Second Sino-Japanese War
Invasion of China[change | edit source]
The Second Sino-Japanese War refers to the war that began when Japan justified its invasion of China in 1931 with the Mukden Incident, with more numerous 'incidents' that grew into a full scale war from the Marco-Polo Bridge Incident where Japanese officers claimed being attacked by Chinese troops near the Chinese city Beijing. Through the bombing of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese this war became part of the larger arena of WW II in 1941 known as the China-Burma-India theatre. The invasion of China was the result of the increased dependency of Japan on raw materials to feed its heavy industry by colonizing more of Asia, and of a rise in the military and in nationalism in general. During the Japanese campaign in China, the KMT (Nationalist Government under Chiang Kai-Shek) and the CCP (Chinese Communist Party under Mao Tse Dung), nominally cooperated to resist Japan, but, for the most part, continued to fight amongst each other as well. In 1931, Japan began to occupy China, starting in the northeast (Manchuria); in 1937, Beiping was occupied, and then Nanjing, and finally the industrial cities to the south. Chiang moved his capital from Nanjing to Chongqing, and began a tactic of "using space to trade for time" and effectively spread the Japanese lines out too thin. Despite heavy losses on both sides, 1940 marks the beginning of the end of the Japanese dominance, and marks the effective halting of Japanese advances. The consequences of this war were great: Japan's inability to quickly and decisively win the war against China heavily compromised her ability to fight the war in the Pacific against the Allied forces, and undoubtedly contributed to the eventual loss of the war. In China, the war tended to solidify the popular base of support for the Chinese Communist Party, and hastened the collapse of the Republic under Chiang in 1949.