄(朝鮮独立の承認)[that the Qing Court recognize the independence of Korea]
2. 遼東半島・台湾・澎湖諸島の割譲 [that Liaotung Peninsula, Taiwan and the Pescadores be ceded to Japan]
3. 庫平銀(賠償金), 2億両(テール, 約3億円)の支払 [that Japan be compensated for 200 million silver taels or about 300 million Japanese Yen]
4. 新通商条約の締結と最恵国待遇条款 [that Japan be granted the most favored status in a new commercial trade treaty]
5. 沙市・重慶・蘇州・杭州の開市・開港 [that several named ports be opened for trade]
6. 条約履行の担保として山東半島の威海衛の一時占領 [that the port city 威海衛 be temporarily occupied by Japan to guarantee the execution of the peace treaty]

So, there it was, in Article 2: Taiwan and PengHu would henceforth become part of Japan.

The reaction in Taiwan? To put it mildly, it was one of disbelief with an overwhelming sense of betrayal. On May 29, 1895, Japanese forces landed in northern Taiwan ready for the occupation. They ran into fierce Taiwanese resistance which was to last for 5 months until all major cities were lost. It was not until 50 years later, in 1945, when another war nullified the treaty.

9 則留言:

  1. A great story, just wonder how many readers are fluent in both Japanese and English.

  2. Have no idea. I did notice some young ones speak both, to be competitive in the trade world, I guess.

    Incidentally, there is a special exhibition on the past Japanese life in Danshui「滬道日安-日本年特展」starting on Nov 9:

    And a special event: 重建街創意市集 on Nov 14/15:
    (Nov 14 is rained out, BTW.)

  3. Interesting, especially about Ting. Did he go to England to receive instruction? I would say that you're overstating the fierce resistance to the Japanese. There were pockets of resistance, like in the south under Lin Shao Mao outside of Kaohsiung. But I also understand that there were 50,000 Chinese troops stationed in Taiwan under Governor Tang. They couldn't get to the ports and out of Taiwan soon enough, and did their fair share of looting on the way.

    Prominent Taiwanese businessmen, or so the story goes, met incoming Japanese at the docks and escorted them into Taipei. Westerners were also pro-Japan in the early days as the Japanese were a lot more qualified to modernize Taiwan than the incompetent Ching Dynasty rulers.

    Five months of fierce resistance? Do you know who Taiwan's greatest resistance leader was? Good old General Disease. The Japanese soldiers couldn't cope with tropical diseases.

  4. Hi Patrick,

    You of course realize that you are talking several books' worth of topics.

    1. Ting: Yes, instruction on how to run the two battleships built in New Castle - not how to fight the Japanese Navy. Ting is still a controversial figure in China, BTW.

    2. Not only the Chinese leadership but also the prominent Taiwanese businessmen all of whom escaped to Mainland China leaving the common folks behind to fend for themselves. Notice I have mentioned Taiwanese (as opposed to Chinese) resistance?

    3. Ku's greeting the Japanese in Keelung is well-known. The main gate of Taipei was, however, opened by a local woman - to let the Japanese army in. She later received commendation from the Japanese.

    4. No westerners were able to foretell what the Japanese rule would accomplish. It was more a hope that the Japanese could do better than the previous administration. A vast span in Japan itself, e.g., Hokkaido, remained under-developed. Japan was hardly a model of modernization. The Japanese were far more interested in farming Taiwan's rich natural resources - using Japan-managed local talents and labor.

    5. The French military used the same sorry face-saving excuse that "General Disease" defeated them in Taiwan in the Sino-French War. If you buy it, I have this bridge in Brooklyn...

  5. "Not only the Chinese leadership but also the prominent Taiwanese businessmen all of whom escaped to Mainland China leaving the common folks behind to fend for themselves." Yes, the half-mountain people. A lot of them then reappeared 50 years later on the coattails of the KMT, after the US had cleared the Japanese out of Taiwan. Lien Chan (連戰) is descended from them.

    "The French military used the same sorry face-saving excuse that "General Disease" defeated them in Taiwan in the Sino-French War. If you buy it, I have this bridge in Brooklyn..." Yeah, okay. I agree this era deserves another look.

  6. Actually, the French should be proud of the performance of their Fusiliers Marins in the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf. In the face of overwhelming Qing man- and fire-power, their retreat was quite orderly with only minimal losses. On the other hand, the marines did figure it was going to be a picnic when they landed on the beach.

    The Japanese did run into fierce local reistance. The Taiwanese people had revolted numerous times during the Qing era. They were not going to take this takover lying down. Isn't there a recent movie "1895" or something similar which is based on the fights in Hsin-chu? A fairly accurate historical account, I heard.

  7. Interesting story!

    From the Shimonoseki Treaty, it clearly indicates Japan's intention for the war: Lands (朝鮮, 遼東半島, 台湾, and 澎湖諸島) and profits (a favor trade status & profits from war).

    Obviously, Japan was determined and well-prepared; while Qing was passive, confused, and not-ready. Therefore, Japan was able to win the war decisively and get what they wanted.

    I think either Japan's victory or Qing's failure had their respective geopolitical reason. Japan's society was fitter at that time for a drastic reform to adapt the western culture and technology and to unite under 明治天皇 as a whole country bearing the same goal; on the contrary, Qing's deeply-rooted feudal concept and customs forbad a similar reform, and therefore, the country became even more divided and improper.

    It is noted that this formidable 聯合艦隊 of Japan that destroyed Qing's 北洋艦隊 was eventually destroyed by the U.S. Navy at the Battle of Leyte Gulf (see http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/雷伊泰灣海戰), from Oct 20 to 26, 1944.

    Japan's expansion ends at WWII. Today, Japan has returned all the lands that she has captured after this 甲午戰爭, and Qing, now China, is still struggling to find ways of reform.

    No matter what, I'm a strong believer that Japan, China, and Korea can someday get along well.

    -- TA

  8. Dear TA,

    Indeed the past aggression of Japan against its neighbors still as repercussions even today.

    Unfortunately, the "get along well someday" is probably long ways off. As long as the nationalism is exploited by those in power, this day will never come.

    Thanks for posting the interesting and thoughtful comments.

  9. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.