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Empires at War1911-1923$
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Robert Gerwarth and Erez Manela

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702511.001.0001

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China and Empire

China and Empire

(p.214) 11 China and Empire
Empires at War

Xu Guoqi

Oxford University Press

This chapter fulfils a dual role: to restore China’s place in the larger story of the Great War and to explore the reasons why China eventually decided to fight on the Allies side. If the main motivation for Japan’s entry into the war against Germany was to expand its influence in China, China’s key reason to join the war effort was to counter Japan’s efforts of empire-building in China. China’s participation in the war was also the first time in modern history that China came to the aid of the West on such a grand scale. Its strategy for participation in the European conflict indicated that China was ready to join the international family of nations as an equal member. The chapter will also discuss how these hopes were dashed in 1919 and how some of the decisions made in Paris in 1919 paved the way for further conflicts in Asia in the mid-twentieth century.

Keywords:   China, First World War, Japan, “Twenty-one Demands”

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