History

The Long March (Chángzhēng 长征)

The Long March (Chángzhēng 长征)

Stephanie Po-yin CHUNG Marching Through Lushan Pass at Sunset (an episode in the Long March) by the artist Li K’e-jan. Ink and colors on paper, in the style of the Peking (now Beijing) Academy of Fine Arts. Shown at the Nationalities Hotel, Peking. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN. The Long March of 1934–1935, one of the seminal events of the […]

World War II in Asia (Èzhàn Yàzhōu Zhànchǎng 二战亚洲战场 Kàngrì Zhànzhēng 抗日战争)

World War II in Asia (Èzhàn Yàzhōu Zhànchǎng 二战亚洲战场 Kàngrì Zhànzhēng 抗日战争)

Thomas P. DOLAN On 6 February 1945 a U.S. Army soldier and a Chinese soldier, allies in the war, each place the other’s flag on the front of their respective jeeps. The first truck convoy in almost three years is just about to cross the China border en route from Ledo, India, to Kunming, China, over the Stilwell Road. NATIONAL […]

Sino-Japanese War, First (Dì-Yī Cì Zhōng-rì Zhànzhēng 第一次中日战争)

Sino-Japanese War, First (Dì-Yī Cì Zhōng-rì Zhànzhēng 第一次中日战争)

Stewart LONE A series of prints by artist Hashimoto Chikanobu (1838–1912) showing Japanese troops surprising Chinese soldiers at Weihaiwei, and the death of a Chinese officer who had led his troops into battle during a snowstorm in 1895. The First Sino-Japanese War was a turning point in the modern history of East Asia: The victory of a smaller but more […]

Taiping Rebellion (Tàipíng Tiānguó Yùndòng 太平天国运动)

Taiping Rebellion (Tàipíng Tiānguó Yùndòng 太平天国运动)

Yingcong DAI “The Taiping War in China: costumes of imperial mandarins and soldiers.” From Illustrated London News, 1864. Led by Hong Xiuquan (1814–1864), a frustrated candidate in the civil service examinations and the self-proclaimed younger brother of Christ, the Taiping Rebellion (1851–1864) seriously challenged China’s Qing dynasty and was the largest rebellion in Chinese history. Millions of lives were lost […]

Nanjing Massacre (Nánjīng Dà Túshā 南京大屠杀)

Nanjing Massacre (Nánjīng Dà Túshā 南京大屠杀)

Richard C. KAGAN The Nanjing Massacre was one of the worst atrocities committed by the Japanese in China during the eight-year period from 1937 to 1945. The massacre—resulting in the deaths of approximately 250,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers, the rape of many women and girls, and the destruction of cattle and other animals—remains a painful scar on China’s collective […]

White Terror (Báisè Kǒngbù 白色恐怖)

White Terror (Báisè Kǒngbù 白色恐怖)

Bent NIELSON The White Terror, a pogrom of anti-Communists in Shanghai, left scenes of devastation in areas with suspected Communist sympathies. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s campaign of violence in Shanghai—the “White Terror”—was aimed at Communists and labor union members in 1927. The White Terror suppressed Communist activity in the city and influenced the later strategy of the Chinese Communist Party. […]

Republican Revolution of 1911–1912 (Xīnhài Gémìng 辛亥革命)

David L. KENLEY Sun Yat-sen’s revolution, beginning with an uprising in October 1911 and officially bringing down the Qing dynasty when its emperor abdicated in February 1912, ended more than two thousand years of imperial rule and established Asia’s first republic. But many historians question Sun’s leadership abilities and the conclusiveness of his revolution. By the end of the nineteenth […]

Korean War (Hān-Cháo Zhànzhēng 韩朝战争)

Korean War (Hān-Cháo Zhànzhēng 韩朝战争)

Shelton WOODS A Chinese soldier, killed by U.S. marines in Korea on 23 May 1951. PHOTO BY N. H. MCMASTERS. The Korean War was a bloody attempt by the opposing governments of North and South Korea to reunify the divided country by force. China supported North Korea, while the United Nations, led by the United States, supported South Korea. The […]

Opium War, First (Dì-Yī Cì Yāpiàn Zhànzhēng 第一次鸦片战争)

Opium War, First (Dì-Yī Cì Yāpiàn Zhànzhēng 第一次鸦片战争)

Alan BAUMLER This scene of an opium den in California is not dissimilar from scenes of opium dens in China in the early twentieth century, when opium addiction had spread like wildfire after British merchants began importing opium to China in vast quantities. The First Opium War (1839–1842) between Britain and China was triggered by disputes regarding the trade of […]

Ming Maritime Expeditions (Míng Cháo hánghǎi huódòng 明朝航海活动)

Ming Maritime Expeditions (Míng Cháo hánghǎi huódòng 明朝航海活动)

Thomas P. DOLAN The Ming Maritime Expeditions of the early fifteenth century, led by the court eunuch Zheng He, were China’s greatest explorations before the twentieth century. The seven expeditions to Asia and Africa were for purposes of trade and diplomacy, not exploration. During the early years of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) China, rather than viewing itself as the Middle […]