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What triggered the Sino-Japanese War?

The Sino-Japanese War was triggered by Japan's imperial ambitions and China's refusal to recognise Japanese control over Korea.

The Sino-Japanese War, which took place from 1894 to 1895, was a significant conflict between the Qing Dynasty of China and Meiji Japan, primarily over the control of Korea. The war was a result of Japan's growing imperial ambitions and China's refusal to recognise Japanese control over Korea. This conflict marked the emergence of Japan as a major world power and demonstrated the weakness of the Chinese empire, which would eventually lead to its downfall.

Japan, following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, had embarked on a rapid process of modernisation and westernisation. The Japanese government believed that in order to avoid the fate of other Asian countries that had been colonised by Western powers, Japan needed to become an imperial power itself. Korea, being a close neighbour, was seen as a logical first step in this process. Japan had already forced Korea to open up to Japanese trade and had established a significant presence in the country.

China, on the other hand, considered Korea to be a tributary state and was not willing to give up its influence over the Korean peninsula. When a rebellion broke out in Korea in 1894, both China and Japan sent troops to suppress it. However, Japan used this as an opportunity to strengthen its hold over Korea, which led to a clash with Chinese forces.

The war was a disaster for China. The Qing Dynasty's military was outdated and poorly equipped compared to the modernised Japanese forces. The Chinese navy was virtually destroyed in the Battle of the Yalu River, and by the end of the war, Japan had gained control of not only Korea but also Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands.

The Sino-Japanese War was a turning point in East Asian history. It marked the rise of Japan as a major imperial power and the beginning of a period of intense humiliation for China, which would contribute to the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the subsequent rise of the Republic of China.

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