Thesis: The defeat of China in the Second Sino- japanese War and the subsequent Nanking Massacre was inevitable, because of the strategic errors made by China in the battle of Shanghai


Counter Argument 2: China possessed the largest army in the world at the time in terms of troop number



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Counter Argument 2: China possessed the largest army in the world at the time in terms of troop number.12 In addition, the seven thousand remaining soldiers that were ordered to protect Nanking could have prevented the massacre.

Argument 3: China’s incompetent government could not function properly to assist in the Second Sino- Japanese War, leading to China’s defeat and the following Nanking Massacre.

China’s government was financially unstable and was too poor to afford an adequate amount of equipment for its army due to China’s indemnities from previous wars.



  • The Opium war of 1842: China paid 21 million taels to the British government. The first Sino-Japanese war: China paid 200 million taels to Japan and also ceded Taiwan and the Liaodong Peninsula, but China bought back the Liaodong Peninsula for 30 million taels. In the Boxer Rebellion of 1911: China paid an indemnity of 982 million combining the interest and principal over the next 38 years.13

Due to the internal conflicts of China’s government between the Communists and Nationalist, China could not concentrate on the war against Japan.

  • The leader of the Nationalists, Chiang Kai Shek ignored the Japanese invaders and was busy planning the fifth extermination campaign against the Communist Party. This angered his own generals, who arrested him and forced him to agree to form a united front against the Japanese with the Communists.14

There was a lack of good government leaders since there were corrupt political leaders in China, who betrayed the country.

  • Wang Jing –wei, the chairman of the National Party and also the next major leader to Chiang Kai-shek, vied with Chiang for the control of the National government causing many internal conflicts.15 He later collaborated with the Japanese and betrayed his own country by announcing to the Chinese to cease resistance.16

Counter Argument 3: the defeat of China in the Second Sino Japanese War and the Nanking Massacre could have been avoided if Chiang Kai-shek did not concentrate on creating extermination campaigns against the Communists, since this created a climate of fear and confusion for the citizens. There was also an organization, called the “Great Way”, whose purpose was to eliminate people who had collaborated or cooperated with the Japanese.


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