Struggle for Korea. First Sino-Japanese War

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements
Map of the Battles
The First Sino–Japanese War, from August 1, 1894 – April 17, 1895, was fought between Qing Dynasty of China and the Meiji of Japan, mostly over control of Korea. Korea became a colony of Japan. Unlike the last time Japan invaded Korea (in the Imjin War), Japan succeeded this time.

After more than six months of continuous successes by the Japanese army and naval forces, as well as the loss of the Chinese port of Weihai, the Qing leadership sued for peace in February 1895.

What had happened originally, was that China and Japan signed a treaty about how they wouldn't send troops into Korea without notifying the other. However, after a rebellion, China sent troops to Korea. Japan took over the Joseon Dynasty's palace in Seoul, and created a pro-Japanese government. 

June 1 1894: The Tonghak Rebel Army goes towards Seoul. The Korean government requests help from the Chinese government to suppress the rebellion.
June 6 1894: The Chinese government tells the Japanese government under the duty of the Convention of Tientsin of its military operation. About 2,465 Chinese soldiers were transported to Korea within days.
June 8 1894: First of around 4,000 Japanese soldiers and 500 marines land at Incheon despite Korean and Chinese protests.
June 11 1894: The Tonghak Rebellion ends.
However, Japanese troops stay in Korea, and after seizing the palace, the pro-Japanese government gives the Imperial Japanese Army the right to expel the Beiyang Army, which was already leaving, forcefully.
So on September 17, 1894, the Battle of the Yalu River destroys 8 out of 10 ships in the Beiyang Fleet, so Japan dominates the Yellow Sea.
The Beiyang Army, despite having more people and more modernized weapons, lost primarily due to the fact that its funds were being embezzled, for example by the Empress Dowager Cixi to build the Summer Palace, and it wasn't trained well either.
Japan then took Port Arthur (formerly called Lüshunkou), and took the island chain to the west of Taiwan, allowing it to take Taiwan.


Although China had been expected to win, Japan won, and later annexed Korea. 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 toward 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.

You Might Also Like