The Wider War in China, Essay Example

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It was on July 7th 1937  that the Japanese soldiers found themselves in a skirmish around the vicinity of the Marco Polo Bridge south of Beijing.  This conflict intensified by the Japanese administration sending more troops to the area from Manchuria and Korea.  The Chinese opposed this conflict and the troubles intensified.  In July the Japanese attacked both Beijing and Tianjin commencing a wider conflict and full scale war with China.

It was not clear who started the conflict at Marco Polo Bridge but it became evident that the Japanese administration were looking for an excuse to go to war with China. It was Prime Minister Fumimaro who authorised the decision to attack China. It was part of the early Japanese strategy in terms of expanding their influence and creating an empire that would dominate South East Asia.  As part of the conquest plans the Japanese would need to acquire and control the mineral resources ( iron and coal) located in Northern China.  Japan also feared the government of Chiang Kai Shek and that they would ultimately interfere with the Japanese plans to control Manchuria and Northern China.  The Japanese hoped to destroy this Chinese regime and replace it with a government that would be more sympathetic to Japans goals and objectives.

Although Japan widened the conflict in 1937 they did try to negotiate some political settlements. However once these were seen to be failing the Japanese quickly reverted to the military option and the power of the Imperial Navy. They quickly executed a number of moves which included the capture of the port of Shanghai. By December they had occupied Nanjing and soon Japan was in charge of three of the largest Chinese Cities.  The Chinese government under Chiang Kai Shek quickly relocated to the west in order to establish a resistance movement and continue the armed struggle against Japan.  This action proved to be late and Japan was now engaged in a full scale operation in occupying the country. (Gordon)

Works Cited

Gordon, Andrew. A modern history of Japan: From tokugawa to the present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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