SinoJapaneseWar.com  

August 1, 1894 – April 17, 1895

 Jiawu Zhanzheng 甲午戰爭   日清戦争 Nisshin senso

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 Peace Negotiations

 

 

 

 

Li HongZhang  seated (1823 - 1901 ) at the negotiations for the Treaty of Shimonoseki  .During the negotiations of the  Treaty of Shimonoseki on March 24, 1895, a Japanese youth named Koyama Toyataro fired into Li's palanquin and wounded him seriously wounding him below the left eye. Due to the diplomatic loss of face, Japan agreed to the immediate cease fire in Manchuria Li had urged in the days before the incident. There was no truce for the Taiwan front . Negotiations were conducted in English, which  Li's adopted son Li Jingfang spoke fluently .

 

While the war operations during the first three months of 1895 were in progress, peace negotiations too were actively under way. The annals of the hostilities which have occupied the last few chapters might have been interrupted by paragraphs telling of the progress and defeat of different efforts to secure peace ; but it seemed more intelligible to the prospective reader to place him in full possession of the particulars of the military affairs as they developed, without interruption. Not until the end had nearly come did the peace negotiations for one moment interrupt hostilities, and there was consequently no need to interrupt the consecutive record. It now remains a final task to outline the various peace negotiations after those that have already been described, and follow oriental diplomacy to its conclusion.

 

The Chinese peace envoys lingered at Shanghai in January, after several weeks of idleness resulting from continual postponement of their departure. At last the imperial government abandoned its hope that something would intervene to destroy the necessity of a suit for peace, and the embassy was ordered to start. The Chinese peace envoys arrived at Kobe January 30, and were received by the Secretary of the Foreign Department. When the envoys came ashore, a mob greeted them with hostile demonstrations and they had to be protected by a large force of police. After consulting with Mr. Foster, their American adviser who had reached Kobe several days before, the envoys left in a special steamer for Ujina. The general tenor of Japanese opinion was that the negotiation would prove fruitless, as China was scarcely ready to accede to the Japanese demand.

 

It was acknowledged however, that the present embassy showed a much more sincere desire for peace on the part of China than did the Detring mission which resulted in such a fiasco.

 

Ex-Secretary Foster was treated with especial courtesy during his stay at Tokyo and Kobe. Mr. Foster exchanged many telegrams with the Chinese government in reference to the power and authority of Chang and Shao, the Chinese peace commissioners, regarding which the Japanese were all along very doubtful. The diplomatic contest promised to be stubborn. China did not seem to realize that Japan would demand a cession of territory, and it was anticipated that the humiliation of losing any of her continental domain would be more than she was willing to endure. Mr. Foster was frankly given to understand that unless ample powers were guaranteed by their credentials the envoys would not even be admitted to a hearing.

 

Count Ito and Viscount Mutsu who were appointed to treat with the Chinese peace envoys, received the credentials which were presented them as coming from the emperor of China, and found time to read as follows : " By decree we appoint you our plenipotentiaries, to meet and negotiate the matter with the plenipotentiaries appointed by Japan. You will, however, telegraph to the Tsung-li Yamen fur the purpose of obtaining our commands, by which you will abide. The members of your mission are placed under your control. You will conduct the mission in a faithful and diligent manner, and fulfill the trust reposed in you. Respect this."

 

It was immediately officially announced that the plenary powers with which the mikado's government demanded that the Chinese envoys should be invested, were found to be utterly defective. The envoys were therefore refused further negotiations, and were requested to leave Japan without delay. It was believed by many that the Chinese envoys were quite ignorant of the trick that had been played upon them by their government. They supposed that they had been given full powers to treat for peace, but they found that not only had they no power either to conclude or sign a treaty, but that their credentials did not even contain an intimation of the purpose of the mission which they had

to Japan. The ministers, however, told them that Japan was Willing to reopen negotiations with a properly empowered embassy. The envoys therefore left Hiroshima after two days in the Japanese city, and returned home via Nagasaki.

 

The rebuff sustained by the Chinese envoys created some astonishment among the highest officials in Peking, but not much apparent concern. Just at this time, early in February, they were having glowing reports from General Sung in Manchuria. He claimed to have already beaten the Japanese on many occasions, and promised if well supplied with men and stores to drive every invader from Chinese soil. Japan's excuse for refusing to treat with the envoys, scarcely satisfied some export diplomats. It was insisted that it would have been very unusual for any government to endow its agents with final powers as long as it was able to communicate with them daily and hourly if necessary by cable.

 

The Chinese government once gave final powers to one of its ambassadors who went over to Russia to negotiate a boundary treaty, and his head would have been amputated when he returned to Peking, had it not been for the intercession of the Russian ambassador, who suggested that his government would resent such punishment inflicted upon a person so recently honored by the Czar. He offered at the same time to consider the treaty suspended, until the Chinese authorities might have an opportunity to examine it and suggest any changes they might like to have made. After this experience it was not likely that the emperor of China would confer final powers upon any ambassador. It was asserted that since modern forms of communication had been introduced, it has not been the custom to give final powers to agents who visit civilized nations. Therefore it was assumed that the objection raised in Japan to the credentials of the Chinese envoys was a diplomatic ruse for the purpose of gaining time for the Japanese generals to reach Peking. This was disproven by the cessation of efforts, which Japan might have made to reach Peking, but it may have been true that Japan wished to bring China into still further distress, so that her demands would be more surely granted.

 

The very important action was now taken by the Chinese emperor of restoring to Li Hung Chang all his honors which had been taken away, because of the succession of defeats in the early

 

 

Li Hung Chang's star was again in the ascendant. Even as he journeyed towards Peking his detractors continued their attacks. In Shanghai it was positively asserted that he was now given a chance to accomplish what he had long awaited, the overthrow of the Manchuria dynasty in China. It was also declared that Kung, the disgraced Ex-Taotai of Port Arthur, had made a confession showing the traitorous designs of Li. It was said that Li had been leagued with the officials of the palace at Peking for the overthrow of the dynasty, ever since he was deprived of his yellow jacket, his peacock feather, and his various offices. All this now had no weight.

 

The privy council heartily supported Li's mission to Japan. Prince Kung silenced all opposition to it

by presenting papers showing that the previous failure was due to a backward policy, for which the council were themselves to blame, and exonerating the viceroy. The emperor completely vindicated Li Hung Chang, confessing that he had tried others and found him alone trustworthy. He therefore granted him the fullest powers to deal with the Japanese. The central government publicly assumed the entire responsibility for the condition of the national defense, explaining it as the result of blindness to the progress of other nations. This placed future reforms in

the hands of Li.

 

The American minister at Peking assumed a personal interest in the matter at this point, and telegraphed to Japan the text of Li Hung Chang's proposed credentials. At last, after a tedious exchange of messages, the credentials were accepted by Japan

and arrangements were made for the journey of the envoy. Li Hung Chang was received in audience by the emperor and the dowager empress five times within as many days, and in his conversations with them spoke frankly of the condition of the empire. His powers to negotiate were made complete, his commission bore the emperor's signature, and on the fifth day of March he left Peking for Japan.

 

There were signs at last that the Chinese were beginning to recognize the imperative necessity of concluding peace with

Japan. With their strongholds in Japanese hands and their fleet practically annihilated, the sooner they made submission the more easy would be the terms which they could obtain. It was there before gratifying to all friends of the empire to learn that the viceroy had been appointed as envoy to proceed to Japan to discuss terms of peace. Holding a position second only to that of the emperor himself, it was impossible that the Japanese should refuse to treat with him on account of his inferior station, or his insufficient credentials. His mission was the first genuine attempt that China had made to open negotiations. It was a proof that Chinese pride and obstinacy had at length been overcome, and that there was a real willingness to take steps calculated to bring the disastrous war to a close.

 

But for the messenger himself! Surely history, which delights in setting at naught the hopes and filling the fears of men, never saw a sadder faring forth than the journey of Li Hung Chang to Japan. He was old now, paralytic, his side and arm half useless, his eyesight dim, his family long since gone, and all the fabric of empire to which his life had been given in ruins about him. He saved it once before in straits as great. He of Honan, Honan men about him, all come down from the central hills of China, sturdy and tall above the men of the plains whom they swept aside, Gordon and Ward aiding, leading and winning the early battles, but the work in the end done, and the rich harvest reaped by those sons of Honan whom Li Hung Chang found poor among their fields of tea and millet, and raised to half the posts of honor in China. That was thirty years ago. The great work spread and grew. The old boundaries of the empire were regained.

 

The Russian advance in Asia retired for the first time in two centuries. On the Amur it was halted. France retired discomfited. England treated Chinese frontiers with a new respect. In Burma, in Siani, in Nepal, Chinese aid was sought. The big empire was never so big, never looked so strong, never had more deference or outer respect since the days of the great Tai-Tsung, when China ruled from the Pacific to the boundary of the Roman empire, and the Roman empire extended to the Atlantic � two realms between the two oceans.

 

Through it all one man knew how hollow it was, Li HungChang. He pleaded for railroads and telegraphs. He bought

war ships and ironclads. He urged that the old policy be reversed and the military and naval forces of the empire duly organized. For years he had seen the cloud gathering, and in the great quagmire of Chinese corruption and conservatism sought to make ready for it. It had been in vain. Army, fleet, and court had collapsed. Korea and Manchuria were conquered. If Peking was not occupied it was because Japan wished to leave some semblance of central authority with which to treat. Any war-fine could be levied by the victors ; any vassalage exacted of the vanquished. Port Arthur could be made a Gibraltar. The policy of Peking could be controlled by Japan. Japan would dominate the Asiatic seacoast. The Japanese ambassador at Peking would be supreme whenever his government chose to speak.

 

All this was in the mind of the paralytic old man as he journeyed by land and sea. For forty years he had greatly ruled, a

great empire was the greater for his work, and it had all come to this. Were the French tri-color to be near Berlin, and Bismarck wearily seeking peace at Paris, the tragedy were no less than that with Li Hung Chang as its central figure in the east.

 

Li Hung Chang spent a few days at Tianjin, and then passed on down the river to Tako, whence he sailed with his suite on March 15 for Shimonoseki. The viceroy sailed in royal state, with a suite of one hundred and thirty persons in two vessels. On the morning of the 19th they reached their destination in Japan.

 

 

 

Shimoneseki is on the extreme southwestern coast of Japan and it was here that in the early '60s the foreign powers

forced Japan to assent to certain indemnities demanded of the empire. Upon arriving, the envoy was immediately visited by the representatives of the Japanese foreign office, and later Li Hung Chang accompanied by his American adviser, John W. Foster, visited the Japanese minister of foreign affairs. This was the first time in his life that the venerable statesman of China had ever set his foot on other than Chinese soil.

 

The viceroy and his party were escorted to the foreign office by Mr. Inouye, who cordially greeted the statesman, and placed his services at his disposal. The party was received on landing by a guard of honor, and was taken to the foreign office in carriages under escort. The following day was spent by the peace envoys in examining each other's credentials and powers. Both sides devoted much time and thought to this matter and were assisted by experts in matters of diplomacy and etiquette.

 

The Chinese letter of credential proved to be precisely what might have been expected from Chinese character. The phraseology had been repeatedly discussed through the ministers of the United States in Tokyo and Peking and a form satisfactory to Japan agreed upon. Whether intentionally or not the Chinese had given more than one indication of waywardness in preparing the document. They were very particular in honoring their emperor with his proper title but they did not insert that of the emperor of Japan. Moreover they used an expression signifying that it was in consequence of Japan's desire for peace that an ambassador was sent. This was not allowed to pass uncorrected. As filially amended the paper was virtually in accordance with Japan's dictation.

 

In the end all the documents were found to be in due form, and polite notes to this effect were exchanged. Subsequently Li Hung Chang and his suite went ashore.

 

The viceroy was received with a military salute, and all the honors due to his exalted rank. He proceeded to the chief hotel, where accommodation had been prepared for him and part of his suite. Further communications passed on the morning of March 21, and at half past two in the afternoon the first business conference in connection with the peace negotiations began, Li Hung Chang, Count Ito, Viscount Mutsu, and their secretaries, together with the sworn interpreters being present. The deliberations which were conducted in secret, lasted for an hour and a half.

 

There was much diplomatic fencing, Li Hung Chang being evidently anxious to ascertain at the earliest possible moment the terms upon which an armistice might be granted. Nothing occurred to suggest the possibility of a break down of the negotiations, and some gratifying progress was made towards a general understanding.

 

It must be remembered that during all this time there was no cessation in the war operations which were going on in Manchuria and on the Chinese coast. Fresh troops were being hurried forward from Japan for active service, and the war spirit gave no sign of subsidence. In Yokohama the success of the peace negotiations was regarded as doubtful. The military element, which was all in favor of the continuance of the war until the victory of the Japanese was made complete by the capture of Peking, had at that time a predominant voice in Japanese politics, and this feeling was reflected in parliament. Notice was given in the house of representatives of a resolution declaring that the time for peace negotiations had not arrived.

 

Assassination attempt Against Li Hung Chang

 

While negotiations were thus progressing, they were interrupted by an incident that amazed and shocked the civilized world. As Li Hung Chang was returning to his lodgings on March 24, after having attended a conference with the Japanese peace plenipotentiaries, he was attacked by a young Japanese who sought to murder him. The young man's name was Koyama Rokunosuki, and he was but twenty-one years of age. The bullet struck the Chinese envoy in the cheek, and it was believed that the result would not be serious. The news of the attempt at assassination created much excitement in Japan, in China, and in the western world. The ministers of state and other officials visited Li Hung Chang without delay, to express their deep sorrow at the occurrence.

 

Every precaution was taken by the police and military to prevent any trouble. The mikado was deeply grieved at the

affair, and sent his two chief court physicians. Surgeons Sato and Isbiguro, to attend the Chinese envoy. The bullet entered the cheek half an inch under the left eye, and penetrated to a depth of nearly an inch and a half. The Chinese plenipotentiary strongly objected to undergoing an operation for its removal. The empress of Japan, to show her own regret, sent two nurses to assume the care of the old man, and from every side letters and telegrams of regret and sympathy arrived in great quantities.

 

Beside the physicians, the mikado sent the imperial chamberlain to convey his condolences to the viceroy, and to the public he issued the following proclamation :

 

" A state of war exists between our country and China, but she with due regard of international forms and usages sent an ambassador to sue for peace. We therefore appointed plenipotentiaries, instructing them to meet and negotiate at Shimonoseki. It was consequently incumbent upon us, in pursuance of international etiquette, to extend to the Chinese ambassador treatment consistent with the national honor, providing him ample escort and protection. Hence we issued special commands to our officials to exercise the utmost vigilance in all respects. It is therefore a source of profound grief and regret to us, that a ruffian should have been found base enough to inflict personal injury on the Chinese ambassador. Our officials will sentence the culprit to the utmost punishment provided by the law. We hereby command our officials and subjects to respect our wish and to preserve our country's fair fame from impairment guarding against a recurrence of such deeds of violence and lawlessness."

 

The would-be assassin belonged to the class known as the Soshis, or political bravos, who are always ripe for any acts of riot or violence. When the attack was made, Li Hung Chang was in a palanquin being conveyed to his hotel from conference with the Japanese negotiators. He had nearly reached the house, when a young man rushed out of the crowd, and seizing the hand of one of the carriers in order to stop the palanquin fired his pistol almost point blank at the Chinese plenipotentiary. There was little room for hesitation as to his motives. He was a fanatic who thought to serve his country by murdering the Chinese statesman. No delusion, it is hardly necessary to say, could be more gross than such a one. The criminal had done a grievous injury to his country and its government. Japan had striven long, earnestly, and successfully, to earn the reputation of a civilized state. Nobody of course should be unjust enough to upbraid her with the conduct of an irresponsible and apparently an isolated malefactor. Individuals with ferocious passions and ill-balanced minds are to be found in all countries, and such a crime as this, deplorable and unusual though it was, might

have occurred in any European capital or our own capital city under similar conditions. Nevertheless, there were those who chose to take it as an index of national feeling condemning the country for the act of one. The manner of the expressions of regret that came so universally from every Japanese voice seemed to offer sufficient disclaimer against the existence of any such a cruel sentiment.

 

Resolutions were presented in the Japanese diet expressing deep regret at the attempt upon the life of the

Chinese plenipotentiary, and the native newspapers were unanimous and sincere in the same expressions. It had to be recognized, however, that an element existed among such people as the Soshis, inclined to violence under such circumstances, and pre-cautions were doubled. No government is adequate to control fanaticism of the extreme sort, and the attempt upon the life of Li Hung Chang was a symptom of the frenzy which had been engendered in a large element of the Japanese people by the war. It was now learned for the first time that Mr. Detring was attacked by a Soshi in November, but was defended by the police. He kept silence in order to avoid embittering the situation.

 

The immediate effect on the negotiations of the attempted assassination of Li Hung Chang was that the emperor of Japan on March 29, declared an unconditional armistice. This was avowedly done because of the attack on the Chinese plenipotentiary and was so declared in notifications which were sent to all countries and to all Japanese legations. The language of the notification thus sent out was as follows : On the opening of the negotiations the Japanese plenipotentiary proposed armistice, which Japan was willing to accept on certain conditions. While this negotiation was going on, the untoward event happened on the person of the Chinese plenipotentiary. His majesty, the emperor, in view of this unhappy occurrence, commanded the Japanese plenipotentiaries to consent to a temporary armistice without conditions. This was communicated to the Chinese plenipotentiary."

 

It was now felt that the power of the Japanese government to execute the armistice would be put a critical test. The military power of Japan, in the judgment of many intelligent observers, had almost outstripped the civil power during the war. This had caused serious concern as it was feared that the military element backed by the war spirit among the people would not submit to an armistice even if the civil authorities ordered one. To meet this emergency a change of army commanders was made early in March. There had been three army corps operating in different campaigns and each under a general of supreme authority over his particular campaign. Prince Eomatsu was created commander-in-chief over all armies in anticipation of an armistice.

 

The purpose of this step was to concentrate authority in one man in close touch with the imperial household who could thus execute an armistice by a simultaneous cessation of hostilities by the three armies. It now remained to be seen whether Prince Komatsu could execute the important commission given to him. The splendid discipline shown by the army during the war gave assurance that there would be immediate acquiescence by the military, and yet Prince Komatsu had to contend against a war spirit inflamed by many victories. It had been said that an armistice would be so unpopular among the people and soldiery that it would insure the political retirement of Japan's two chief statesmen, Count Ito and Viscount Matsu, who had served as peace envoys.

 

On the opening of the negotiations, after the arrival of Li Hung Chang at Shimonoseki, the Japanese plenipotentiaries at first proposed the following conditions for the conclusion of an armistice : � The occupation of Shan-hai-kwan, Taku, and Tianjin by Japanese troops; Japanese control of the uncompleted railroad from Shan-hai-kwan to Tianjin and custody of the various forts and fortifications, together with the arms and ammunition ; the payment by China of the war contributions required for such occupation.

 

Li Hung Chang sought to obtain more moderate conditions, but the Japanese plenipotentiaries refused, and it was then proposed to continue the negotiations without a suspension of hostilities. This was the stage which the negotiations had

reached at the third conference, when the attempt was made on the life of Viceroy Li. In view of this circumstance the emperor of Japan waiving the conditions previously made ordered the Japanese plenipotentiaries to consent to an armistice until the 20th of April. The armistice was to apply to the forces in Manchuria and in the circuit around the Gulf of Pechili, including the two great promontories, but did not include any operations to the south of that region. Neither government was to be prevented from making any new distribution or disposition of their troops not intended to augment the armies in the field. The movement of troops and the transport of goods contraband of war by sea were, however, prohibited and if attempted would be made at the risk of capture. The armistice was to terminate should the peace negotiation be broken off in the meantime, and a convention embodying these terms was signed.

 

The news of the armistice was received excitedly by the Japanese and Chinese living in the United States, but only the former found it possible to concede the truth. A characteristic crowd of excited Chinese gathered in front of a Chinese temple in their own quarter of New York City discussing a flaming red poster, the translation of which read : The war between China and Japan has ended and it is time for every one to rejoice. Our fathers and brothers have fought the old enemy and those who have not been butchered will be honored at home. China is a greater country than Japan, and if the war had been allowed to go on the Japanese would have been whipped out of their boots and China would have annexed Japan as a colony. It is well for Japan that her people have been called off by the emperor, but the time will not be long before the war will be opened again, for it is written in the mystic language of the shrine that China and Japan cannot dwell forever on the same earth."

 

During the time of Li Hung Chang's illness resulting from his wound, his son, Li Ching Fung, acted as his representative in Japan and continued the negotiations. On April 7th the wound in Li's face had completely healed and the bandages were removed. The young man who had committed the assault was sentenced to imprisonment for life at hard labor, while the chief of police and the prefect of Shimonoseki, together will all their staff, were dismissed in disgrace.

After three days of obstinate silence the assassin dropped his air of bravado and made a full confession to Judge Toyama, who conducted a private examination at the Bakan court. The prisoner declared that he had long brooded over the causes leading to the disturbance of peace in the east, and had reached the conclusion that the evil practices of Li Hung Chang were accountable for all of them, beginning with the mismanagement of affairs in Korea. He believed that as long as Li lived peace could not be restored and resolved at one time to go to China and kill the viceroy. This purpose was defeated by his inability to raise the necessary money, but when he learned that Li was coming to Japan as peace ambassador he felt that his opportunity had arrived. He bought a revolver in Yokohama, March 11, and the next day started for Tokyo, reaching Bakaii, March 24. At 4:15 o'clock that afternoon he approached the sedan chair in which the ambassador was returning from the conference hall to his lodgings in Shimonoseki and discharged his weapon, aiming it at the victim's breast. Although he endeavored to study his right arm by clasping it with the left, he missed his aim inflicting only a slight wound.

 

The conditions of the peace which was to be concluded by treaty now began to interest the civilized world almost as closely as the two contending nations. The conditions which were demanded by the Japanese were guessed at by every one who thought himself competent to form an opinion, and the varying opinions were sent out for discussion in the press of the world. At one time it was asserted to be arranged that Japan would conclude on offensive and defensive alliance with China, the object being to oppose European interest in the far east. This prospect occasioned considerable excitement among European diplomats. It was recognized that should China's numbers and enormous resources be united to Japanese progression, activity, and administrative ability, the coalition would be almost impregnable to any assault that might be delivered upon it, and that it might enjoy excellent success in any Asiatic aggressions which it cared to attempt.

 

It will be unprofitable here to discuss the various conditions of peace that were supposed to be proposed when we have at our command the settlement that was actually made. Nor is it worth while to consider the threatened intervention of Great Britain and Russia and France and Germany, each to protect her own interests in the east, for as a matter of fact no such interventions were made unless through the most secret diplomacy. In as much as Japan's demands did not encroach upon any rights possessed by those countries in the east, there was no proper reason why they should intervene.

 

Finally on Monday, April 15th, a peace convention was actually signed at Shimonoseki by the plenipotentiaries of China and Japan. The independence of Korea was recognized. It was conceded that Japan should retain temporarily the important places that she had conquered. Port Arthur, Wei-hai-wei, and Niu- chwang, including all the territory east of the Liao River. The island of Formosa was ceded permanently to Japan. An indemnity was provided for to be paid by China to Japan of 200,000,000 taels in silver, which is equivalent to about $150,000,000 in American gold. China agreed to no longer impose upon foreigners the odious tax known as Likin, levied upon all goods and sales, and a uniform standard tael was required to be adopted by China for her currency. All foreigners were to be permitted to introduce into China factories and machinery, and to lease warehouses in the interior. The important commercial concessions given to Japan were thus extended to all other treaty nations. The occupation of Port Arthur and Wei-hai-wei and of the conquered Manchurian territory were to be temporary, lasting only long enough to guarantee the payment of the war indemnity by China.

 

The terms of this payment provided that it should be made in silver in six annual installments. Japan retained extra-territorial jurisdiction in China, that is the right to try her own subjects arrested in China on charges of crime, and on the other hand China gave up the right to extra-territoriality in Japan.

 

The Chinese customs were not placed under Japanese control by the terms of the treaty as had been alleged, and the stipulations provided that on the payment of the first two installments of the indemnity to be paid by China, Wei-hai-wei might be evacuated, provided China pledge her customs revenue in order to insure the payment of the balance due. This it was officially announced was optional, and might never take effect, while at the present time there was no intention of touching the customs revenue of China. It was understood that China conceded practically everything required by Japan, except making Peking an open port, and this was strenuously resisted. At the solicitation of the Chinese envoy too, the indemnity demanded was reduced from three hundred million to two hundred million taels.

 

So frequently were reports circulated, that Japan and China had concluded an offensive and defensive alliance, and that the commercial advantages secured by Japan were to be exclusive, that the government felt it desirable to deny those statements and issued the following announcement regarding the matter :

 

Misapprehensions are reported to be current in Europe in regard to the terms of the Japan-China treaty. It has been represented that Japan has secured a two per cent ad volorem duty on imports instead of specific duty and has also formed an defensive  and defensive alliance with China. The commercial concessions obtained by Japan beyond those already secured by the treaty powers under the favored nation clause comprise the right to navigate the Yangtse Kiang to Chung King, and also the Woon Sung River and the canals leading to Soo Chow and Hank Chow and the right to import machinery and certain goods duty free and to establish factories. These concessions are not exclusive to Japan. They naturally extended to European powers, in virtue of the favored nation clause. In securing these privileges for all Japan expects the approval of all the powers. The reported offensive and defensive alliance does not exist."

 

Li Hung Chang and his suite started home to China escorted to their vessels by a guard of honor, and Count Ito and Viscount Matsu, the officers who negotiated the treaty of peace were received in audience by the emperor on their return to Hiroshima. He expressed himself as entirely satisfied with the principal points of the treaty which added much to the glory of the empire, and highly pleased at the signal service rendered by them. On the afternoon of April 22 the following proclamation was issued by the Japanese mikado :

 

"Through peace, national prosperity is best promoted. Unfortunately, the rupture of relations with China forced upon us a war which, after a lapse of ten months, is not yet ended. During this period our ministers, in concert with the army, navy and diet, have done all in their power to further our aims in obedience to our instructions. Our ardent desire, with the assistance of our subjects, in loyalty and sincerity, is to restore peace and thereby attain our object� the promotion of national prosperity. Now that peace is negotiated and armistice proclaimed, a permanent cessation of hostilities is near at hand. The terms of peace fixed by our minister of state give us complete satisfaction. The peace and glory thus secured renders the present a fitting time to en- lighten you as to the course of our future policy.

 

" We are rejoiced at the recent victories which have enhanced the glory of our empire. At the same time we are aware that the end of the road which must be traversed by the empire in the march of civilization is still far distant and remains yet to be attained. We therefore hope, in common with our loyal subjects, that we shall always guard against self-contentedness, but in a spirit of modesty and humility strive to perfect out military defense without falling into extremes. In short, it is our wish that the government and the people alike shall work to a common end and that our subjects of all classes strive each in his sphere for the purpose of laying the foundation of permanent prosperity.

 

It is hereby definitely made known that no countenance will be given by us to such as, through conceit at the recent victories, may offer insult to another state or injure our relations with friendly powers, especially as regards China. After the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty of peace, friendship should be restored and endeavors made to increase more than ever before the relations of good neighborhood. It is our pleasure that our subjects pay due respect to these expressed wishes.''

 

Consequences of the Sino Japanese War

 

Although Japan had achieved what it had set out to accomplish, namely to end Chinese influence over Korea, Japan reluctantly had been forced to relinquish the Liaodong Peninsula (Port Arthur) in exchange for an increased financial indemnity. The European powers (Russia especially), while having no objection to the other clauses of the treaty, did feel that Japan should not gain Port Arthur, for they had their own ambitions in that part of the world. Russia persuaded Germany and France to join her in applying diplomatic pressure on the Japanese, resulting in the Triple Intervention of 23 April 1895.

 

In 1898 Russia signed a 25-year lease on the Liaodong Peninsula and proceeded to set up a naval station at Port Arthur. Although this infuriated the Japanese, they were more concerned with Russian encroachment towards Korea than in Manchuria. Other powers, such as France, Germany, and Great Britain, took advantage of the situation in China and gained port and trade concessions at the expense of the decaying Qing Empire. Tsingtao and Kiaochow was acquired by Germany, Kwang-Chou-Wan by France, and Weihaiwei by Great Britain.

 

 

 

 

 

 Pescadores, Taiwan, Jiangsu

March 24-29   

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