Events preceding World War II in Asia

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This article is concerned with the events that preceded World War II in Asia.

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Kuomintang and Communism in China

The revolution led by the Kuomintang (KMT, or Chinese Nationalist Party) and others ended the last Chinese dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, which was replaced by a republic, the Republic of China, in 1912. Prior to World War I, however, the ROC central government failed to effectively rule its territory. China fell into a fragmented region of local warlords. Other than the warlord-controlled central government, two primary forces aimed to unite China under their ideology. The KMT was reorganized in 1919, and the Communist Party of China was formed in 1921. The two parties were not immediate enemies and had short-term partnership. In 1924, KMT started a military campaign to defeat the northern warlords. In 1927, with much of southern and central China under the KMT control, the KMT openly turned on the CPC. The KMT took most parts of China under its power in 1928, and the warlord controlling Manchuria agreed to KMT leadership of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

Noteworthy events

The following events played a significant role in setting the stage for the involvement of Asia and the Pacific in World War II:

Republic of China era

World War II in Asia

Many historians believe that the Second World War began with the Mukden Incident in Manchuria on September 18, 1931. Japanese occupation of much of Asia would expand over the next ten years and last until 1945.

1931–37: Japan vs. China

1937-39: The War expands

Chinese soldiers poorly armed. Chinese soldiers poorly armed.jpg
Chinese soldiers poorly armed.

The conquest of Southeast Asia and the road to Pearl Harbor

See also

Related Research Articles

Zhang Xueliang ruler of Manchuria

Chang Hsueh-liang or Zhang Xueliang, nicknamed the "Young Marshal" (少帥), was the effective ruler of Northeast China and much of northern China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin, by the Japanese on 4 June 1928. He was an instigator of the 1936 Xi'an Incident, in which Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of China's ruling party, was arrested in order to force him to enter into a truce with the insurgent Chinese Communist Party and form a united front against Japan, which had occupied Manchuria. As a result, he spent over 50 years under house arrest, first in mainland China and then in Taiwan. He is regarded by the Chinese Communist Party as a patriotic hero for his role in the Xi'an Incident.

Sino-Japanese War usually refers to:

Second Sino-Japanese War military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945

The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle. Some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. It is known as the War of Resistance in China.

Mukden Incident Dynamite explosion on railway line near Mukden (Shenyang) in 1931

The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was an event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the Japanese invasion in 1931 of northeastern China, known as Manchuria.

Kenji Doihara Japanese general

Kenji Doihara was a Japanese army officer. As a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, he was instrumental in the Japanese invasion of Manchuria for which he earned the nickname "Lawrence of Manchuria," a reference to Lawrence of Arabia. However, according to Jamie Bisher, the flattering sobriquet was rather misapplied, as that Colonel T.E. Lawrence had fought to liberate, not to oppress people. In a war fiction by Roger J. Spiller, Lieutenant-General Ishiwara Kanji, his military chief in Manchuria, said that his heavy addiction to opium contributed to his unreliability as an army officer.

Lytton Report League of Nations report on the Mukden Incident

Lytton Report are the findings of the Lytton Commission, entrusted in 1931 by the League of Nations in an attempt to evaluate the Mukden Incident, which led to the Empire of Japan's seizure of Manchuria.

Timeline of events preceding World War II timeline

This timeline of events preceding World War II covers the events of the interwar period (1918–1939) after World War I that affected or led to World War II.

Wang Jingwei regime Puppet government controlled by Japan (1940–45)

The Wang Jingwei regime is the common name of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China, the government of the puppet state of the Empire of Japan in eastern China called simply the Republic of China. This should not be confused with the Republic of China under Chiang Kai-shek, which was fighting with the Allies of World War II against Japan. The country was ruled as a one-party republic under Wang Jingwei, a very high-ranking former Kuomintang (KMT) official. The region that it would administer was initially seized by Japan throughout the late 1930s with the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Wang, a rival of Chiang Kai-shek and member of the pro-peace faction of the KMT, defected to the Japanese side and formed a collaborationist government in occupied Nanking (Nanjing) in 1940. The new state claimed the entirety of China during its existence, portraying itself as the legitimate inheritors of the Xinhai Revolution and Sun Yat-sen's legacy as opposed to Chiang Kai-shek's government in Chunking (Chongqing), but effectively only Japanese-occupied territory was under its direct control. Its international recognition was limited to other members of the Anti-Comintern Pact, of which it was a signatory. The Reorganized National Government existed until the end of World War II and the surrender of Japan in August 1945, at which point the regime was dissolved and many of its leading members were executed for treason.

Tanggu Truce peace treaty

The Tanggu Truce, sometimes called the Tangku Truce, was a ceasefire signed between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan in Tanggu District, Tianjin on May 31, 1933. It formally ended the Japanese invasion of Manchuria which had begun two years earlier.

The political situation in Japan (1914–44) dealt with the realities of the two World Wars and their effect on Japanese national policy.

Sino-German cooperation (1926–1941)

Cooperation between China and Germany was instrumental in modernizing the industry and the armed forces of the Republic of China between 1926 and 1941.

Zhang Jinghui Chinese politician

Zhang Jinghui ; was a Chinese general and politician during the Warlord era. He is noted for his role in the Japanese puppet regime of Manchukuo in which he served as its second and final Prime Minister.

Sino-Soviet relations Relations between China and the USSR

Sino-Soviet relations refers to the diplomatic relationship between the Chinese Republic and the various forms of Soviet Power which emerged from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to 1991, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

Nanjing decade historical period (1927–1937) in China; began when Chiang Kaishek took Nanjing from Sun Chuanfang during the Northern Expedition (1927) and made it the capital; ended when the 2nd Sino-Japanese War started (1937) and the government retreated to Wuhan

The Nanjing decade is an informal name for the decade from 1927 to 1937 in the Republic of China. It began when Nationalist Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek took Nanjing from Zhili clique warlord Sun Chuanfang halfway through the Northern Expedition in 1927. Chiang declared it to be the national capital despite the existence of a left-wing Nationalist government in Wuhan. The Wuhan faction gave in and the Northern Expedition continued until the Beiyang government in Beijing was overthrown in 1928. The decade ended with the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and the retreat of the Nationalist government to Wuhan. GDP growth averaged 3.9 per cent a year from 1929 to 1941 and per capita GDP about 1.8 per cent.

Pacification of Manchukuo campaign led by the Imperial Japanese Army to pacify resistance to the puppet state of Manchukuo

The Pacification of Manchukuo was a Japanese anti-insurgency campaign during the Second Sino-Japanese War to suppress any armed resistance to the newly established puppet state of Manchukuo from various anti-Japanese volunteer armies in occupied Manchuria and later the Communist Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army. The operations were carried out by the Imperial Japanese Kwantung Army and the collaborationist forces of the Manchukuo government from March 1932 until 1942, and resulted in a Japanese victory.

Marco Polo Bridge Incident initial battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War

The Marco Polo Bridge Incident, also known by Lugou Bridge Incident or Double-Seven Incident, was a July 1937 battle between China's National Revolutionary Army and the Imperial Japanese Army. It is widely considered to have been the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and by extension, sometimes given as an alternative starting date for World War II.

Japanese colonial empire empire

The Japanese colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies established by Imperial Japan in the Western Pacific and East Asia region from 1895. Victories over China and Russia expanded the Japanese sphere of influence, notably in Taiwan and Korea, and southern Sakhalin became a colony of Japan as the Karafuto Prefecture in 1905.

Republic of China (1912–1949) 1912–1949 country in Asia, when the Republic of China governed mainland China

The Republic of China (ROC) was a sovereign state in mainland China between 1912 and 1949, prior to the nationalist government's relocation to the island of Taiwan. It was established in January 1912 after the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China. The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, the leader of the Beiyang Army. Sun's party, the Kuomintang (KMT), then led by Song Jiaoren, won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. However, Song was assassinated on Yuan's orders shortly after; and the Beiyang Army, led by Yuan, maintained full control of the Beiyang government. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of China before abdicating not long after due to popular unrest. After Yuan's death in 1916, the authority of the Beiyang government was further weakened by a brief restoration of the Qing dynasty. Cliques in the Beiyang Army claimed individual autonomy and clashed with each other during the ensuing Warlord Era.

Kwantung Army military unit

The Kwantung Army was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1906 to 1945.