I. Background on the development of Japan/China relations• In 1911 in China, there was a revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty and established the Republic of China.• Sun Yatsen led the disaffected intellectuals who wanted a republican form of government and helped to found China’s first political party, the Guomindang (GMD). • But Yuan Shikai, a military man, became the first president of the new Republic of China.
• In 1915, Japan made its infamous “Twenty-one Demands” on China, threatening China with military action if they did not accede to a bigger role for Japanese advisors and military presence in China. Yuan Shikai secretly agreed to most of the demands. Yuan died in 1916 and warlords began to run rampant throughout the land.• Meanwhile, on May 4, 1919, with anti-Japanese sentiment growing in China, intellectuals and students launched a major protest in Beijing against the terms of the Treaty of Versailles through which Japan received former German concessions in north China, a major part of its Twenty-one Demands.• Chinese nationalism, especially an anti-Japanese nationalism, was growing.
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