The new wave of colonialism in asia the persian factor the opening of japan to the west



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Defence & Security Series Author: John Karkazis Issue D3, July 2004

COLONIALISM IN ASIA.

THE BRITISH MILITARY INTERFERENCE IN PERSIA AND THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR
(extracts)
……………………..
CONTENTS

THE NEW WAVE OF COLONIALISM IN ASIA

THE PERSIAN FACTOR

THE OPENING OF JAPAN TO THE WEST

THE CHINESE FACTOR

THE OPEN DOOR DOCTRINE

THE ANGLO-JAPANESE ALLIANCE

THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR



As in the case of Africa the first to enter the race of colonialism in Asia were the Portuguese. Portuguese colonialism was supported mainly by the royal treasury and the colonial expeditions were planned by the government under the close supervision of the kings. In less than 25 years, from 1505 to 1523, the Portuguese established a dense network of trading posts and colonies in the Persian Gulf, in India (Goa), in Indochina (Malacca), in south China (Macau) and 20 years later in south Japan (Deshima). The rapid growth of the Portuguese Colonial System was due to the favorable synergy of many factors: the consolidation of peace and order in mainland Portugal, the innovative designs of Portuguese engineers in shipbuilding (faster and bigger ocean ships equipped with advanced weapons) and the advanced logistics (excellent maps for their time), the adventurous and daring spirit of the early colonialists, the extremely harsh ways with which they were treating resistance and the very able kings who were governing Portugal during that period. This colonial and trade network did not last for long. A series of unfavorable this time reasons led the colonial system of Portugal in Asia to a rapid collapse: incapable and megalomaniac kings who with their extra-vacant spending leveled the royal treasury, financial problems, problems with Spain and the technological advancements of competitive powers (Dutch and British).
The second to enter the colonial race in Asia were the Dutch who seized, during the first half of the 17th century, most of the colonial holdings of Portugal there (in Ceylon, India, Malaysia, Sumatra and Guinea). In contrast to the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonialism was company-driven. These specially chartered colonial companies came to rule large territories, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions, to the exclusion, gradually, of their commercial pursuits.
The third to come (in early 18th century) were the British who by early 19th century had been firmly established all over India, in Indochina and Indonesia. In 1819 the British established a colony in Singapore controlling in this way the strategic passage of Singapore Straits.

THE NEW WAVE OF COLONIALISM IN ASIA
In early 19th century all three empires of Asia (Ottoman, Persian and Chinese) were in decay.
In the middle of 19th century the great colonial powers of Europe, Japan and USA started a new and more intense colonial race in Asia and particularly in China which produced fierce tensions between them and led to a series of alliances and wars.
The British added vast territories of Southeast Asia in their colonial empire: Malay States (1800-1824), Sumatra (1819), Burma (1852-1885) and British Borneo (1888). Britain expanded its Dominion of India northwards to Kashmir (1843) and westwards to Beluchistan (1883) to check the advance of the Russians from Central Asia. In 1899 Lord Curzon became the Viceroy of India and stayed in this post until 1905 working hard and mobilizing his high diplomatic skills in order to check the advance of the Russians towards the Indian Ocean. In 1907 the British extended their colonial rule to Southeast Persia in order to counter-balance the advance of imperial Russia into Northern Persia. Finally, Britain, in 1842, established its colonial rule over a number of important trading posts in China: Hong Kong, Sanghai and Canton.
There is a synergy of facts which lead rather safely to the conclusion that the advance of Russians in Afghanistan did not pose a strategic threat for Britain (at least during Curzon’s term in India):


  1. The supply lines for a Russian army operating in Afghanistan were enormous in length covering thousands of miles through the harsh and un-hospitable environment of Siberia and the Central Asian Steppe.

  2. Russia was confronted with serious internal disorder weakening the morale of its armed forces (the student riots in St. Petesburg in 1901 fiercely dispersed by Cossacks, the anti-semitic pogroms in 1903 etc).

  3. Russian navy was rather backward for the British standards and not a match for the British navy.

  4. The Russians during the above period were heavily pre-occupied with building their military and economic power in the Maritime Province and the Manchuria and making preparations for the forthcoming confrontation with the Japanese.

  5. The Russian regime wanted desperately some success in the Afghan front to distract public opinion from internal problems and to counter-balance, in the eyes of the Russian elites, the British expansionism in the area. The question of proceeding further south most probably was out of the minds of Russian diplomacy during this period.

As a consequence, it is rather safe to conclude that the direction given to Lord Curzon was to check the Russian advance strictly through diplomatic means. New York Times in 17 April 1885, commenting on the victorious for the Russians outcome of the Penjdeh battle in northeast Afghanistan in 1885 reported that the British and especially Premier Gladstone, briefing the House of Commons on this issue, reacted rather coolly to the news that the Russians had been firmly established in Pendjeh.


During the period 1884-1907 France established itself as colonial power in French Indochina. Also in 1896 France and Britain signed an agreement settling their disputes over Siam.
In 1898 USA established their colonial rule in Philippines and in Guam.
During the second half of 19th century Russia extended its rule from the eastern coast of Caspian Sea (1843) to Northeast Afghanistan (1885) threatening in this way the British interests in the Indian sub-continent (battle of Penjdah in which Russians defeated the Afghanis). During the same period Russia incorporated into its empire vast areas in Siberia extending from Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. In 1858 Russia extended its rule north of Amur River (Amur Province) and in 1868 took from China the territories south of Amur River (Maritime Province with Vladivostok as its capital). In 1912 Outer Mongolia was drawn in the Russian sphere of influence.

THE PERSIAN FACTOR
In mid 19th century Russia advanced into Northwest Persia conquering Tiflis and Baku and immediately afterwards advanced into Northeast Persia (east of Caspian Sea). At this point (1864) the British interfered to bolster the Persian government against the Russia. The British granted Persian government a loan taking the customs in Persian Gulf ports as a collateral. In 1900 a Russian flotilla, belonging to the 1st Squadron of the Pacific Fleet under the flagship gunboat Gilyak, appeared in the Persian Gulf to pay the first visit ever to the area. Next year the Russians sent to the Gulf another flotilla of the Pacific Fleet under a state-of-the-art flagship, the Varyag, a protected cruiser, to pay this time official visits to several ports of the Persian Gulf states. The British reacted cautiously sending to Persia for a visit the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, a very able and ruthless diplomat. In 1902 and 1903 the Russians upgraded their presence in the Persian Gulf by deploying there two cruisers of the Pacific Fleet, the Askold and the Boyarin. Local regimes welcome the deployment of these warships seeing Russia as a counter-force to British expansionism [8].
Following the expansionist policies of Russia and Britain in Persia, a Persian nationalist revolution broke out in 1905 leading to the establishment of the first parliament in Tehran, putting in danger the Russian and British interests there. The two powers solved this issue through diplomacy by dividing Persia, in 1907, into two zones of influence, the northern assigned to Russians and the southern going to the British. The British exploited the vast oil fields of southern Persia (under the extremely favorable for them trade and production agreements) in order to build a powerful navy.
The understanding developed by the two colonial competitors (Russia and Britain) in the case of Persia came as result of the Triple Entente between Britain, France and Russia, signed in 1904, which had its causal roots in the growing threat imposed on them by a new and dynamic player in the colonial affairs, the imperial Germany.

THE OPENING OF JAPAN TO THE WEST
The Portuguese and the Dutch had established trading posts in Japan since early 16th century. In 1853 the American Commodore Perry with a number of naval vessels of the East Indian Squadron forced his way into Yedo Bay demanding from the Japanese government, somewhat peremptorily [1], to negotiate commercial relations with USA and other Powers. The next year the Japanese complied and in 1867 an internal revolution took place leading to the rapid westernization of Japan. Forcing his way to Japan, Commodore Perry should have equipped himself with valuable information regarding the desire of the elite classes of Japan to earn money through trade and solve endemic financial problems, a fact making them potential allies of USA. The Yedo Bay incident marks the beginning of the heavy involvement of USA in the Far East affairs.

THE CHINESE FACTOR
The decaying China under the Manchu dynasty opened the imperialistic appetite of all European colonial powers. The beginning of this intervention coincides with the armed intervention of British and French, in mid 1850s, to protect their commercial interests related to opium exports to China from British India and French Indochina (the Opium Wars). On the other hand, as a result of the Aigun Treaty (1858) and the Beijing Treaty (1860) Russians took from China the area south of Amur River making it a province of their empire (the Maritime Province). At the same time the Russians started an intense naval built-up in the region establishing a strong and fearful fleet there, the Pacific Fleet, with naval headquarters in Vladivostok, the capital of Maritime Province. Around 1870s Japan started to force Korea out of the influence of the Manchu dynasty making efforts to place it under its own influence. A product of these expansionist ambitions was the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) which was won by the Japanese. Following this war Korea declared its independence from China and Japan rushed to recognize it. The Shimonoseki Treaty of 1895 settled the disputes of this war in favor of Japan, ceding to the Japanese the Liaodong Peninsula, a strategic out-post in southern Manchuria. Russia, France and Germany (the latter a newcomer in the Chinese colonial race with interests in the area opposite to Liaodong Peninsula) reacted against this treaty and demanded from the weak Chinese government to annul it. At that time there was a rather erroneous conception consensus among the above three Powers that Japan was lacking the means, the nerve and the decisiveness to defend its ambitions in China. The reaction of these Powers led to the Triple Intervention Treaty which was signed in 1895 and annulled the concessions of the previous treaty regarding Japan. Following the Triple Intervention Treaty the Russians extended their sphere of (economic) influence into northeast China (Manchuria) winning a concession (granted by the Chinese government) to construct the Chinese Eastern Railway (or Manchuria Railway) connecting Vladivostok with the city of Harbin in Manchuria. The concession was signed in 1896. Next year Russia concluded a 25-years lease of Liaodong Peninsula in southern Manchuria a fact which accelerated the construction of the Manchuria Railway. In 1897 the Russians sent a powerful fleet in the strategic out-posts of Port Arthur, in the Liaodong Peninsula, which forced the Chinese government to conclude during the next year a treaty with Russia under which Port Arthur was ceded to Russia. In 1900 Russia felt strong enough to annex Manchuria. The “selling” of Manchuria to the Russians was one of the main contributing factors to the Boxers Uprising. The Boxer Uprising was a nationalist uprising in China during the period 1898-1901 which opposed the western imperialism and in particular the European “spheres of influence” in China. The colonial powers of Europe and the USA sent a strong expeditionary force in China consisting of 54 warships, 50.000 soldiers and 5.000 marines which defeated the Boxers rebellion, took Beijing and imposed on China humiliating reparations. At that time the propaganda apparatus of western powers (mainly of Britain and France) was advanced enough to be engaged successfully in this war and distort its image in the West: mass killings committed by Boxers were termed “atrocities” whereas mass killings (in a smaller scale) committed by expeditionary forces and the humiliating colonial terms imposed on the Chinese people were termed as “lawful acts”. As a result of the above events China initiated a massive modernization plan.
The favorable attitude of France towards Russian ambitions in Manchuria was most probably motivated by its hectic efforts to draw Russia into an alliance with her in order to counter-balance the rising power and ambitions of imperial Germany in Europe.
In 1885 the Treaty of Tientsin between France and China ended the Sino-French War forcing China to recognize a French protectorate over Annam and Tonkin in Southeast China (Indochina).
In 1898 the Germans extorted a 99-years lease on Kiochow Bay (Northeast China) and exclusive rights in Shatung Peninsula opposite to Port Arthur.
To complete the colonial division of China, the British took control of the strategic Yangtse Valley and of a series of ports.

THE OPEN DOOR DOCTRINE [1]
In late 1890s, the US (already firmly established in the Far East: Philippines and Guam), fearing that the whole China would be divided by European colonial powers to spheres of influence, introduced the Open Door Doctrine (ODD) to protect its interests in China and elsewhere.
In particular, Secretary of State John Hay in 1899 sent notes to the colonial powers having interests in China (Russia, Japan, Britain, France and Germany) asking them to declare formally they would respect China’s territorial and administrative integrity and they would not interfere with the free use of the ports within their spheres of influence in China. With the exception of Japan, all other powers replied to Hey’s request by stating that they could not commit themselves until the other powers do. Despite this ambiguous reaction, Hay announced that European powers had granted their consent to his request and as a consequence ODD became an international policy.
Wood (1921) gave a review of the genesis of ODD. See also Appendix 1 for the articles of ODD.See G. Z. Wood, The Genesis of the Open Door Policy in China (1921); the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government In the 1890s, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government strove to preserve equal industrial and commercial privileges. Secretary of State John Hay sent (1899) notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China. In replying, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, in Mar., 1900, Hay announced that the powers had granted consent to his request. Only Japan challenged this declaration, and the Open Door became an international policy. After the Boxer Uprising , Hay dispatched (1900) a similar circular note. Development of the Policy

In the 1890s, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government strove to preserve equal industrial and commercial privileges. Secretary of State John Hay sent (1899) notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China. In replying, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, in Mar., 1900, Hay announced that the powers had granted consent to his request. Only Japan challenged this declaration, and the Open Door became an international policy. After the Boxer Uprising , Hay dispatched (1900) a similar circular note.



Violations and the End of the Policy

Two years later, the U.S. government protested that Russian encroachment in Manchuria was a violation of the Open Door. When Japanese replaced Russian influence in S Manchuria after the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) the Japanese and U.S. governments pledged to maintain a policy of equality in Manchuria. In finance, American efforts to preserve the Open Door led (1909) to the formation of an international banking consortium through which all Chinese railroad loans would be made. The United States withdrew in 1913, asserting that the consortium violated Chinese administrative integrity.

The next violation of the Open Door policy occurred in 1915, when Japan presented to China the Twenty-one Demands . That incident led (1917) to another exchange of notes between the United States and Japan in which there were renewed assurances that the Open Door would be respected, but that the United States recognized Japan's special interests in China. The Open Door principle had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allies, which promised Japan the German possessions in China.

The increasing disregard of the Open Door was a main reason for the convocation of the Conference on the Limitation of Armament (1921-22) in Washington, D.C. As a result of the conference, the Nine-Power Treaty, guaranteeing the integrity and independence of China and reaffirming the Open Door principle, was signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, China, and Belgium. With the Japanese seizure (1931) of Manchuria and the creation of Manchukuo, however, the Open Door received its greatest reverse.

After World War II, China's position as a sovereign state was recognized. No nation, therefore, had the right or capacity to carve out spheres of influence or to attempt to exclude other states from trade, and the Open Door policy ceased to exist.

Bibliography

See G. Z. Wood, The Genesis of the Open Door Policy in China (1921); M. J. Bau, The Open Door Doctrine in Relation to China (1923); C. S. Campbell, Special Business Interests and the Open Door Policy (1951); W. L. Tung, China and the Foreign Powers (1970). the 1890s, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government strove to preserve equal industrial and commercial privileges. Secretary of State John Hay sent (1899) notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China. In replying, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, in Mar., 1900, Hay announced that the powers had granted consent to his request. Only Japan challenged this declaration, and the Open Door became an international policy. After the Boxer Uprising , Hay dispatched (1900) a similar circular note.



Violations and the End of the Policy

Two years later, the U.S. government protested that Russian encroachment in Manchuria was a violation of the Open Door. When Japanese replaced Russian influence in S Manchuria after the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) the Japanese and U.S. governments pledged to maintain a policy of equality in Manchuria. In finance, American efforts to preserve the Open Door led (1909) to the formation of an international banking consortium through which all Chinese railroad loans would be made. The United States withdrew in 1913, asserting that the consortium violated Chinese administrative integrity.

The next violation of the Open Door policy occurred in 1915, when Japan presented to China the Twenty-one Demands . That incident led (1917) to another exchange of notes between the United States and Japan in which there were renewed assurances that the Open Door would be respected, but that the United States recognized Japan's special interests in China. The Open Door principle had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allies, which promised Japan the German possessions in China.

The increasing disregard of the Open Door was a main reason for the convocation of the Conference on the Limitation of Armament (1921-22) in Washington, D.C. As a result of the conference, the Nine-Power Treaty, guaranteeing the integrity and independence of China and reaffirming the Open Door principle, was signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, China, and Belgium. With the Japanese seizure (1931) of Manchuria and the creation of Manchukuo, however, the Open Door received its greatest reverse.

After World War II, China's position as a sovereign state was recognized. No nation, therefore, had the right or capacity to carve out spheres of influence or to attempt to exclude other states from trade, and the Open Door policy ceased to exist.

Bibliography

See G. Z. Wood, The Genesis of the Open Door Policy in China (1921); M. J. Bau, The Open Door Doctrine in Relation to China (1923); C. S. Campbell, Special Business Interests and the Open Door Policy (1951); W. L. Tung, China and the Foreign Powers (1970). the 1890s, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government strove to preserve equal industrial and commercial privileges. Secretary of State John Hay sent (1899) notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China. In replying, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, in Mar., 1900, Hay announced that the powers had granted consent to his request. Only Japan challenged this declaration, and the Open Door became an international policy. After the Boxer Uprising , Hay dispatched (1900) a similar circular note.



Violations and the End of the Policy

Two years later, the U.S. government protested that Russian encroachment in Manchuria was a violation of the Open Door. When Japanese replaced Russian influence in S Manchuria after the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) the Japanese and U.S. governments pledged to maintain a policy of equality in Manchuria. In finance, American efforts to preserve the Open Door led (1909) to the formation of an international banking consortium through which all Chinese railroad loans would be made. The United States withdrew in 1913, asserting that the consortium violated Chinese administrative integrity.

The next violation of the Open Door policy occurred in 1915, when Japan presented to China the Twenty-one Demands . That incident led (1917) to another exchange of notes between the United States and Japan in which there were renewed assurances that the Open Door would be respected, but that the United States recognized Japan's special interests in China. The Open Door principle had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allies, which promised Japan the German possessions in China.

The increasing disregard of the Open Door was a main reason for the convocation of the Conference on the Limitation of Armament (1921-22) in Washington, D.C. As a result of the conference, the Nine-Power Treaty, guaranteeing the integrity and independence of China and reaffirming the Open Door principle, was signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, China, and Belgium. With the Japanese seizure (1931) of Manchuria and the creation of Manchukuo, however, the Open Door received its greatest reverse.

After World War II, China's position as a sovereign state was recognized. No nation, therefore, had the right or capacity to carve out spheres of influence or to attempt to exclude other states from trade, and the Open Door policy ceased to exist.

Bibliography

See G. Z. Wood, The Genesis of the Open Door Policy in China (1921); M. J. Bau, The Open Door Doctrine in Relation to China (1923); C. S. Campbell, Special Business Interests and the Open Door Policy (1951); W. L. Tung, China and the Foreign Powers (1970).the 1890s, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government strove to preserve equal industrial and commercial privileges. Secretary of State John Hay sent (1899) notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China. In replying, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, in Mar., 1900, Hay announced that the powers had granted consent to his request. Only Japan challenged this declaration, and the Open Door became an international policy. After the Boxer Uprising , Hay dispatched (1900) a similar circular note.



Violations and the End of the Policy

Two years later, the U.S. government protested that Russian encroachment in Manchuria was a violation of the Open Door. When Japanese replaced Russian influence in S Manchuria after the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) the Japanese and U.S. governments pledged to maintain a policy of equality in Manchuria. In finance, American efforts to preserve the Open Door led (1909) to the formation of an international banking consortium through which all Chinese railroad loans would be made. The United States withdrew in 1913, asserting that the consortium violated Chinese administrative integrity.

The next violation of the Open Door policy occurred in 1915, when Japan presented to China the Twenty-one Demands . That incident led (1917) to another exchange of notes between the United States and Japan in which there were renewed assurances that the Open Door would be respected, but that the United States recognized Japan's special interests in China. The Open Door principle had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allies, which promised Japan the German possessions in China.

The increasing disregard of the Open Door was a main reason for the convocation of the Conference on the Limitation of Armament (1921-22) in Washington, D.C. As a result of the conference, the Nine-Power Treaty, guaranteeing the integrity and independence of China and reaffirming the Open Door principle, was signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, China, and Belgium. With the Japanese seizure (1931) of Manchuria and the creation of Manchukuo, however, the Open Door received its greatest reverse.

After World War II, China's position as a sovereign state was recognized. No nation, therefore, had the right or capacity to carve out spheres of influence or to attempt to exclude other states from trade, and the Open Door policy ceased to exist.

Bibliography

See G. Z. Wood, The Genesis of the Open Door Policy in China (1921); M. J. Bau, The Open Door Doctrine in Relation to China (1923); C. S. Campbell, Special Business Interests and the Open Door Policy (1951); W. L. Tung, China and the Foreign Powers (1970).the 1890s, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government strove to preserve equal industrial and commercial privileges. Secretary of State John Hay sent (1899) notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China. In replying, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, in Mar., 1900, Hay announced that the powers had granted consent to his request. Only Japan challenged this declaration, and the Open Door became an international policy. After the Boxer Uprising , Hay dispatched (1900) a similar circular note.



Violations and the End of the Policy

Two years later, the U.S. government protested that Russian encroachment in Manchuria was a violation of the Open Door. When Japanese replaced Russian influence in S Manchuria after the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) the Japanese and U.S. governments pledged to maintain a policy of equality in Manchuria. In finance, American efforts to preserve the Open Door led (1909) to the formation of an international banking consortium through which all Chinese railroad loans would be made. The United States withdrew in 1913, asserting that the consortium violated Chinese administrative integrity.

The next violation of the Open Door policy occurred in 1915, when Japan presented to China the Twenty-one Demands . That incident led (1917) to another exchange of notes between the United States and Japan in which there were renewed assurances that the Open Door would be respected, but that the United States recognized Japan's special interests in China. The Open Door principle had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allies, which promised Japan the German possessions in China.

The increasing disregard of the Open Door was a main reason for the convocation of the Conference on the Limitation of Armament (1921-22) in Washington, D.C. As a result of the conference, the Nine-Power Treaty, guaranteeing the integrity and independence of China and reaffirming the Open Door principle, was signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, China, and Belgium. With the Japanese seizure (1931) of Manchuria and the creation of Manchukuo, however, the Open Door received its greatest reverse.

After World War II, China's position as a sovereign state was recognized. No nation, therefore, had the right or capacity to carve out spheres of influence or to attempt to exclude other states from trade, and the Open Door policy ceased to exist.

Bibliography

See G. Z. Wood, The Genesis of the Open Door Policy in China (1921); M. J. Bau, The Open Door Doctrine in Relation to China (1923); C. S. Campbell, Special Business Interests and the Open Door Policy (1951); W. L. Tung, China and the Foreign Powers (1970).



THE ANGLO-JAPANESE ALLIANCE
In 1902 Japan signed a military alliance with Britain. This alliance was characterized as controversial by many scholars in the sense that it set (secured) a favorable diplomatic environment for the massive built-up of Japan, its expansionist policies and its involvement in World War II [2] . This alliance ended the so called “Splendid Isolation” of Britain and opened for the Japanese the road towards (regaining) Manchuria an area rich in raw materials desperately needed by the fast growing Japanese industry. See appendix 1 for the articles of the treaty.
As mentioned earlier, one of the causal roots of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Alliance, from the point of view of the British, most probably lied on the threat imposed by Russians on the British interests in the Persian Gulf and in the strategic sea passage to India. Note that this threat reached a climax in 1901-1902 with the regular (rotating) deployment in the Persian Gulf of Russian warships belonging to the Pacific Fleet.
After the Russo-Japanese war in 2005 and the complete annihilation of the naval power of Russians in the Pacific (both the Pacific and the Baltic Fleet were destroyed during this war) the Russian threat in the area practically seized to exist. Thus the regular renewals of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Alliance up to its termination in 1923 were not motivated (at least from the side of Britain) by the Russian threat. In the light of the above facts the second renewal of this treaty in 1911 raises questions on the open and (probably) hidden aims of this renewal. The threat imposed on vital British interests by USA anti-colonial policies (the Open Door, the Monroe and later the Woodrow Wilson doctrines clearly expressed and forcefully projected an anti-colonial attitude on the part of USA) was global and imminent. After the defeat of Russia in 1905 the only power which could have, in the medium and long term, the potential forces and the potential political reasoning to interfere, alone, with Japanese and British interests in China and Korea was the USA. Germany and France possessed neither the naval forces nor the incentives (their colonial holdings in China were of secondary importance if compared with their African ones) to interfere alone in the area. An extra reason against the interference of France with the Anglo-Japanese interests in China and Korea was the growing Entente between Britain and France. The possibility that two (or more) powers would interfere with Anglo-Japanese interests in the area constituted a more threatening and complex for the British geo-political game which needed special attention (article 3 of the Treaty). Among all combinations involving two powers acting against British interests in the area the only feasible ones were those involving USA as one of the partners. Finally the possibility, in the long term, that the Japanese interests will interfere with the British ones in the Indian Ocean could not be excluded as a political reasoning behind the Treaty, but before the colonial appetite of Japan could have reached Indian Ocean it should have tasted first the American colonial holdings along the route to India.
As a consequence of the above remarks there exist plenty of arguments for opening a discussion on the hypothesis that when the British were working on the Anglo-Japanese (Military) Alliance Treaty had in the back of their mind USA: to help Japan to build an economic, military and colonial power base in the area which will interfere with the ambitions of USA there (or provoke them) distracting US attention from Europe, Africa and the Middle East (where the main interests of Britain were lying) or even weakening USA as a result of a military confrontation with Japan, in which case Britain (according to the article 2 of the Treaty) would resort to the comfortable excuse of neutrality.
These arguments are also supported by the forceful intervention, 3 years after the signing of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance Treaty, of Theodore Roosevelt during the Portsmouth Treaty negotiations, ending the 1905 Russo-Japanese War, in favor of the Russians and against the British interests in the Far East[12](see also next section).

THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR
The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 is considered as the first great war of the 20th century. It was the result of the conflicting ambitions of Japan and Russia over the geo-economic and geo-political significance of Manchuria and Korea in their imperial designs:


  • The need, on the part of Russia, of Manchuria to safeguard from the south its Maritime Province and the strategic port of Vladivostok and at the same time to secure Port Arthur as a warm naval base, controlling Bo Hai and Korean Bay, for the winter season during which Vladivostok was closed. Also one could add the need for Russia to distract internal public opinion from criticism against the Tsar’s regime with imperialistic adventures feeding nationalistic sentiments.

  • The need, on the part of Japan, of Manchuria’s raw material wealth, to feed both its fast growing industry and its fast growing naval forces and also of Korea’s strategic location both to safeguard access to Manchuria and also to safeguard the strategic Korean Straits.

Having grossly underestimated the ability and resolution of Japan to provoke a new war in the area, the Russians had been heavily involved in psychological deterrence games against the Japanese by over-projecting the capabilities of their Pacific Fleet deploying detachments of this fleet as far as the Persian Gulf.


Negotiations between Japan and Russia to settle the above conflicts started as early as July 1903 when Japan handed over to Russia proposals on this issue providing for a Russian zone of influence over Manchuria and for a Japanese zone of influence over Korea. Although these proposals satisfied the basic Russian interests and ambitions in Manchuria, the over-confident tsarist regime responded with a maximalistic counter-proposal demanding that Korea should be left outside the interests of Japan.
As a result of the deadlock in these negotiations, on 8 February 1904, to secure the element of surprise, the imperial Japanese navy, under the command of Admiral Togo, attacked, three hours before the formal declaration of war, Port Arthur, the heavily fortified Russian naval base overlooking the bays of Korea and Bo Hai. During the first day of the battle Japan, with an attack of a torpedo boat destroyer, badly damaged the two strongest warships of the Pacific Fleet and also a cruiser. The next few days, although the battle of Port Arthur was undecided, the Russians were unfortunate enough to lose Admiral Makarov, the commander of the armed forces in Port Arthur, who was killed in the battle.
As a result of the above events and the fact that Tsar Nicholas II had been assured by his ministers in many occasions that Japan would not undertake an attack against Russia, the element of surprise of the initial attack was multiplied and extended even deeper inside Russian command apparatus in the Far East, adding also the element of a growing de-moralization at the lower ranks of the army. The above in combination with the endemic incompetence and inexperience of Russians over naval affairs (at least as compared with the British, French and Germans) could explain the hesitation of the Russians to move their fleet out of the naval base and to confront the Japanese in the open sea, a hesitation that was proved lethal some months later during the siege of Port Arthur by the Japanese army.
The naval attack on Port Arthur proved to be a cover for the landing of massive Japanese (land) forces near Incheon in Korea. By April 1904 the Japanese army had reached Yalu River, marking the borders between Korea and Manchuria, defeated the Russians in the homonymous battle and moved inside the Russian-occupied Manchuria. Despite the heavy losses it had suffered, by August 1904 the Japanese army reached the outskirts of the city of Port Arthur whereas the Japanese navy blockaded the Russian naval base. During this blockade both powers suffered considerable losses amounting to two battleships for each one of them. Around the end of 1904 the Japanese heavy artillery managed to take favorable positions on the hills overlooking the city and the naval base and destroyed all capital warships of the Russian Pacific Fleet (4 warships and 2 cruisers). This was the first incident in the world naval history in which so many battleships are lost from land-based artillery fire. In December 1904 general Anatoly Stessel, commander of Port Arthur garrison, surrendered the city to the Japanese army. For his action, in 1908, Stessel was court-martialed and sentenced to death. In the following three months the Japanese won in Manchuria two more decisive battles, in Sandepu and Mukden, forcing the Russian army to retreat to the north of Manchuria.
To save Manchuria the Russians decided to send to the area the powerful Baltic Fleet in a 18.000 miles journey through Cape of Good Hope. It took the Baltic Fleet more than four months to reach Far East. This extremely long journey tested the morale of the sailors and created technical problems which reduced the speed capacity of the fleet. British intelligence, on the other hand, helped Japanese by providing them with useful information regarding the course of the Russian Armada [3]. Following a series of tactical mistakes by the part of the fleet command, the Baltic Fleet (which included among its warships the crème of Russian naval forces: four new Borodino class battleships) was engaged in a fierce battle with the Combined Fleet of Japan in the Tsushima Straits between Korea and Japan (27-28 May 1905). During this battle the Baltic Fleet was practically annihilated loosing eight warships.
The defeat of the Russians in the Far East intensified the internal turmoil in Russia which turned into an open revolt at the end of 1905 in St Petersburg during which 1.000-4.000 people were massacred by Tsar’s forces.
The Russo-Japanese War was formally ended with the Portsmouth Treaty of 1905. Under this treaty the Japanese recovered from the Russians Port Arthur and the Liaotung Peninsula and established a sphere of influence over Manchuria, a protectorate status over Korea and also took from the Russians the southern part of Sakhalin island.
During the Treaty of Portsmouth negotiations USA President Theodore Roosevelt stepped in forcefully in favor of Russia. USA, possessing the strategic out-post of Philippines and having growing interests over China, were aiming to a balanced outcome at these negotiations, in which Russia should not be overwhelmingly weakened in the Far East.

Appendix 1

THE ANGLO-JAPANESE TREATY OF ALLIANCE [1]
The treaty contained the following six articles:
Article 1. The High Contracting parties, having mutually recognized the independence of China and Korea, declare themselves to be entirely uninfluenced by aggressive tendencies in either country, having in view, however, their special interests, of which those of Great Britain relate principally to China, whilst Japan, in addition to the interests which she possesses in China, is interested in a peculiar degree, politically as well as commercially and industrially in Korea, the High Contracting parties recognize that it will be admissible for either of them to take such measures as may be indispensable in order to safeguard those interests if threatened either by the aggressive action of any other Power, or by disturbances arising in China or Korea, and necessitating the intervention of either of the High Contracting parties for the protection of the lives and properties of its subjects.

Article 2. Declaration of neutrality if either signatory becomes involved in war through Article 1.

Article 3. Promise of support if either signatory becomes involved in war with more than one Power.

Article 4. Signatories promise not to enter into separate agreements with other Powers to the prejudice of this alliance.

Article 5. The signatories promise to communicate frankly and fully with each other when any of the interests affected by this treaty are in jeopardy.

Article 6. Treaty to remain in force for five years and then at one years' notice, unless notice was given at the end of the fourth year.
Articles 2 and 3 were most crucial concerning war and mutual defence. The treaty laid out an acknowledgement of Japanese interests in Korea without obligating the UK to help should a Russo-Japanese conflict arise on this account. Japan was not obligated to defend British interests in India.
Reference


  1. Wikipedia: Anglo-Japanese Alliance



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